Final showreel

Above is the final animation show reel for this unit. I didn’t get a chance to finish of all my animations but I have explored the animation techniques from an animator’s survival guide and taught myself pacing and timing. This unit has let me develop and explore my weaknesses. And I feel this video showcases this.

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Nara Deer feeder

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I’m getting closer to the final animation here. I wanted to experiment with the colours of the character and background. I like this more saturated look as it looks like morning. When creating this man I wanted to add alot of volume to those cheeks to really push his expression and make use of those wrinkles.

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I wanted this man to bow forward and back after bowing. I’mm not sure If I will have time to finish this section of the animation, but I did make some rough animation. The pace needed to be pretty even because he is slowly bowing forward. I tried to play around with the pacing as I created it, until I was happy.

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Here are the key-poses of this animation. The animation was going to begin with this man holding up the cracker and then bowing to the deer, waiting for the response and then smiling / laughing at the situation. I wanted to experiment with thee facial expression of an older man. gateaj

I created this concept art to experiment with a cinematic frame of the bowing deer and man. I like this idea of the actual bowing scene to be a silhouette as it would look more epic and mysterious.

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Above, I created some concept art of the different stills to understand the colour and the look of the animation that I want to create. I like the yellow and blue tones of the sky as it reminds me of a morning scene – calming and sacred. The deer are respected in Nara as being holy animals, hence why they are allowed to roam the city free even entering shrines and shops.

I decided to look at the Japanese painting style to study the colours that were used to influence by own colour in the animation. What I notice was the light water colour fill of yellows and blues. It was also nice to look how the deers are captured.

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Isao Takahata wanted to create realistic facial movements for the characters in his film, Only Yesterday. This film is a women in her 30’s reminiscing about her childhood as she makes a trip to work in the country. The director wanted to give more expression into the faces of the characters to give depth and life to the emotions. I personally think that it works really well in enhancing the features. – It also makes her more mature looking.  I want my character to have a similar volume to his cheeks that bring life to his face when happy…

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This is a sheet dedicated to one man we met in Nara, Japan. This city is famous for it’s bowing deers. If you bow at the deers then they bow back in order to receiver a deer cracker. You can buy a small pile of the crackers all around the city, however this man had a whole bag full. He was on his own and teaching us how to feed them. He seemed like he was having so much fun. I don’t really draw elderly people. Therefore I wanted to see how I could create a Japanese elderly man. He has a friendly page, so from his photo I created a mixture of sketches which developed into a character I really liked.

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As well as the old man, I thought I might want to make a duo pair; of both deer and man. These are sketches of the deer. I wanted to experiment with the look and create a very curvy character. I really like the outcome because the drawings are so loose.

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The top photo is of  the man and his deer. He was showing us how to bow to them. He inspired the above sketches and an animation concept. I thought the two would make a nice short of the bowing man.  Below is a picture of me bowing to the deer.

Art teacher

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This is my progress so far. I have put in the key frames and then the first breakdowns of the first second – and a few inbetweens there is definitely still a lot of work (that left hand) but I feel like I am making progress in my skills and I am happy with the way that this animation is going. I am finally understanding timing and spacing (and a good way to work out the animation for myself). Learning a process of animation that is quicker and makes more sense to me. It has helped me a lot. I really like the hair in this test, I wanted to experiment with it being very bouncy and fluid.

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Art teacher character design

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Above is finalized look of my character. I want to play about her clothes – make them more eccentric and colourful. I wanted her body to look athletic – strong arms and a curvy figure. Her hair is also curvy but I hope for it to have a lot of movement and overlap in the animation. My initial idea for this character was to have a ‘crazy,’ ‘eccentric’ and ‘passionate’ art teacher.I wanted to explore this idea of having a wacky women who spreads her passion of the arts – to a class. She is inspired from hints of the art teachers I new. I think I could make her appear more crazy with expressions, clothes and poses so I hope to make another character sheet.

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Above is a collection of imagery I thought represented the art teacher I had in mind. I want her to be strange but passionate. Have a unique mind that is different from the norm. Her dress sense, will be colourful and strange, taking inspiration from the painting  she likes or the colours and patterns – her look is bright and stands out.  I have included poses and small items that may belong to her. She is expressive with her body as well as her personality.  This mood board will help me bring out a sense of who she is and the scenario she might me in.

The Funny Face (1957) film, features a ‘bohemian’ expressive dance, performed by Audrey Hepburn. In this scene she is letting loose to the music and moves her body to express herself. The dance is full of shapes and large gestures that I want to refer to when creating a character sheet – different poses and moods.

