The Line -Developmentationing of ideas

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This is practically the finished Pudy character design, I’m not fully decided on the colours for anything yet though:

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Phone stuff

I made all of these on my phone using a free app called Flipaclip (same one i used for the walk cycles and rough animated storyboards in my work). Its really good for doing something quickly, but you don’t have a great deal of flexibility or tools really, so you have to work within the constraints of the app; it only offers three layers! but you can still do a lot!

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Dialogue -Aaron Blaise

I’ve never animated anything with dialogue before so I figured i may as well start now. Its not going to be overly complicated and advanced stuff, but I’ve been looking at various different things so that i can make it seem like the characters are actually talking to each other.

I found this neat video by Aaron Blaise on how he animates dialogue.He says that you need to have the character forming the mouth shape before the sound even comes out of their mouth. Anyway i really like the character and style and the way he did it.

Aaron was hired by Walt Disney Feature Animation where he worked as an animator or supervising animator on “The Rescuers Down Under”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Aladdin”, “The Lion King”, “Pocahontas”, “Mulan” and he also co-directed “Brother Bear” for which he earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. After Disney he went on to start his own business which unfortunately, ultimately went bankrupt.

This guy really is awesome, not only has he worked on some of the most beloved Disney films of all time, he is a fantastic painter and character designer, where he mainly focuses on nature and animals.

Here are some of his character designs that i thought were really cool:

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Aasron’s website for more and more: https://creatureartteacher.com/

Llamas with hats

Llamas with hats is an animation I found on a channel called FilmCow on YouTube. From the YouTube description:

FilmCow Industries International Business Conglomerates is a full service “Internet Machine” operating out of Orlando, FL and various large ships. It is currently owned and operated by filmmaker and amature croissanteer Jason Steele.

The Llamas are voiced by Jason Steele and Chris Alex and the series was created by Jason Steele.

The reason I’m sharing this is because i just found it and it’s amazing, but also because it is about two characters, the Llamas Carl and Paul. The Llamas are found facing each other (until later episodes) and the episode is them talking and revealing the truly terrible and awful things that Carl has done.

The humour is actually really pretty dark, it starts with a dead body between the Llamas and we find out that Carl killed the guy, then cut off his hands and ate them. In the second episode Carl has murdered children and killed and sunk an entire cruise ship, and it kind of just keep escalating, which is actually pretty impressive really after what they start off with. The theme song is upbeat and happy and the llamas are like something out of a children’s book, llamas with funny hats, nice friendly colours and shades. Overall the whole thing doesn’t look or feel lie its going to be about a murderous llama, which i think helps it to be more funny, by contrast. This is definitely not going to be to everyone’s taste at all, but its funny because its so ridiculous. Carl just cant help but murder and kill, and Paul is just shocked and disappointed by Carl and his antics. Its obviously very silly and childish and not very clever but it has 2,159,620 views on YouTube, and that’s just the full episodes list compilation series long version (that I’ve posted here) which was released later when all episodes had been out already.

Pudy and Soma are not the same in the dark quality, but its still two characters who talk out a problem who get nowhere. Similarly the Llamas talk about a problem and get nowhere; in that Carl is just going to go ahead and kill everyone anyway because that’s kind of who he is.

Anyway i was looking mostly at how the two characters are animated when they are talking. Their bodies do very little moving if any and then only the mouths and eyes and eyebrows are actually animated at all. The bonus of animating that way of course is that you don’t have to redraw the bodies at all, you can just keep it simple. Especially by working on different layers in TvPaint, a layer for the eyes, eyebrows and mouth. You could even draw each mouth for each vowel and consonant sound and then simple paste them in, with a few little adjustments here and there.

One of my favourite exchanges between the two llamas is from Llamas with hats 2.

PAUL: Carl! What on earth was all that?
CARL: I’m not sure what you’re referring to.
PAUL: You sunk an entire cruise ship, Carl!
CARL: Are you sure that was me? I, I would think I’d remember something like that.
PAUL: Carl, I watched you fire a harpoon into the captain’s face!
CARL: That sounds dangerous.
PAUL: You were headbutting children off the ship!
CARL: That, uh… that must’ve been horrifying to watch!
PAUL: Then you started making out with the ice sculptures!
CARL: Well, thank God that the children weren’t on board to see it.
PAUL: Uhh.. Carl why is the lifeboat all red and sticky?
CARL: Well I guess you could say it is red and sticky.
PAUL: Caaarl, what are we standing in?
CARL: Would you believe it’s strawberry milkshake?
PAUL: No! I would not believe that!
CARL: Uhh, melted gumdrops?
PAUL: No.
CARL: Boat nectar?
PAUL: No.
CARL: Some of God’s tears?
PAUL: Tell me the truth Carl.
CARL: Fine. – It’s the lovely elderly couple from 2B.
PAUL: CAAARL

