Back to the drawing board… Kind of – Thesis Film – Concept/World Building/Shay Modelling

I had a discussion the other day with my tutor Andy, regarding my post from Monday (Let me Inspire you – Thesis Film – Inspiration Research) and it’s connection to the style of the characters I’ve created (Gimme a Hand – Thesis Film – Modelling Shay/Kodi. Finished Concept.).

Within in my last post I talked about what my influences were in the terms of what of characters style and the lighting I wanted to achieve. And Andy brought up how the characters I made, had no connection to my influences, which was “a shame” because he thought that the influences that I used were really good. He then moved onto understanding the world I was trying to build asking me When is it? Where is it? How does it relate to your characters objective? etc… Which I really couldn’t answer because I didn’t really build up the world fully. I knew that the area that my characters grew up in was to be in the countryside, but besides that I haven’t done much.

After some awkward realisation silences, Andy told me to do some world building as well as to re-style my characters, not to change them, but so that they look like they’re taking influence from my inspirations.

List of ideas for the World

So I started with the world building and I began to look into some of the popular era’s of the world from western to eastern culture, and I got pretty fixed on the middle ages as I felt it was best suited for Fantasy element I wanted for the world, but it was something that was done a million times before, and so I kind of wanted to push it into the future a little bit, a time just before the industrial era, and perfect era was the renascence, I won’t dive too much into it but I’ll say I like the idea of having magic and the science of the time influence the early stages of the industrial era, plus I do like some of fashion of the time period, also some country landscape and villages are good references for building the boys Home. Andy also gave me a suggestion of maybe looking into Greek mythology to relate it to the “Hero” aspect of my film, which is a good area I could explore, like for example I could have Greek myths carved into some of the walls of the temple.


My attempt of drawing some of Noelle Stevenson’s Art

Looking towards redesigning my characters, I first needed to have a go replicating the style. I started by drawing some of the art that Noelle had already done.

Trying to replicate the style with different characters

After this I then began to draw characters from some of my favourite characters from Anime’s and Shows in her style. I even did a drawing of me.

Re-Designing Shay and Kodi 

Once I was comfortable with drawing her style I then began to apply the style to my two characters.

Re-Designing Shay and Kodi 

So far so good I’m not 100% happy with the look of Kodi, as I’m trying to replicate his clothes to the two era’s that influenced my world, as well as change his hairstyle, though I might just got back to a buzz-cut. As for Shay I’m more pleased, I’ve given him a new haircut as well as bulked him down, he still has the same clothes, but that’s not much of an issue. I’m continue the re-designs until I’m satisfied. Which will hopefully be done before the Pitch on Friday.


Let me Inspire you – Thesis Film – Inspiration Research

Over the weekend, I completed a small assignment that our lecturer Jeremy asked us to think about. We had to think about what we want to do in terms of the various areas that will go towards the film E.G. Animation Direction, Art Direction, Cinematic Direction, etc… So when I was coming up with answers to the questions, I figured I might as well talk about some of the answers to the question in a blog post as part of research to project.

Image result for Lumberjanes

Using Graphic Novels in Education: Lumberjanes | Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. 2017. Using Graphic Novels in Education: Lumberjanes | Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 October 2017].

Lumberjanes Style: I have used Lumberjanes style to influence the look of my characters Shay and Kodi. It has a very simplistic style, similar to Adventure Time (Mostly because the writer and artist of the Comic Noelle Stevenson, worked on Adventure Time as well) but they have more detailed within the characters, plus they have exaggerated expression and poses similar to AT.

Image result for Lumberjanes 2017. No page title. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 October 2017].

Image result for Firewatch

Firewatch. 2017. Campo Santo – Firewatch. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 October 2017].

Firewatch: I’ve been thinking the lighting for the Film. I’ve not been 100% committed to the lighting within some of my last projects, mostly due to the fact I didn’t really give much thought into them. But for this project I wanted to change that, and so I looked at the environment that I wanted to create for the film and the world it is based, which I’ll discuss more in future blog posts, but to simply it the world that film is based is set in a fantasy world during a time after medieval times but before the industrial era. The boys live in the country, and thus the Sun is a prime light source throughout the day, so I want to have the lighting to have a warm look to it. Something similar to Firewtach, which have some of the best lighting I’ve ever seen in a video game, and it compliments well with the simplistic environments. So with this I want try and achieve something similar to this.