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This is the first sketch that I made of the art teacher – I created her to have a strange look. Her hair and face through her body has curves and different proportions. This pose showing a bold gesture – which created the idea of an art teacher who is very lively.

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I put on some music, and with my sister dancing I would shout ‘stop’ to capture some gesture poses in my sketchbook. I wanted to capture the poses of my character. And also observe the movements of the character.

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This was a small section from my sketchbook which was reviewing the expressions of this character very roughly. I hope to make a more official document that really pushing these faces. I want her face to be very exaggerated and over the top. This was me just trying to figure the shape of the face. When animating the face I want to see how far I can push the expression. I need to work on this – as I don’t tend to over exaggerate the face shape (during emotions.)

I wanted to think about the different styles (colour and look) I could use to approach this character (aside from my normal creations.) I wanted to look at impressionist artists and different painters / techniques to in cooperate her creative personality and the passion of the character. This may be a little difficult to explain without the concept drawn. I also just like the poses and perspectives that have been captured by Egon Schiele – the character is the center of the work. They have a sense of narrative because of the composition and poses of the women her paints.

Men do cry

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I’m trying to experiment with the timing and spacing of my animation, I have been reviewing the Animation Survival Guide to improve my animations more. I feel as though I it has been improving my animation skills – this test is short but  was trying to create a dramatic shot of this man crying in his hands.

After our second presentations, Mike mentioned giving the man who was crying an identity. I went away and came up with the idea of a psychic sitting in the garden get a vision of his own death. This is just a map out of some of the key poses behind this idea (the pacing needs to be ended) – The challenge with this concept was expressing how this man would react – shocked or sobbing… I hope to develop more this stage.

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Sketching out pose to pose the key poses / breakdowns to the video reference to visualize the different steps of each move and to think about the timing and spacing of this shot.

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Here is another series of pose to pose sketch of the man drinking a cup of tea before having a vision, and then putting it back down quickly. I wanted to learn how the arm moved – although it seems simple enough, I still needed time to process the movement.

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Above I am trying to experiment with the timing and spacing of this movement – I want to push myself this term to really focus on the technical side of the animation process. Understanding how to give the right pace – and apply the other animation.

A mixture of expression sheets and timing – pose to pose. My sketchbook has been a place to explore and jolt ideas down, hence why these aren’t that pretty. Yet, have helped me to learn so much.

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These are ten second gesture poses of my sister. I asked her to pose ‘upset’ – some of these are very exaggerated and some quieter. It’s a good exercise to explore lots of different poses in a short time – you can really tell what works and what doesn’t. I created these to extend the poses too.

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After my half way presentation, I was told to think of a concept that could be applied to the animation instead of just doing a scenario – understanding why he was crying and who he was. I made my own version of the ‘character – story’ chart that my tutor had given to me as an example. Above are ten ideas that I looked at for this character. My favourite are the ones in blue. The final idea was: A psychic who has a vision of his own death (in the garden). 

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Above is a spider diagram of different characteristics of a person. I wanted to explore the type of characteristics that different people possess. I created this as a future reference for any character. Pick 3 -5 of these words and then apply it to a character to give them depth and understand how that character would act.

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This shot has little movement but more a study of the expression changing and the inner thoughts of the male character as he quietly cries. I actually really like this shot as I get the sense the character is looking at me – and I feel empathy towards the character. It’s nice to know that such a simple shot can still be so effective.

Above are the several tests that I created to begin exploring different ways that males cry. I’m torn between making  a really subtle change of emotion (hidden crying) or to break the male stereotype of hiding emotions and create a shot that is more dramatic and raw (more like sobbing.) These animations are very short but explore a few ways that I can test the emotional man. I think it would be nice to do slower pacing to build into the shot – but If i don’t have time, I may just do the ‘height of the emotion.’

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I created this mood board of males crying from films / soap dramas an YouTube – I wanted to understand not only structurally how people cry , but to also to understand how males in particular cry. I want to develop my skills in this area, as I have never created animation of a person crying and I don’t animate males as much. Above I can see a variety of male expression that will inform my research.

I wanted to also reference an animation of a character crying to see how the animation approach. My favourite crying character, is Merida (Brave, 2012) – her facial actions seems so realistic, she has an ugly crying faces which makes it seem very realistic. This seen also is very sad because it feels like pure emotion.

This scene from The Impossible (2012) is a very heart-wrenching scene of a father separated from his wife and oldest son after the Tsunami hit of 2004. He has finially been able to call home (in England) and his emotions he has been holding in have all flooded out when speaking to someone he knows. I like the raw sobbing of this character in this scene. Very sad and also is a good reference of a crying man.

