Saturday, 28 May 2016

Book of Life Nesting Dolls

Group picture of all of my nesting doll sets so far together. Read more about all my nesting doll sets here.

 I started painting this set of nesting dolls last summer but only just finished them this week! The characters are from Jorge R. Gutierrez's amazing film 'The Book of Life', I adore everything about this film - it's well worth a watch if you haven't seen it.
The set took around 2 weeks of actual painting time to make - all the dolls except the largest were finished last summer, however when I went back to university they ended up sitting on a shelf for several months whilst I focused on Alphabet Patch.

The design process was greatly helped by The Book of Life art book which is incredibly detailed and contains so many designs (again, it's well worth getting!).

 From here I created some designs and figured out how they would wrap around the doll shape. For fatter dolls it can be worth creating four designs for each doll as opposed to just a front and back. I really enjoy the challenge of working out how the design will look good from any angle and how the front and back will fit together seamlessly.
The following designs were done in a sketchbook and then coloured digitally.

Before I can start painting the dolls need to be sanded (I buy blank dolls for this, although one day I hope to learn how to make my own). I then sketch out the design roughly and then start painting! I use acrylic paints for this.
The six smallest dolls and about half of the largest were painted within about 2 weeks. I paint the top and bottom parts separately so that they don't get stuck together. I also tend to start with the face and make sure I am happy with that before painting the rest.

With the largest doll La Muerte, I finished painting everything except the flowers, candles, decorative skulls and hat before stopping. The flowers were the most difficult and frustrating part to paint as they were very detailed and also the yellow paint was very translucent and required multiple coats. The longer I left it the more daunting the process seemed.

Above: how La Muerte stayed for most of the year - lacking flowers and decorative details. I also repainted her facial details in yellow later as I felt the black was too stark. When I finally finished painting the dolls this week I then varnished them with 3 coats which took around 2 days including drying time, and volia! Here are some more pictures of the complete set (click to view larger):

And most excitingly, another set of blank nesting dolls arrived yesterday so the process begins all over! Still deciding what designs to do, but hopefully this next set will be completed a lot quicker than The Book of Life ones.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Finished! New showreel

My latest showreel featuring some completed clips from Alphabet Patch.

Alphabet Patch episode A is now finished, complete with lovely music by Lois Brown, a 2nd year music student who stepped in and saved the day after our other musician left the project unexpectedly at the last minute. Sound design was done by Freddy Houghton-Connell, a sound design student at Falmouth, who was super professional and did a great job, check out his website here. Big thanks to everyone else who worked on the episode, including the many voice actors.

As I'm hoping to enter Alphabet Patch into a number of animation festivals and pitching events, I can't upload the whole episode online just yet. Even though the episode is finished, I now have a busy time preparing festival entries, which is both exciting and daunting. As AP has dialogue I need to prepare subtitles for international festivals.
I've also produced a pitch bible to accompany the episode, a few pages of which are shown below:

Monday, 2 May 2016

Nearly finished!!

Alphabet Patch's pilot episode is very nearly finished, with 2 weeks until the deadline I'm mostly just tweaking background and prop designs, and fixing other little problems. I've also started compiling the pitch bible together. We had problems with the musician having to leave the project unexpectedly, however I received amazing support from the other students here to find another musician. Fingers crossed it goes better this time!
 As I have some spare time I'm hoping to give some last minute help to some of the other animated films being made on the course this year.