Creature design feedback

Creature design feedback

  • Likes designs of favourite designs
  • But he said this design was really good
  • But 2 legged design is more appealing to Steve
  • This design was more practical unlike other design
  • If had more time then other design would be great
  • But more practical design, change tail
  • Perhaps like a lion, thin tail with large thick part at the end

Below are the two images that were my favourite designs that I had created for developed character designs for my creature for the dark crystal netflix series.

The first image was the design I was more leaning towards as I thought it could be really interesting to make as a sculpture/ puppet. However getting feedback from Steve, he said this design was great but would be better to make if I had more time because the design is quite complex in terms of it’s shape and texture. In any case I really liked this design but agreeing with Steve I think this design would have worked better if I had more time and if I was more confident with sculpting.


Therefore with Steve’s feedback saying that this design was more practical I decided to go with this design. Although it is quite similar to the design above I actually tried to make this design with the creature on two legs rather than four. Plus the overall design is a more rounded/ cute design which will make it easier to sculpt because of the basic shapes I have used in the design. However Steve suggested that I changed the tail design because it may be very difficult to sculpt out of clay.


Therefore my next task will be to take some time and create some detailed paintings and designs of this creature to help me figure out what I should do with the tail and how I will make this creature into a simple hand puppet.


Developing/ Re sculpting my recreation of Kent Melton’s “Genie’s Lamp” Sculpture

  • Remade Lamp adding more foil inside then reapplying clay/ super sculpey

Below is a image of how my lamp sculpture looked once I had started to smooth it out. However as you can see the issue was the lamp still did not have the three dimensional/ bulky sphere shape look to it. After some decisions I thought the best option would be the best idea to reconstruct the body of the model and stick some more foil inside to make the lamp more spherical.


So these images below show the deconstruction of my model, where I had to use a number of tools to make slits/ holes in the model for me to pull large chucks of the super sculpey off at a time. But the clay came off a lot easier than I thought making it much easier to get to the inside and add some more tin foil inside.


The best idea I thought of was to add a number of scrunched up pieces of foil and place them in the body of the lamp, this would provide a much more rounded shape, rather than a flat shaped lamp.

Insert images of foil inside and putting lamp together.


Narrative Animation: Background Assets

Parallax is displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight, and is measured by the angle or semi- angle of inclination between those two lines.

  • Create 3D elements
  • Create Background asset for opening scene

Rough Background asset designs

Below are two images for my opening scene where the camera will zoom into the character silhouettes (black dots on the right) to help establish the scene to the audience. But the main focus for this image was to try and make the trees a frame for the shot so the audience’s eyes would be drawn down the middle of the scene to the characters/ tent. But I wanted to make the bold tree on the right the main focus as this is the tree where the characters are shooting the arrows at the tree/ target.


Furthermore I have made the shot a high angle so the audience can see the full scenery of the Scottish highlands in the background. Plus I tried to make the long boat in the distance but still visible so the audience sees something that shows why they are there.


Needed to ask Lawrence for some feedback on how to get the trees and sun to point at the area that I want the audience to focus on first, perhaps some shadows or branches pointing at the tree. I have tried to make the branches point at the tree in the image above but it’s still not pulling my eye to the main focus point.

Animated list

Separate features (not included in background Asset)

  • Sun rising
  • Character silhouettes


  • Camera swoop through trees gap
  • Zooms toward character silhouettes
  • Character silhouettes should be separate assets
  • But animate with limited movement but so emphasises it.

Lawrence feedback 

  • Add shadows to direct audience eye
  • Directional lights from sun, could add leaves on tree want audience to look at
  • Could overfill long boat with snow
  • Cartoon effect in background
  • Has a Mary Blair style
  • Add leaves on Main tree so stands out more
  • Characters would have limited movement in a separate asset

Final planned out background asset

Using Lawrence’s feedback I made some adjustments to the scene to make the main focus point more eye catching with the sunlight. By using some shadows on the side of the painting it makes the bright morning sunlight stand out more in the scene, making it more eye catching. Furthermore I added some really small leaves onto the main focus tree to make it stand out. Unlike the other trees where I have cast them in shadows with some snow on top of each branch. I also added some snow on the ground and boat to make that wintry feel, as well as making the long boat have that cartoon effect on overfilled with snow.