This is a video of Ian Bill (from Easterners) crying about his murdered daughter.  I really like this reference – the characters is sobbing and very emotional. It’s also nice to see how the other character is reflecting these emotions from empathy while comforting him. It’s quite rare to see a man shown to cry in this way. He has a lot of expressions I can use to inspire my own character’s performance.

To create a 2d animation of a male character I have to create a male character. I don’t often draw male characters however here are several pages from my sketchbooks let me explore face shapes, features and body shape. I like to experiment before picking the final pose or character. It’s important to explore the character in the design.

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I don’t really draw male characters as much as the female, therefore this is a page of my research trying to create some males that I could use for this crying animation.  I played around with the features and just wanted to experiment with the look of the character here – they are more realistic looking as I am going to explore the crying man – I need a better structured face ….

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Looking at male actors and pictures I created these drawings of their performances while crying. It was a good way to study the different ways that males cry (in comparison to females) – I also made some notes on the actions that I noticed when these men were getting emotional – these included: Nose flaring, eye brows changing (tenser), mouth tightening, swallowing, eyelid tightening and the cheek moving.

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Above is another page from my sketchbook of observational sketches from crying men – trying to understand the movements and gestures that are more subtle in men / when we begin to feel sad. Some of these sketches may even inspire later ideas for the animation of this piece. I like the shots with the hand on the face. (Some of these drawings are very rough)..

 

Competition

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Above is my the entry that I submitted to the BBC Radio 4 (2016) Stardust competition. The competition asked for an illustration to be used as the face of a new radio Stardust programme. I wanted to explore the ‘heart’ of this story this piece. After reading the book I felt that the key feature was the ‘search for the heart’s desire’. Each character from the book is after their heart’s desire in securing the star. I decided to have the characters from this book centered inside of a human hear (including their colour tone) – It also represents Yvaine’s heart, the heart of a star; the witch wants to eat her heart. Over all I wish I had more time to spend on perfecting the colours and character layout inside the heart. I spent a lot of time trying to get the concept to work with the theme of the story. I’m happy with the idea and parts of the final piece however I think I could have perfected it further.

I decided to enter this competition as it let me play around with the composition, explore colours and looking at how to tell a story in only one shot. It enabled me to play around with my creativity. In addition, I have worked for BBC Radio 4 before and it was a great way to stay connected. I would love to have another opportunity like this in the future.

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Above are two colour experiments before the final test, I created a rough digital sketch to experiment with colour and effects. I really like the shine I added in these tests. I really wish I had added it to my final entry as it gives the pieces life. However I was worried at the time it would look too cluttered and messy.

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This is a page of sketches I created to look at gestures and poses for how the characters could fit inside of the heart. I t was an exploration of the character designs for this piece also.

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Above I am experimenting with the layout of my idea – It was difficult to fit the characters in with out deforming the characters a little. It took some time to finally figure out how it was all to fit into the human heart. Surrounding the heart are small birds I watercolor – as I wanted the mother (from Stardust) to appear as her bird self – I am playing around with colours.

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Here is another defined early concept sketch of the characters inside the human heart. I am happy with how this all fits. It served as a reference when creating the final piece,

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This is another concept of an idea that didn’t get chosen for the final entry. This shot focuses on Yvaine being taken to Victoria. I wanted to experiment with the composition and narrative of one shot. I like the layout of this as it feels like the world is slanted (in this upside down reality). The faces of characters from the book are to appear on her cloak (look below). I like how mystic this shot is, it doesn’t give much away but leaves a lot of mystery behind where the string leads too. The characters on the clock presenting us with more a clue.

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Above is the sketch of this idea. You can see in better detail the intended finished look. I wanted the characters that cross path with Yvaine to be presented on a clock, she is following Tristan (holding the string).

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This is a very rough sketchy concept sheet for one of my ideas. It’s not that clear in the picture but the sky is a human heart and surrounding are characters from Stardust. I wanted them to create a heart in the sky. In the center is a shooting star. After playing around with the scene, colours and competition I didn’t feel like it was strong enough. However I still like the concept at did develop the inverted one for the final entry.

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This is the digital sketch which shows the human heart a little more clearly. The characters will deform around the heart – the book it about the heart’s desire so this is why the human heart centers (connect to the darker themes of the witch wanting to eat Yvaine’s heart.)

