I’m very excited to be introducing our first animated shorts to all of you. I have mentioned it a few times in previous posts, but I know some of you have been dying to see some artwork, and hear more about it. As promised here is a more detailed introduction to the shorts we are working on including some concept art. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.
Earlier this year after finishing with the Toys”R”Us project I wanted to create a series of short animated videos that I could post online. I had a general idea of what I wanted the short to be, but did not have a story idea. Really all I knew was that I wanted a character driven short with a cute lovable character. Something that audiences could connect with, and enjoy watching. I thought it would be a great way to showcase the kind of work my company could do, and wanted to do.
On March 10th of this year I contacted a very talented writer, and great friend, Charlie Petrek. He had just left DreamWorks Animation, and I was hoping he could help me with the story. We met up for lunch, and talked about what I wanted to do, and we had a really great brainstorming session. The next day I woke up to an email from him with all kinds of great ideas on where we could take these shorts.
Shortly after Charlie accepted a position at Disney, but I had enough to go on for the first few shorts. Over the next few months the story continued to grow, and the short started to take form. It continues to evolve every day as we continue developing the story.
I reached out to Valerio Fabbretti about doing the character design for the little creature. He was the illustrator for the “Action Movie Kid” book that our friends Mandy Richardville and Daniel Hashimoto wrote based off of Hashi’s hit “Action Movie Kid” YouTube web-series.
Valerio agreed to do the character design, and in May started his work on it. Since we were doing a lot of exploring on what this creature would look like we went through a lot of sketches all of which could be a character on their own. I wanted something that would work great for this short, and by July we had a final design.
At this point we were also in progress on the model for the room environment that all the action will take place. We are now ready to begin work on the model for the character, and I can’t wait to see how he translates into 3D. Often times you find out that something that works, and looks good in a 2D drawing does not look good in a 3D model. It takes highly skilled modelers to be able to look at a flat drawing, and bring it to life in a third dimensional world.
I wanted to get concept art that we could use for surfacing and lighting as a color key. Unfortunately for me, but great for Valerio, he got a position at Cartoon Network and was not able to help with the concept art. I was able to find the amazingly talented Rachel Wan, and she agreed to do the concept art for the short. She started towards the end of July, and was able to complete it by the 5th of August.
I was very happy with how it turned out, so I asked Rachel if she would do the character design for the mechanical hand(the shadow in the background). She agreed, and has begun work on the design for it. I’m very excited to see what she comes up with.
This catches you all up on where I’m at with the short. You may have seen posts from me looking for different artists to help out. As you may already know it takes a crew of people to make these things happen, and I could not be happier with the people who are helping me with it.
Before I end this post I’m guessing you might be interested in find out a little more about the story. So here is a little back story on the creature.
He is not an alien from another world, but actually a creature of Earth. His species are seafaring, and travel around on the sea. This is why we have never come in contact with them before. The oceans are so vast that they could have avoided us forever. There are stories told by sailors that date back to when we first started to sail the uncharted seas of these creatures, but people took them for nothing more then stories from drunk sailors.
Our main character was curious, and wanted to learn more about us humans. Contrary to what the humans who “captured” him thought, he actually let them catch him. It was his curiosity to know more about us that brought him to this secret testing facility.
Each short will be about a different test that the humans perform to learn more about him. Don’t worry, he does not seem to mind the tests, but what he does seem to mind is the mechanical hand that administers the tests to him. All he wants to do is observe the humans, and this hand keeps getting in his way. It is this conflict that creates tension, and comical outcomes during the testing.
As I mentioned the story is constantly evolving, but I hope to have a lot of fun with it. I will keep you updated as we progress through this blog, and eventually share the completed shorts.
If you have not already, I hope you will join me on my journey by subscribing to my blog. If you have any thoughts or advice I would love to hear what you have to say, so please feel free to leave me any comments below. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@MillerAnimation). Only Time Will Tell.