Image result for Firewatch

PCWorld. 2017. Firewatch review: Lots of smoke, but no spark | PCWorld. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 October 2017].

Gimme a Hand – Thesis Film – Modelling Shay/Kodi. Finished Concept.

Update for Modelling Shay: I’ve finished modelling the hand of Shay. It fits well and it looks good smoothed. Though Debra raised up an interesting question about the positioning of Shay’s arm, and whether it was better positioning to an actual T-pose. I argued to say that I have seen 3D characters in the similar pose, so I assumed it would be okay either way, if there are any problems when it comes to rigging I can always go back and change it.

Shay and Kodi Final

Shay and Kodi Concept Art

Shay and Kodi Concept Finished: I’ve also finished up the concept art for Shay and Kodi. I’m quite pleased with it the combination of the Line Art, Colours and Shading have complimented each other well. There’s a bit of missing shading on Shay’s right foot, but I’m overall pleased with the end result. I’ve also emailed the file to my lectures to see if they can put it up in our 3rd Year wall, seen as they’re in desperate need for art.

Colours!!! – Thesis Film – Concept Art/Research

WIP2 - Shay and Kodi

So far I’m making some good progress on the concept piece. I’ve managed to add colour to the characters, and now I just need to add the shading and highlights.

I did run into some issues though. I couldn’t figure out what colours to give each of my characters, as I didn’t want to just give them random colours to make them look “cool”, I wanted them to have meaning behind them, as well as give the audience an idea of what each of the brothers personalities are. So I did a little bit of research in ‘Colours and their meanings’ and pulled up this website – Color Wheel Pro: Color Meaning. 2017. Color Wheel Pro: Color Meaning. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 October 2017]. There I read through each colour and their meanings, and try to see which ones best represented Shay and Kodi.

I started with Shay, who is a strong, courageous and intelligent young man, who cares and looks after his younger brother, but has a knack for losing his temper and getting angry in some situations. Looking at the website I managed pick out the colours Red, to symbolise is aggression and temper, Brown, to represent his stability and Masculine Qualities, and Blue, to symbolise his intelligence.

I then moved on to Kodi, who is a bright, enthusiastic and creative individual who is also sometimes clumsy. Looking through the website, the colours that link to Kodi the most are Orange which associated with enthusiasm and creativity, though I need to make his shorts orange. Yellow, to represent his cheerful and bright attitude, and White, which is associated with innocence.

Looking at the characters now, I think their colour scheme will help the audience link the characters personalities to their outfits colours.

Hot Bods and Brotherly Love – Thesis Film – Doing Concept/Modelling Shay and Kodi


I’ve made some progress on the Shay model, he now has an arm, no hand though that’s a work in progress. Whilst working on it I had Andy give me hand looking over it, seeing where I may have made mistakes and errors, and to no surprise he found several, though luckily for me they were all located in the foot. I had a lot of over lapping vertex’s and hanging edges, and with a few mouse clicks rearranging the foot was fixed. These issues were most likely made because of edge loops I previously made and undid, that left random vertex’s within foot.

After that was fixed I moved onto the arm and needless to say it’s a pretty decent though I think I’ll have Andy run over it to see if I can make any improvements. I was going to move onto the hand but unfortunately my drawn reference isn’t really useful, so instead I’m having to use the Harv ref drawings from 2nd year, but the problem is, is that the ref drawing has 3 fingers where as my character has 4, and I need to use a ref to model out the hand. I might speak to Andy about this and see if he can give me any suggestions around this, or I may even just draw out a hand in Photoshop and use that.WIP-Shay and Kodi

I’ve also done some concept drawing. I need to finish up the colouring and highlights for it, as well as do individual concepts for Shay, Kodi and other objects and environments, but it looking good so far.


Aboutness about abounting the aboutness – Thesis Film – Tutor Feedback

I got the opportunity to talk about my idea to some off my lecturers and peers during yesterday’s tutorial. It was a part of an idea that one of our new lecturers, Jeremy Moorshead, talked about on Tuesday, where he asked us to have a think about “What is your film about?” or “What is the ‘aboutness’ of your film?”. This was wasn’t a question about what the plots of our film was or what the characters are doing, but what the narrative of our films was about, and to help us see if we we’re making the film that we wanted to make.