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After drawing out lots of ideas (in the thumb-nailing stage) I picked a few that were my favourite to explore further in more detail. These three ideas focus on the meeting of the lead characters of the book: Yvaine and Tristan. A rope ties them together and it’s during night – so she could shine. I wanted to experiment with the different cinematic shots and layout of the scene.

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This is another page from my sketchbook. I created lots o thumbnails like above to play around with different ideas and explore as many different concepts as possible in a short time. This page is focusing on designs that capture the entire book. I have circles those that I like.

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Above are thumbnail sketches of different ideas and scenes for the Stardust competition. These are very quick sketches that let me get initial ideas out onto the page and see what works and what doesn’t. These sketches are shots from the book and also symbolic scenes that try to capture the heart of the book.

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These are a collection of quick ink sketches I made when playing around with ideas for the stardust competition. I like to use my sketchbook as a place to experiment ideas of characters and of the designs I could use. In the book Yvaine has a limp and I wanted to capture the scene of them walking together, around the circle different characters. However I decided that this was a little too simple. However I do like the look of the ink and water.

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To get a fill of the ‘characters’ I created this small illustration of the star ‘Yvaine, in the scene where she thinks Tristan has left her, and is walking towards the wall (where she would dies if she passes it). It’s supposed to be very serious –  I was playing around with this concept just getting it out of the system before designing. I hope for my final illustration to have more thought behind it – but I like this early design of Yvaine.


BBC Wind Knots and British Folklore (Entered into a competition)

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We were entered into a competition by Ruth Nicholls (Ravensbourne Staff) for the best collaboration between a university and employer. We were asked to give a quote about our experiences on the project for BBC Radio 4 ‘British History in Weather’.  This could help get our work seen and shows a positive experience – giving us opportunities for networking and winning a competition.

Anteater

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Above is my final short animation of the anteater walk. I am really pleased with the outcome as I was able to convey a short narrative with the character in just ten seconds. He walks and then sees the ant on the grass – I paced it slowly so he is considering the ant’s existence before eating it! I love the look of the piece, as I experimented with the colour and brush strokes I think this works well. The walk cycle I think captures the strong stride of this creature – If I was to do this exercise again I would try to really push the walk cycle further so it wasn’t so normal, play about with the walk cycle and personality. I could later on if I have time. I have never animated an animal before, I felt a walk cycle could be a way to experiment and learn how to approach another creature of than a human. I learned a lot from this exercise. If I have more time I want to add more to the foreground such a foliage and insects to bring more life to the environment.

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I created this animation in Photoshop. A software that I am familiar with – but I want to develop my animation skills. The animation and background was created in Photoshop but comped together in Adobe After Effects to move the background along with the character.

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Here is a GIF I made with the finished look of the scene. The environment is inspired by South America (Brazil) and the lush green hills. I used a brush that had these strands, creating texture throughout the environment. I also have movement with the colour of the Anteater. I looked to my inspiration (Puffin rock, below) – and chose a colourful background. I am so happy with the look since it is bold and embraces the animation!

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Rough animation

I wanted to make a walk cycle with the anteater. For two reasons, to try and add personality to the walk and to do a walk cycle with an animal (of four legs). It was a little challenging to begin with because there was so many legs to keep track of. However I soon understood the ways that the anteater walks. I looked at reference online and my own of the anteater. I wanted to capture the powerful stride that the anteater makes. I began with a rough outline and then cleaned it up and worked on the pacing.

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Above is the collection of anteaters that I have created to experiment with the shape of the anteater. I wanted to push the look of the anteater. It was fun to generate so many different looking versions of the anteater – I didn’t feel the same restraints as with a human character.  I could play around without the pressure!

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These two anteaters were my favourite of the bunch – they have powerful shapes and I feel I have captured a sense of character well. The top anteater, has a large powerful shape – he would move slower to accommodate his size, he would be be graceful and a easy going character. The second character on the other hand looks more athletic and has a narrow shape, more streamlined. She could be more cheeky and move faster. They both look like peaceful creatures too! I used a palette tool to create the fur like brush strokes. I really am happy with the outcome – and this concept art.

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The expression sheet was very fun to make as it let me explore the attitude of my anteater- and see how I could create expressions with such limited features. The tongue also made an  appearance as an extra feature to show sadness of anger or just to show attitude. I really like how simple the face is yet it can share so much emotion. I hope to give the character such expression in my animation.

These were the first test I made in Photoshop, to see what the look of the character could be. I initially thought of making the character very sketchy like – rough brush strokes with a scratchy effect. However I later felt this didn’t work. The three pictures of the anteaters show an exploration into the final shapes I want to pick.