Now I need to go back and re- draw this background asset just so it is a little more refined for my animation, providing a more appealing/ refined design for my final animation.

Stylization of Visual development: Mary Blair Lecture notes

  • Produce a repainting of one of Mary Blair’s artwork

Artist inspired by our subject

Victoria Ying

  • Perfectly normal to emulate other artists in the industry
  • People do it all time
  • Post impressionists
  • For Victoria Ying her inspiration was from Mary Blair
  • Barista area painting, concept art from Big Hero 6
  • Similar style to Mary Blair and Eyvend Earle
  • Being able to do this can enhance your own style in place like; New designers, MCM expo, CTN

Mary Blair

  • Helped create & move style of work with graphic matters & means of colour to screen
  • Helped create unpinned style of Disney’s conceptual art stage
  • Vibrant simple colour
  • Conceptual art for “It’s a small world ride” in California
  • All characters and cutouts were inspired by her designs
  • Small world album cover design

Mary Blair & Rides

  • Conceptual artist were working on the animation side of things were also working on “Walt Disney Imagineering design”- helped create the ride & amusement parks of the various Disneyland’s.

Joe Ranft & Jerome Ranft of Pixar

  • Done character sculptures & writing like of Toy story, Cars and Ratatouille
  • Helped design the Pixar element of the various Disneyland theme parks
  • Jerome also did character sculptors for James & the Giant Peach (voices Jaques from Finding Nemo/ Dory & Gammer from Up

Mary Blair: Graphic Approach 

  • Simple block/ bright colours
  • Pastel aesthetic helps create visual storytelling structure
  • Shapes express cheeky & clear
  • Manipulative behaviour of character that may have fashioned the signs, perhaps giving of, passive aggressive tones
  • Abstract artist- shapes composition

Abstract Expressionism

  • Truly understand Abstract expressionism is totally miss point of it
  • Don’t need to understand as much as feel it
  • How art makes you feel
  • Abstract shapes is form, may not be function, that determined by you the observer
  • Wassily Kandisky: Transverse line (1923)

Expression in Mary Blair work

  • Linage in her work
  • Simple shapes, colour & exaggerated form to help tell a story even further colour helps to inform us that two characters hers are not trusted
  • Simple contrast so not to overpower use simple shapes & colours
  • Cheshire cat is foreboding character by stars contrast them & Alice

Simplistic fun

  • May look easy & simplistic
  • Quite hard to replicate
  • Anyalize shape of objects
  • Focal point
  • Background harmonises
  • Foreground we are drawn in by the shaft of light
  • Tonal vibrant between the keyboard & sky giving the image balance palette
  • Bright red & green characters
  • Left & right side of screen


  • Influenced by people/ others around you constantly sharing artwork/ ideas
  • Micheal Spooner & Paul Felix (early 80’s)
  • Prismacolour pencil on tracing paper
  • Tarzan, Lilo & Stitch

Mary Blair & Colour Complimentation

  • Blue to harmonise with red & pink tones compliment one another weirdly feel
  • Black trees here throw in rule breaker in atmospheric perspective piece in so the black does not overpower scene
  • Blair uses white & purple leaves to balance these harsh tones

Mary Blair: Peter Pan Poster 

  • Peter Pan ride in original Disney representing Never, Never land character is outstanding
  • Each individual part of the map is harmonised & Complimented by other.


Repainting Ian Mcque’s “Alley”

This task was to repaint another one of Ian Mcque’s painting’s (seen below). So using Photoshop I was tasked in recreating my own version of this painting using a grey scale colour palette. Unlike the other Ian Mcque task previously I am allowed to use multiple layers which can be more useful for me when creating the depth in the scene. I will try to restrict myself on the number of layers I use such as; Foreground, Midground and Background.