So I took some time to think about my film, looking at the narrative trying to find a way to describe it in as few words as possible. I eventually came up with that my film about the “Bond between brothers” and the “Struggles between responsibility and life goals”, at the time I was certain I had it, but when I approached Jeremy and told about what will happen in the film, I began to get lost in my own words. The “Aboutness” that I wanted from the film didn’t really match up with what was happening with in the plans of what I had already came up with. There was no moments where the brother really progress as characters, or any strong moments to what their relationship towards each other were like. After realising Jeremy advised me to have a think about summarising what I wanted from the animation and how I can achieve it, and what I wanted from the animation is to show of my animation skills and storytelling, but to do this I needed have a think of how I could add some character development to the story before I continued.

So after an hour or two of burying my head in my hands I spoke to Debra about my idea and the situation I was in. We talked for about 40 minutes and I got some really great advice and suggestions from her. We managed to come up with ways that I could establish the relationship better between the brothers, by add little elements in the beginning that would be important towards the rising action of the animation. For example my character Kodi wants to prove himself that he’s not a liability to Shay, and that he can help with the quest, instead of being on the sidelines to leaving for Shay to do. And when it comes to rising action of the film, Kodi has a moment where he can prove himself to Shay, which ends up with them achieving their objective.

I’m glad I got to talk to Jeremy and Debra, because they’ve helped me understand what I wanted from my film and how I could achieve it. I’m still going to discuss my idea to the rest of the Tutors and see if I can get some inspiration, but I feel a lot more confident in my idea now.


Epic High-Fives – Thesis Film – Research Sibling Relationships

In regards to the first post that I made about how I talked about the relationship between my two characters. I thought I’d research in to some sibling relationships between animated characters, and see how animators and writers portray that relationship within their respected shows.

Image result for finn and jake

Video Games Fanon Wiki. 2017. Finn and Jake (CN:PTE2) | Video Games Fanon Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 October 2017].

Image result for finn and jake bro gif

GIPHY. 2017. Bro Time GIFs – Find & Share on GIPHY. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 October 2017].

 Finn and Jake, the broiest bro’s I’ve ever seen in a TV show ever. The relationship between the two brothers is a close one to say the least, the two not only live together, they fight bad guys and save the land of ooo side by side too. I love relationship between Finn and Jake, nothing come between the two and they’ve always got each others back, in the tough times and the good.


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DeviantArt. 2017. Gravity Falls – Dipper and Mabel by GlancoJusticar on DeviantArt. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 October 2017]

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PopKey. 2017. gravity falls, dipper, mabel, pat pat, pat animated GIF | PopKey. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 October 2017].

Dipper and Mabel, like Finn and Jake these two twins have a close relationship as well, but what’s different about these two is there personalities. What I mean is that Finn and Jake are both optimistic, lazy or brave near enough at the same time. Where as with the twins, Dipper is the responsible and mature one, and Mabel is more of the Happy-Go-Lucky, immature one. But despite there different personalities they’re both still there for one another.

With these examples I’m going apply these relationships to the boys. I think I’ll take more influence from Dipper and Mabel seen as their relationship is very similar to what I wanted to do with the boys in the first place.


Blank Stares – Thesis Film – Shay and Kodi Modelling #1


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During the summer I decided to start the modelling process of Shay and Kodi, to give myself a head start for when I came back to uni.

Previously I did T-Poses for my two bank robbers which was simpler to do because they were more or less stick figures and I could easily just model one and then just copy and re-texture another one to make two characters, whereas now I need to model/texture/rig 2 characters, which is quite a challenge but a challenge I’m willing to take.

The T-poses I made are quite useful and a lot more accurate in proportion than the robbers were, though the side view and front view don’t 100% line up, I’m quite happy with them and they’ve done well so far in terms of guideline to modelling the boys.

As for the actual modelling, I’d say I’ve done well so far. I’m quite pleased with the torso, leg and foot, and I’ve really got the hang of positioning the vertexes to get some definition to the model. I’ll have Andy to check it out so I can get some feedback from him.