Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Story Ideas

I want to pursue an idea to animate myself but I did come up with my own folk tale if anyone wants to use it.

The Fire Bird

A huntsman is riding through a forest in the winter. The landscape is tall black trees in snowy ground. He catches sight of a vibrant red bird flying through the trees and sets off after it. He stops near a clearing and approaches slowly, drawing his bow. He focuses on The Fire Bird and is about to shoot when a wolf pounces on him. The wolf is huge, black, grizzled and with great sharp teeth. It bites his arm and throws him off the horse. The wolf continues to chew on the struggling huntsman’s arm as his horse rears from behind the wolf. It stomps down but the wolf and huntsman roll out of the way. The wolf turns on the horse and scares it off. They are alone now and the wolf turns on him. The huntsman thinks of drawing a blade on the wolf but stops. He surrenders, kneeling in the snow, waiting for the wolf to take his life. The wolf approaches, horrid and snarling. It opens its jaws, and snaps them shut, an inch from his face. The wolf retreats and sits. The Fire Bird appears through the mist and walks over to the huntsman. It studies him then plucks a feather from its tail. The huntsman takes it with his injured arm and is healed as the feather touches his fingertips. His dagger is still in his left hand and he thinks of striking the bird. He looks at the wolf, and remembers the mercy it showed him. He sheathes his dagger, bows to The Fire Bird, and takes his prize.

A magic feather of The Fire Bird.

This story isn't totally made up. It's inspired by Russian folktales and contains elements from many of them. The Fire Bird is usually portrayed as a magical or highly prized bird that narrowly escapes capture, leaving only a feather. The feather is so beautiful that a king or someone wants to have the whole bird. Men are then set off on a quest to hunt the fire bird with the first two failing after meeting a wolf and lying to it. The third man obeys the wolf and usually ends up doing some sort of quest which ends up with him gaining wealth or a wife or both. So that's where the ideas come from, the bird being a prized animal, the wolf acting as a guardian/test.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A Blind Man Catches a Bird.....Again

Hi guys, a while back I posted a pic and a link to an African folk tale, for those who forgot here's the link again. Been doing more work on the project since and have come up with an updated character design for the blind man and his companion as well as a rough storyboard. The story is simple and rather short and subtle rather than filled with action, the moral at the end especially makes me smile. Thought I'd put it here to see what you guys think.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

The Three Bears

I've been thinking lately about ideas for our third year film and I think I've hit on something that we could all get our teeth into. Retelling The Three Bears. Now, before I outline the plot here's a link to a mood board I've made for the project to give an idea of how I think it should look; Click Here

I’d like to reinvent the story of The Three Bears, returning to the original depiction of a horrible old woman instead of a greedy little girl. I’ve thought of names for the bears but I’m not sure how to tread the line of anthropomorphism. I’m not keen on the quaint depictions of their house but I’d still quite like it to be humanised. If we could work in a human head mounted about a fireplace that’d be awesome.
Basically, the old woman is a thief who loves gold. I thought we could introduce this with her being run out of a town, to explain her presence in the woods. The woods should be a intimidating place. Once she is well into the woods she can marvel at what gold she managed to escape with but also feel hungry. She is disturbed by Father and Baby who are out foraging. Baby is retrieving honey from a beehive with Father watching. Lock sees this and instantly wants the honey, to eat and also because of its golden colour. Baby breaks open the hive (like a coconut) and lets the honey drip down to Father who collects it in a container. They retreat into the forest and locks follows.
Mother is gutting and deboning fish then throwing them into a pot on the fire. Father and Baby return and eat their fish supper, the honey left on the windowsill where Lock is peeking. When the bears go to sleep, Lock wakes up and breaks into the bears’ house.
Lock goes in with the intention of just taking the container (I’m thinking maybe a jar) and leaving but can’t resist opening it there and then. She stuffs her face with honey and the smell wakes up the bears. Quite obvious where it’s going but I’m not sure how to tackle the ending. Think is would be great as the credits are rolling that we have a montage of the bears finding Lock’s gold, taking it to a taxidermist and getting her head mounted. =D

All this is up in the air at the moment so story development, different set up, ANYTHING is on the table. Apart from making it twee. Here's a couple of sketches that I did to, will include more later.

The mother bear isn't particularly good but I like father bear and baby bear.

Edit: This animation could start with a stag running through the forest =P

Friday, 10 June 2011

Robin Hood V.2

I found myself really liking the idea of Futuristic Robin Hood so i had another crack at it. I thought I'd post up the process of making it as well for a bit of fun.

I went back to the old lead pencil for this one, instead on using my usual Blue. I made him look more like a warrior this time giving him some extra armour. I have also got rid of the big bow, although I thought it looked cool, I thought it wasn't very practical, so I have given him a small wrist bow that can compact down to be hidden, bit more futuristic =P

I then inked the lines in dark tones of the colours that would be used, as I'm getting out of the habit of inking in black, which does take longer but looks alot better. I added some wear and tare on his armour and clothes, I have also added some templar crests on his shoulder and leg armour, as he was part of the crusades.

Now I add the main colour, I wont be shading him in as I think it works better in the animation (and saves time) to add shade when there is use for it instead of constant tones on the character at all times. I like the block colour scheme =P

This is the final version of Robin Hood with a Tron font title =P I have added the plasma blade and plasma bow line, I have also added some shade on the face, as he is hooded. I have also added alot of wear and tare of the templar crests to show how old the armour is and to show he's seen battle, and finally to help show that he is no longer a templar but kept the armour as it was useful to him.

I hope you guys like the new Robin Hood, he was alot of fun to draw. Coming soon as well will be Little John, and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Over the summer I hope to do some form of little trailer type animation for these characters for a bit of fun.


Tuesday, 7 June 2011