I created some observational sketched of an anteater on lined paper when playing around with the idea in summer. The anteater somehow developed from these sketches. Over summer I pushed these sketches further – I wanted to explore the character design of an animal. I did this through a fun technique I use, where you begin creating shapes and then add the character into the shape to play about with proportion and size. It’s a really useful exercise for pushing the drawing. I generated a variety of anteater’s that seemed to have different personalities and characteristics. I could make a series of these. I picked my favourite to develop further.

Cartoon Saloon is an animation studio in Ireland – I love the style that they create – and would love to potential work for them in the future. They created a children’s show on Netflix recently called Puffin Rock; about a family on puffins, exploring nature. The look of the show is stunning. I wanted to create a piece that was inspired by the show and company – I have wanted to make an animation about an anteater for some time and though this may be the perfect opportunity!

Summer

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I created some sketches of the Japanese Macaque. I had so many photographs from my trip to Japan and wanted to make a piece to dedicate to the cheeky monkey. I was experimenting with the brush strokes to add texture to the fur of the monkey. I am happy with this character as he looks so happy – I made the face similar to the happy Buddha!

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Above are the sketches from my sketchbook – I wanted to explore the gestures of these monkey’s, the actions that they do and the personalities from each monkey. They are really like mini humans. It was fun understanding the monkey’s anatomy and looking at an animal.

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Another project that I worked on other summer was a Travel blog that would have illustrations and animations on it (named: ‘Twins animated adventures‘). The character design above was created a series of men from the Kyoto Parade in 2015. That day there was a typhoon, it was pouring yet all these men continued to carry the large ‘float / shrines’ through the city. It was incredible to see. The man above was based of a man I saw there – I want to play around with the figure of a man (I often don’t draw men so this was an exercise to help me improve.) He is very round and large. He is not meant to look scary but more passive even with his size.

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Above is another character from this series of drawings. He is holding the lantern (which was covered in a clear plastic bag) at the front of the procession. The rain felt like this picture. I really like the look of this character – I also had to get used to drawing the Japanese features, I feel this drawing captures the shorter athletic shape of this man and this calm aura.

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I sketched out a mixture of characters from my pictures and exaggerated their faces and features. I wanted to explore different ages and shapes. I really like the man in the center – his features are simple but work very well. I hope I can experiment further with him and make another sheet. I also like the hard shapes of the old man.

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Above is a selection of faces I sketched out to experiment with features and see which ones worked and which didn’t. I didn’t like all of these faces but developed the ones that I liked the most. It was fun to try and achieve the Japanese features and the masculine characters I’m not used to drawing.

These are the photographs from the Kyoto Parade. I used these to look at the different people, clothes and items they were carrying. I decided to pick a few of the men from these pictures and give them personalities and identities I could use to create character designs. It’s nice to see the different postures of the men as they perform their ritual.

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I put together this large page from the following sketchbook pages where I studied the Japanese features and people. I used photographs collected from my travels and put together these different observation sketches. I also exaggerated these into a stylished look.

Above are these individual sketchbook pages. I wanted to study as many as possible in order to develop and experiment (hence who some look a little deformed.)

Personal project

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An idea that I have wanted to explore for a long time is the local history at one beach in Cornwall. At the beach are 6 baths carved into the cliff and rocks at the beach. The women used to bath here and the fisherman would watch from the fishing harbor. I wanted to create a character that would get back at the men for watching her. This is one of the earliest concept sketches of this character.

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Above are some more digital sketches that I created to explore what the final character will look like. One of the themes that I want to explore for this piece is nudity – not created as being sexual but natural. The bather will be in wearing ‘underclothes’ which she baths in but will become see through after she gets out. I wanted to de-sexualise this seen and make it funny and humorous. The sketches above are very serious but I hope to change the tone.

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I wanted this character to be very curvy and to express the female form. (However I wish to not focus on a sexy character but a womanly figure that is larger on the legs) – I want to avoid the male gaze but put forth a woman that’s characteristics will be more based on her personality and movements than ther sexy appearance.

These are very badly animated gifs of some of the ideas that I had for the story. I liked the idea of her hair being very large and frizzy but when she dips into the water, her hair comes out all wet and skinny. A key part of my plot is having a flock of seaguls fly past her were she sees the fisherman who were watching her. I just wanted to visualize these initial ideas further and so created ‘animated’ like animations.

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Above are several sketches of trying to develop the character’s face. I wanted toe explore lots of variations and expressions.

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I created some storyboards for this story to experiment with different narrative shots and get a feel of how this story could pan out visually. I have a mixture of ideas.