Strange Person in a Strange Place Presentation

The presentation today went quite well. We presented what we had so far to Ken Grint in a new studio space. Ken’s feedback was relatively simplistic. He mentioned how strong the sound is in order for my story to really blossom, and also had some pointers about the storyboard technicalities.

I kept my presentation short and to the point with a straight forward set of powerpoint slides that showed my progression from abstract treatment through mood boards, onto character designs and finally ending on there animatic I compiled together for the presentation. I also added in the storyboard pages at the back of the presentation just incase Ken wanted to see them (which he did).

What I noticed from seeing all the other presentations was that my fellow classmates wrote a synopsis or outline for their story but I went with a quick series of simplistic illustrations – which allowed me to talk through them without forcing people to read anything which I believe was very effective. I did however, use a small amount of writting to explain the actual storyboaed scene which allowed me to explain why I chose that scene, instead of any others.


I  didn’t add the storyboard because it’s just the storyboard that’s on the previous blog post (more or less) with a few changes here and there.



Colour Time!

I did a bit of messing around with colour and began with a compilation of mixed onesnand asked a variety of people for opinions.

In the first set of images, ’embarrased’ and ‘fed-up’ were the most liked and in the other series of images people liked the 4th and the 8th most.

This led me to creating another set of images with a more specific colour pallette.

In this set of images, people liked ‘fed-up’ and ‘thinking’ as well as 4 and 8.

From here, I merged the colours together to create the colour of the official characters.


Winter Gardens: Leaves & Landscapes

After signing the contract to the house for next year (Yippee!), myself and a few friends got together and made our way to the winter gardens. After spending all that time on the art of nesting and designing possible designs for them (just to have them not be useful because I didn’t want to storyboard that part of the story), I felt it was time to explore the landscape and leaves now that I have a clearer idea of what I want my final outcome to look like.

These are a series of sketches I did of the leaves, with some added ones that are more illustrative and designed.

After walking around the Winter Gardens sketching the variety of plant life, I then went around again with my camera and took photographs of plants and “landscapes” for reference when I design my own backgrounds.


Storyboard Beginings: The Encounter

Scene 1. This is the meeting between Tweeter and Wooter.

Tweeter Bird is sad that everyone is in love but it. Wooter Bird tries to cheer them up by covering up the romamtic scene with a leaf, and it works.


The scene isn’t finished. There is still at least one other page to go. There are also changes here and there that I’m thinking of changing.


On a side note, I made a massive change to the ending of the entire story. Instead of the Tweeting bird ending things with the Wooting bird because of the nest issue (which is a shallow characteristic), I’ve made it be because of this:


Landscape Design Progression: Sketching & Exploration.

The birds nests will play a crucial part of the narratives story, therefore I spent some time looking at artists that work with nature as well as real life nests – materials used, size, shape etc. (see previous blog post on Landscape Research).

From there, I sketched some out myself to get an idea of where I want to go with the look. Each bird will have a complate different nest design, fit for it’s own purpose, and they wont work together. It’s up to me to find out why they don’t work together, and why each character would like or dislike those nest designs.


In my spare time, I also sketched some quick landscape shots to get an idea of scale, depth, location and tone.


Character Design Progression: Shape (tick!), Size (tick!), Colour (awww..)

Following on from my previous post, I progressed with the collage technique using my favourite designs frommthe bunch I produced prior.

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These allowed me to get a clear sense of shape. I was able to seperate what I do and don’t like about each one, such as texture, colour, eyes, beak etc. and from there built up final designs for the two birds in my narrative.


The contrast between the two birds are quite apparent. One is short and round, the other is tall-legged and formed with straight lines (for the most part, at least). This is a desperate attempt to make them look like completely different species.

I’m holding off on creating the colour theme for the creatures because I’m unsure about background design. I’ve been looking into backgrounds and landscaping alongside designing these little guys, and will hopefully come with a solid theme soon.


Character Design Beginnings: Shapes and Sizes

Started with a circle, a square, a hectagon and a triangle andnused those as shape layouts for some fast doodles.

It quickly came apparent that I liked the circular shape more than the others, so progressed further with just the rounded shape.

Other drawings, I did but didn’t like nor wanted to really progress with:

character-designsReasoning behind not liking them:
-The shapes of these didn’t work well for animation with the idea I have from the treatment.
-The eagles were because I was going to go down the route of bigger birds, such as kites, eagles, owls, etc. But those were all birds of prey and tend to be lonesome. By narrative requires birds that stick together in their own groups.

Landscape Design Beginnings: Research Stage

Having never really done landscape/background art, this task is the most interesting and also the most daunting. In order to feel more at ease, I’ve done a variety of research to help trigger my imagination in this matter.



I also looked at Artists that work with the landscape around them such as Andy Goldsworthy and Nils-Udo “Art in Nature”




When looking in “The Art of Up” book for information on Kevin, I came across some interesting and useful quotes from the people that worked on/with the landscapes in the movie:

“For our plants, there is a life cycle happening in each shot. At first, when we designed a plant, we created a clean graphic representation. But the thing that we learned in CG is that you have to add the leaves that are dying and leaves that are younger to make it look convincing. This is fascinating because, once you do that, you start observing the life cycle. You have the young bug growing, the vine that’s matured and the leaf that’s dying. And the dead things fall to the ground and provide matter for the next plant to grow from.”
-Rickey Nierva, Production Designer

“With a lot of those plants in Venezuela, like the chiflera tree, the leaves had an interesting furry texture. The bromeliad had an interesting effect where on one side was green and then the other side was red. And that’s from exposure to sunlight. The plants grow so fast that the red part doesn’t have time to produce chlorophyll. There’s really a biological reason why it’s so beautiful. The red and green contrast is very graphic and that’s something Pete wanted to maintain throughout. So we used these little design details to bring those qualities in.”
-Bryn Iwagire, Shading Art Director.
“The plants were so beautiful, we didn’t have to make anything up. We’d just pick the colours, eliminate all the extraneous detail, and do simple colour gradations. Then they looked beautiful. It’s really easy to make plants beautiful because they are completely organic. We examine real life, then extract the essence of beauty from each one.”
-Bryn Iwagire, Shading Art Director