My Repainting stage by stage (reference on the left, mine on the right)

Below is the first part of repainting the image above using some simple shapes and blocked out colours. So I started with a really rough sketch to help me set out where everything is going to go in the painting. Then I used a simple brush in Photoshop and blocked out some basic shapes and colours that will help me plan out my repaint. Having the image next to my repaint I thought I could line up each of the shapes together before painting it.


Furthermore to help me paint the grey scale I used the basic grey scale palette on the left of the image above and the value/ colour palette seen below. Both of these grey scale values allowed me to get those lighter and darker tones for the scene. I was tasked to try and not use the colour picker to get the grey scales so I tried to use these two value palettes to help me make the colours.

04.12.17 Professional Development 11 Colour Scales

Stage 2

Below is my continued process of repainting the Ian Mcque piece, here I have used the first stage as a reference and painted over it to get those bold simple shapes allowing me to plan out the design before adding further details over the top. But I thought if I get the basics down I can develop the piece further.


Stage 3

After blocking out the basic shapes with solid grey scale values I realised that the overall repainting was slightly off. This is because the overall depth and perspective of my repainted piece didn’t feel like it had the same affect as the original piece. Therefore to make the design more appealing I decided to go through the design again with the previous stages as reference and re- sketch the basic design of the painting to make it look and feel the same, in terms of depth.


Stage 4

After re- sketching the design of the painting I decided to go through and paint the blocked values first and then add more and more values/ details with each layer allowing me to make the design more like the original. To make the mirror affect in the floor I used the painting in the door way, then I duplicated the image and flipped it. Then by lowering the opacity I was able to paint over it with a low opacity light grey value to make a water like reflection. I used a variety of different brush sizes and layers to make the details develop further and further to get that refined look. Plus I also added some light in the doorway and the back of the silhouette character, providing a light effect on the characters.


Final Repainting 


This is my final repainting of Ian Mcque’s “The Alley” where I have used only grey scale values like in the previous stages above. So the finishing touches I added to the repainting was that I went through and refined some of the shapes and overlay strokes to make the image look neater/ more like the original. Seen in the image before this there was some strokes that looked out of place or too rough, so I made sure that I fixed them.

I am proud of how this image came out and I think it has a similar representation to the original. However looking more closely I realised perhaps I have rushed the floor slightly as some of the shadows in the background of the image are not shown so perhaps by going back and fixing those I will be more pleased with the final product.

Value Repainting Ian Mcque “The Monkey King”

This task was to create a recreation of one of Ian Mcque’s artworks, so I decided to do “The Monkey King” painting which is seen below. The reason for this was because I am not confident in painting or drawing animal like characters. Therefore I thought this would be both a challenge and a interesting pace to repaint as it has a fantasy style design. However the main challenge for this task was not just to recreate the artwork but to only use ONE layer in Photoshop and no more! Using only the grey scale values! So being used to using multiple layers in Photoshop for my digital paintings this was going to be a challenge indeed.

Below is the original artwork created by Ian Mcque found on


As this task was to repaint a grey scale value study of my chosen piece I was also given this colour and value colour palette. This was very useful because it allowed me to create a grey scale value that was suitable with the corresponding colours as seen below. As this piece had a lot of warm colours particularly on the clothing I mainly used the right hand side of this palette as well as the left hand side for grey scale values.

04.12.17 Professional Development 11 Colour Scales

My Repainting/ Value study

Below is my repainting value study of Ian Mcque’s “The Monkey King” artwork. Following the task I painted this repainting using only one layer and the grey scale values (seen above). However this was a rather difficult task, this is because unlike my usual painting style in Photoshop I could not rub out certain parts of the image without removing the rest of the image. However as this piece was made on one layer I could not do that so I had to be more delicate and careful with my strokes as well as repainting some elements multiple times.


As you can see with this piece I focused mostly on the character rather than the scene around it because my main focus at this stage was to focus on the character design/ painting rather than the environment, allowing me to paint the details of the clothing, while learning his art style.

