End Of Year Evaluation

This year has been a learning curve for me, and a very successful on as I feel I have progressed a large amount from the beginning of the year and that I am producing work now that I would not have been able to even several months ago.

Looking at the projects together a main area that I know I will be working on over the summer as well as in the next academic year is my time management. Next year I will create schedule for the project that I will work at following as closely as possible. Also, I will make sure that the schedule will allow for elements such as Photoshopping and scanning.

I am pleased with the overall look of the finished pieces in my character project. I would have liked for the line work to be cleaner, and the colours on some of the characters could use addressing, however I feel I have been successful in creating a set of fun characters. I am particularly pleased with the way colours are used as a way of representing the personalities of the characters as opposed to their cultural heritage, creating a group of strong female characters that I hope could work as positive role models for young girls.

Collaboration this year for me was working with Michaela Edmunds on her comic book, a key feature of her film “Bump in the Night”. I found working with Michaela very enjoyable, and I feel that we were able to communicate well and working off each other, something I feel is clear in the outcome of our work together. I feel the comic book sits well in her film, and that the panels are readable and exciting to look at.

Nailing down a style for my title sequence that was both attractive and fit well with the HBO show True Blood, which I was designing it for, was rather challenging, but it was a challenge enjoyed. I feel that although it took me longer to get to style I was happy with than it should have, the final outcome was reasonably strong. The storyboard itself could have been clearer, and the final visuals are relatively simple, but I feel the simplicity of the designs perhaps suits the sequence when you take into consideration the quick cut editing and character content. I find the puppet theatre look of the final visuals with the impression of shadows and light was really quite successful, and the animatic fits well with the music. I would have like to have had more animation in the animatic, but again that is down to time management.

This I have progressed more than I could have anticipated in areas that I had never before considered, such as in my skills with Adobe Illustrator, and while there are still clear areas for further development, I feel the work I have produced for my final major projects serve as proof of my development as a designer this year.


And thus it all came to an end...

After a long process and a lot of drawing, I finally finished all the visuals for my True Blood Title Sequence.
Quite a bit different from where I started, I like the simple grey backgrounds with the textured trees and the "roughly" drawn characters. I am particularly fond of the "monster" versions of the characters and the impression of a puppet theatre created through the use of shadow and light. They may be a bit simple, but I feel given the content of the sequence that the simplicity only helps to enhance the impact of it.

And so here they are, the final four visuals for my True Blood Title Sequence:

Animal Attack!

And here is possibly my favourite part of my title project: the animatic!

I feel that it is a lot clearer than the storyboards themselves, and that it fits very well with the music (Bad Things by Jace Everette, the actual title music from the show).

I would have liked more movement in there, but I feel it is cut well, and I really enjoyed editing it to the music. I hope you enjoy!

Story Is Everything...

And so the story boards are complete. Whilst they could be more readable and the final drawing could be cleaner, I feel that over all they have been quite a success and something I was not positive was possible several weeks ago.

Here are a few examples of the final panels:

Juno It Is...

After going over all the work I've done I looked back at the above collage and remembered my idea for a Juno inspired title sequence. And that's exactly where I'm going with this. Realistic drawings of the actors, sometimes exaggerated or morphed for when they are revealed as monsters, all simple pen and paper, with some of those tree textures that I had been looking at using and some interesting lighting to help with the puppet theatre look, which I still want to try and capture.

Comic Timing!

And so the first of my projects is complete! The comic book is laid out, coloured and and textured. And I really quite like it. It's sweet and fun and in a completely different style to what I would usually work in. I am particularly fond of the cover image, as was Edmunds, which is exactly what I wanted. Working with her was very enjoyable, and hope to collaborate a lot more next year.

I Need A Hero!

It's been a while since I've posted anything about the collaboration side of my project, so I figured now is the time!

