Self Assesment

I haven’t been a regular blogger since I got into production.

Also I missed out a very important part of the process that I’ve not been posting  about but rather noting down on  notebook and bookmarks on my browser to leave it for later. ‘RESEARCH’

Research has been a big part of this film. Right from coming up with a concept to editing the film for finish.

Over the summer Last year I was trying to come up with something original, A story that I would like to tell but if I was being honest to myself everything that I came up with was already done and done well. Questions like how will I match up to those crossed my mind. So after spending the whole summer coming up with nothing my train of thoughts drifted to things I loved watching as a kid or even now.

I made a list

  • Tom and Jerry
  • Road Runner Show
  • Bugs bunny and Daffy Duck
  • Popeye the Sailor
  • Aladdin

I realized I liked the silliness of these animations and the naivety they had in them. Also not to forget the crazy action they had.

I saw this documentary of Chuck Jones

And read the Book Chuck Jones Conversations which I borrowed from the university library.

Then quite some time was spent on just watching a bunch of cartoons. And saw all the Tex Avery cartoons that I could have access to which i hadn’t seen before.

Research was pure fun this time for me because I enjoy listening and watching things more than reading. I have never been much of a Reader (Something I’m not very proud of but am working towards getting better)

I started to look for 3D examples of animation where I could find that level of exaggeration which was so amazingly done in 2d but still is not very much seen in 3d. I saw series like penguins of Madagascar, The kung fu panda series and Pocoyo

I saw the 3d version of Road Runner and my mind was blown.

Take a look here:

I wanted to do everything for this project so that I would be able to use this knowledge for my future projects. I’ve just tried to use this term at university to learn about everything that I could.

I’m going to give a short self critique that I have done so far in this Term.

Concept art / character design: though I am capable of designing characters I’m still not very confident about my skills in doing a very good job at it

Animatic / Storyboarding/ Layout: I have to admit my storyboarding and layout skills have improved immensely then when

I started out. I know more about camera angles, type of shots to use. I have also Discovered Previsualization which i think works well so well because I would take much longer to flesh out ideas in a completely drawn animatic. Also flash has helped me immensely to do bring my ideas to life and see if they are working. So after initial doodling in my sketchbook and notebook I dived straight into flash.



Modeling /texturing: I knew a bit about modelling sets and backgrounds in Maya so that knowledge helped. The session with Art Lee in the 1st year helped me to explore character and creature modelling a bit more.  I explored applications like zbrush , mudbox and 3dcoat.



Rigging: As I was researching was simultaneously researching about trying to create such a rig as well. I have been following Rigging Supervisor: Josh Carey and Lester banks ever since. Also I’ve been watching a lot of tutorials on them from digital tutors. I have learnt a lot about rigging Since December last year.


Animation: I learnt about using camera sequencer in which I could use more than once camera for one single shot and a variety of plug-ins. I have also finally found a workflow that would help me work more effectively. I am not very happy with the quality on animation at the moment and I think I could improve a lot in that area. I do think I could have used time more effectively to  give more time to animation.


Effects: It was a conscious decision to stay away from effects (fluids or dynamics in Maya) unless necessary due to time constraints.


I a nutshell it was a huge learning experience with. And I’ve tried to use the skills I had and have acquired during the process to its best. I tried to work on the comic timing required for a comedic animation and realized it’s a very hard thing to master and obviously I have a very long way to go. Making people laugh is a hard job I’ve realized. I’m not sure if I’ve done it right this time but I hope eventually.

Sound Effects and Music

It wasn’t until the last week that I found out that the person I was collaborating with me had to cancel his collaboration due to health reasons.  It was last minute and most of the other composers were busy. So I decided to do the sound and effects on my own whilst still emailing any and every contact I could find a lead to. After a lot of listening to CLASH and BANG sounds on and I found some suitable soundclips that I could use and edit.  Tom Lowe showed me some  techniques by which I could enhance the not so good quality sounds in audition which I am hugely grateful for. Later I found a soundtrack at which sort of worked with the short. I did not manage to find all sound effects but did the best I could with my capabilities.


Youtube link to the soundtrack I used:



Modeling and Rigging

After going back and forth with the character here are the final models

Shorty:  (I made a few alterations to the model by making it slightly taller and separating the leg mesh from the body as the rig would break if i would try to bend the knees too much. Another aspect was the beard. sing the character is very closely shaped to a ball and the head another little ball it the beard would penetrate. trimming the beard wasn’t a very appealing look so i just decided to do away with it. And minus the beard the bandanna looked a little weird as well. As they say Bald can be beautiful too.I only hope you guys can agree with me on that. XD


final shorty model



Big : He was fairly easy and straight forward to model and rig as the proportions were close to realistic human proportions in a slightly stylized way. But due to time constraints I ended up rigging this character using an autorig and just did blend shapes for it.


Crabby: He was very straight forward to model and rig as well. I just used a simple ik rig for the limbs and crazy eye shapes to add some personality to the rig.


crab development


here is the turntable for it


Character Designs

My characters are being designed by Ana . I gave her the following  references  and  a rough silhouette sketch of how the characters are going to be proportion wise a plot outline and  character descriptions .


The big pirate (BIg)

big pirate refThe Girl Pirate (Jenny)female pirate refThe little pirate (Shorty)
short pirate ref character proportions

main character

and then she came up with these wonderful looking characters. I hope I can do justice to them when I finish the models and still retain the charm of these 2d characters.

Character Design

Character Design