Sunday, 29 March 2015

Chad Axelrod and Scops

For character design we had to design two anthropomorphic characters, one with a beak and the other a muzzle. I was pretty happy we got back to doing anthropomorphic designs! Not that there's anything wrong with human characters, which I definitely got better at due to having to do it multiple times. It's just I get to play with a lot more shapes!

Chad Axelrod
The coolest gecko in town

He's slick, he's got style, and most of all he's cool. Chad gets all the ladies (or so he thinks) by showing off everything he's got. He isn't someone you should mess around with, he's gotten into many fights (with his parents), can down 10 pints (of water) and is part of the SIGMA PI fraternity (sole member). He thinks he's the hottest thing in town, when in reality he really isn't.


Scops is a lethargic owl who loves sleeping in. If Scops isn't sleeping, he's dozing off no matter when and where. 


I needed a typical frat boy douche name and "Chad" was one of the top options along with others like, "Steve", "Tyler", and "Drake". The name "Chad Axelrod" came from a classmate of mine, Vlad O, who said he knew of a guy with that exact name. I thought it was perfect. Luckily he suggested it moments before handing it in.

I really liked the pose on the right a lot but he had no prop, so I had to figure out some way to add one which ended up being the sunglasses.

I really like the design I did for Chad, I wanted to make a character with very minimal straight or edgy lines like I usually do. I thought that some reptile character would be appropriate for such an idea since they're very "smooth" in the way they move. So Chad was entirely based on the idea of "smooth moves" which applied to his cocky personality. I designed his hands so they too were extremely flow-y by making them long.

Scops was based on my experience in this program. As the semester goes on, the lack of sleep due to the insane workload leaves me tired and finding myself sleeping or taking naps in the studio. I'm definitely not the only one as my fellow classmate is known to have the ability to fall asleep in any location at any time at school. 

"I'll Do It" Leica

After multiple attempts at uploading this assignment on various websites, I finally did it. The video was taken down and muted on one website, the file was too big on the other, the pages with the boards were also too big for Blogger and Tumblr. So after multiple attempts and delays I finally managed to take time and re-export all the files and finally figured out a way to upload it somewhere. 

Here's my second storyboard assignment from last semester that required us to make a story stemming from the conflict "I'll Do It". My teacher loved the idea and absolutely enjoyed the story and leica reel which I was extremely happy about! The leica even made it onto the TVs in the hallways! WOO!

Anyway enjoy the show:

Concept Work

Here are the beat boards I did for the assignment. I couldn't think of an idea when we were given "I'll Do It" and the only one I could think of was of ghosts taking turns scaring a couple away from their new home. The original beats involved a regular couple moving in to their new home with each ghosts' attempts at scaring only helping their move in day. The two gags I had in mind made it into the final but in a different context. The first was the possessions of boxes and furniture flying overhead only to land in the correct place (desks, couches and picture frames fall in place) and the other was blood oozing from the walls only to be used to paint the walls. Same gags different context.

It wasn't until I pitched the idea that my teacher, Nancy Beiman, who said to make them into artists instead and the ruckus they cause creates art they appreciate. I thought it was genius and it was then that I enjoyed working with the story, I honestly was not too fond with it at first. 

Original character line up with a regular old couple.

The penultimate line up. I ended up cutting the wife as she didn't contribute anything more to the story it was difficult figuring out when Arthur or Lily should appear when composing shots. It caused too much hassle and removing her made things much more easier. 


Overall I enjoyed this assignment a lot the more I worked on it and the more feedback I got. I even struggled with an ending with the final boards at first and a simple switch of two boards during a pitch gave me such a perfect ending. It originally had the ghosts just get angry being unable to scare him and my teacher moved a panel (page 11 panel 4) which made you interpret it instead as the ghosts not understanding the art. I then edited it so that it was in an art gallery afterwards and it made me so happy to finally have an ending.

Pitching was also fun! Especially with an idea of your own. Half way through my final pitch I actually got used it and started to enjoy it. It felt fun and really, not thinking about how to pitch it and just telling what it is made the whole thing easy.

Making the leica reel was also a blast. I had trouble picking from the bunch of music my teacher provided for a scratch track. Luckily during the day we were to work on it in class I found Alpine Pastures very last minute and tried it out. It fit so perfectly with the timing of certain moments in the story and my teacher loved the contrast between the cheerful music and horror elements which perfectly sums up the tone of my story.

It was a fun experience coming up with a story, pitching it, getting it critiqued and fixed. The whole mantra of "What If?" in creating a story is something extremely helpful. Seeing a mediocre idea evolve into something I enjoyed was exciting. 

It may not be the best story and storyboards you'll ever come across (layouts ugh, I'm so sorry), but I hope you enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed making it.