“The Illusionist” animated short notes

  • “The Illusionist” short animation (2010)
  • French animation
  • 2D Animation
  • Set in Paris, France 1950/ 1960
  • Travels to England (White cliffs of Dover)
  • London (Big Ben)
  • Main character (Magician) cannot go on stage as “The Brittoons” keep performing (illusionist can’t go on stage)
  • Bigger act got more attention
  • No one paying attention to magician’s act
  • “Why is he there” Part of the illusion
  • In Scotland- (Kilt, Edinburgh Castle)
  • Scottish man clapped at act
  • Illusionist forges a ticket for girl who joined his travels
  • Visual clue of clown- sound, music, sad clown, going to hang himself
  • Magician buys things for girl
  • Shakes hands with man indicating getting a job
  • Magician cleans car (job)
  • Girl gets everything, whilst Magician works for it
  • Character design for ventriloquist is the same as the ventriloquist dummy
  • Hear chair moving upstairs, think the clown is about to hang himself
  • Think rabbit is in the stew girl made
  • But rabbit is under the sofa eating the sausages the Magician put down
  • “Adapting to the times”
  • Illusionist avoiding girl (she is all dressed up, with things he bought her)
  • Rabbit bites in the beginning but towards end he is closer with magician
  • Ventriloquist is homeless
  • Let the rabbit go in the highlands of Scotland.
  • “Magicians do not exist”- he has given up

Class notes/ talk

  • Sol-em feel
  • Give up on Dreams
  • “The Brittoons”- The Beetles
  • Man never changed but girl did
  • Man tried different jobs
  • But never stayed/ succeeded
  • Emphasis post war struggles
  • Traditional art jobs were going out of business after war
  • Music changing even when arts dying
  • Musicians kept taking Magician’s job
  • Thickle fame is
  • Puppet in window goes down in price till it is literally free
  • Shows dying- colour palettes darker and more saturated tones
  • Mirror of Ventriloquist who becomes puppet when he flops over
  • New man character recognises girl first he fancy clothing
  • But she took/ takes but never gives back
  • New man (top class) noticed girl who was dressed up
  • Related to animator/ director
  • Jaqufs Tati as losing his job(s)/ job struggles
  • Similar to American dream
  • Lots of backstage and not a lot of on stage
  • Theatre filled when Brittoons on but empty when Magician appears
  • Jaqufs Tati- Director/ creator
  • Time past- 3/5 years in short
  • In over places- Scotland/ England has recognisable features (cliffs of Dover, Big Ben & Kilts)
  • But in France no noticeable locations
  • Strong colour palettes
  • 50’s/ 60’s- upper, middle & lower classes
  • Girl only one who is happy at the end
  • Girl went from pub worker to fancy dressed girl
  • Lower class to Upper class

Sculpting/ recreating Kent Melton’s Lamp sculpture

After struggling to find a way to reshape the lamp on my own without completely ruining it, I asked Steve to help me with reshaping the lamp. With help from Steve I was able to squash down the lamp as seen below without completely destroying it. As you can see in the image below it now looks a lot more like Aladdin’s lamp rather than a unusual imitation.



After reshaping the lamp to look more like Kent Melton’s sculpture, I bought some Super Sculpey and began to apply the material to the tin foil base. Like Plasticine this material needed warming up, but once I had it felt like such as easy material to sculpt with and I was able to apply more and more clay to the foil forming the basic shape of the lamp.

Below are a number of images of the stage by stage process of building the different parts of the sculpture with the super sculpey material, this includes; the spout, handle, base and lid.


However the main issue that had once again resurfaced was that the lamp did not have the spherical element that is seen in the original sculpture. I tried to apply more clay on the body but it just kept squashing in making the lamp look more flat than round.

Therefore I think my next task will have to be to remove the clay from the foil and add some more foil inside of the model to make a more rounded shape for the lamp.

Character Performance brief notes

  • No story required
  • Showreel of Animated sequences
  • Character performance/ body mechanics/ movements portfolio
  • Can use elements of Narrative animation stories
  • Animating your own hand built Maya  character model/ rig
  • Work Journal- Character designs, preproduction, etc