After the couple of concept images I did for people, I got stuck into the main part of my collaboration, working on a comic book for my good friend and brilliant animator Michaela Edmunds (her film is brilliant, check it out! http://michaela-edmunds.blogspot.com/)

The idea is that there is a group of shadow monsters attacking a house in the woods, and a superhero (recently christened NIGHTFORCE) comes in to save the day...or night.
It helps to set up the climax of her film.

These are some rough layouts that will be taken into Illustrator and Photoshop to be finished.

The Story Unfolds...

Now that I have some bits and pieces of what I want for my final sequence, it's time to try and develop them. I've played with the shapes of some of the characters, the colours of the backgrounds, and tried to put the two together to try and get a feel for the final visual of the sequence.
And here is a taster of that process:

Looking back on this work I can see that it is mostly half formed ideas jumbled together resulting in an overly complicated, not very series appropriate set of visuals that really need to be reconsidered.

I think that as a show True Blood is loud on its own, so with this title sequence I think what I'm going to do is take everything right back...

A Happy Accident...

As well as the characters I needed to look at the final design of another key element of the sequence: The trees!

And while I was exploring the shapes and colours of the environments, I decided to try tissue paper on top of water colour. The paper didn't stick, but then a happy accident occurred, and an unusual and fun pattern was left behind:

If I can I will try and incorporate these patterns into the textures of the trees in my backgrounds.

Puppet Theatre...

I did another collage where I layered several pages of trees on top of each other creating a sense of faked depth that I find quite intriguing. If I could recreate that, where I would have a sense of a puppet theatre, or a pop-up book, I think it would help create an interesting and fun title sequence.

Paper Heart...

After the portrait of Sookie I decided to keep exploring the textures and moods I could portray through collage. I also tried to explore creating a feeling of depth within some of the images. I feel the more successful pieces are those that seem to have a more fixed location. I am particularly fond of the above image, giving me the idea that a Juno inspired title sequence with sketched characters in the actors likenesses (rather than caricatures) could be really quite interesting.

Taking Centre Stage...

And here it is, the final visual. A promotional poster for the revamped, modernised and very colourful reincarnation of Jem! and the Holograms:

I like the composition and the lighting in the poster, although the text could be looked at a bit more.

And so, after lots of sketchbooks, lots of coffee and even more time, I feel that the final result of this project is, all things considered (all together now!) Truly Outrageous!

It's the Real World!

As well as the charcter packs, part of the project this year was to make three insitue images, and here are mine!

I am particularly fond of Shana in "Bad Hair Day" as it is quite nice to have some comedy coming through some of the designs.
"The Pink Carpet" is simple, but I think it serves as a way of illustrating the type of world Jem and her Holograms inhabit.
The Holograms could have better poses and expression in "In The Recording Studio", but I think the composition and Jem's expression work well to make the image successful.

Bring out the Band!

So Jem! was for the most part a success. And I'm happy to say its a similar story for the rest of the Holograms. Kimber's colours need some work, and line work could be addressed across all of them, but over all I think they have turned out to be a fun, colourful and positive group of characters that represent a variety of ages, cultural backgrounds, personalities and interests.
Unfortunately I did not have time to produce full character packs for all the characters, but here are some examples of Aja, the sporty Green one and Shana, the Purple princess and one of the most successful characters of the project:

Jem! is her name...

And so its finally done (not that I can believe it just yet). From the construction turnarounds to the final poster, Jem! is now fully and officially redesigned.
As is to be expected, I'm not happy with all all of the project, but given the learning curve I've been on during the course of this project I am feeling pretty positive about the results.

Here are some examples of Jem! and her big sister, All-American, ultra-pink, shinny, new look:

Now her poses may not be very elaborate and colours not quite right, but over all I think Jem! is my favourite character. Which is pretty much the best I could hope for seeing as she is the leading lady of a band that, although it could be improved on, is, in my opinion, looking Truly Outrageous!

More of the finished work to follow.


So after a bit of education in how to use Illustrator I managed to come up with a character that I actually am quite happy with. The only real thing is the huge amounts of epic pink! It all melds together, so I'll be looking into how to fix that...