I like it because of how the information is revealed to the audience.  Paul is so whiny and Carl is so calm and he’s so offhand about the whole thing. You killed all the people! Oh did I? Whoops… There’s something great about the fact that he’s just not bothered at all. Its like he doesn’t try to hide what he’s done at all, in fact he killed everyone in front of Paul but when Paul asks him about it he’s like what? I don’t remember doing that!? Then more pushing and he’s like maybe it was something else possibly? Then he finally admits ok yeah maybe i killed everyone.

By the way this episode has 19,249,676 views on YouTube, over 100k likes and over 23k comments. All these YouTube view stats are correct from 29th Nov 2015.

Some more ideas for The Line project

Ok so one of my favourite things is coming up with ideas for stories, and then crudely sketching them out in storyboards. There may come a time later when i wish i’d just picked a dang idea and stuck with it because the deadline is always looming and i’ve got several unfinished animations on the go or something..

So anyway here’s a couple more potential ideas, although the first one is just terrible, like really bad, its probably better you just skip it to be honest with you, its really not very good. Hopefully you’ll see what i was going for and where the idea came from but really its awful!

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Pudy and Soma – Part 1 & 2

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Pudy and Soma ‘The Obstacle’ short animation made on my phone:

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Dialogue:

  • Soma: Hey lets go over there. (Points right) 
  • Pudy: Ok!
  • … (walking right)
  • Soma: There’s something in our way!
  • (Pudy cries and cries? Has a weird fit thing? Maybe?)
  • Pudy: What is it?
  • Soma: I don’t know!
  • Pudy: Oh dear.
  • Soma: Yes.
  • Pudy: Can we go through it?
  • Soma: I don’t think so.
  • Pudy: Hmm. Can we go under it?
  • Soma: Hmm no I don’t think so..
  • Pudy: Hmmm.
  • … (motionless)

When i time this dialogue and add pauses for action (walking etc) it comes to about 29 seconds give or take (generally give really) so thats 2/3rds of the story planned out and i’m pretty happy with it in general. There is a goal, its over there. The characters walk towards the goal and are faced with an obstacle.

But i’m not over the moon about the next stuff so i’m going to keep my mind open to different endings and maybe will storyboard a couple more and i may animate more than one ending depending on how i feel and time constraints, etc.

At the moment the story is about two characters that have decided they are going to go over there. Why are they going over there? Because Soma suggested it to Pudy and Pudy said yeah I’ll go over there with you.
So anyway they are going over there when suddenly something is in their way. This obstacle stops the pair in their tracks. They consult each other on what to do but ultimately they are completely stumped with no idea how to tackle this situation. The audience is made aware that there is probably loads of room to go around the obstacle, but our pair have absolutely no idea it seems.

Now this is where Soma will generally have a breakdown and Pudy as usual will be unhelpful at best. He will basically be unaware of the problems facing them, as Soma freaks out more. i’m just not sure whether to end it on Soma down on his knees screaming to the heavens WHYYYYYYYYYYY???? And then Pudy will just be there like derp a derp a derpderp. But i’m not sure how strong that is, although i like it i’m going to think about it more as i animate the other stuff.

Last 3rds dialogue:

  • Soma: Well this is no good.
  • Pudy: I know.
  • Soma: What should we do?!
  • Pudy: I don’t know.
  • Soma: OH GOD WHY! We only wanted to go over there (sobbing) we only wanted to go over thererererere…

Extra notes on stuff and things:

Starting to think about animating speech and i had a look at rejected a little bit closer to see the different mouths he uses when animating speech. Its rather simple and fits what I’m trying to achieve really well. His simple characters do really look like they are talking, even though its so simple, so i need to try and reproduce that kind of look and feel.

Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice…

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HEY! Maybe the obstacle could be something that blows away in the wind. So after a while the problem solves itself.

  • Soma: Oh look! It went away.. we’re free again!
  • Pudy: Yay.
  • Soma: OK Lets go!

Or they could just like notice their shadows and until the sun moves enough they don’t think they can move forwards Would be funny animating them waiting for hours while the sun slowly moves across the sky until they realise they can move, then it goes dark as the sun goes down and they both freak out because now they are paralysed!

‘Waiting for Godot’ is a surreal play by Samuel Beckett.

Samuel Barclay Beckett (/ˈbɛkɪt/; 13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irishavant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. He is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century.

Godot’s absence, as well as numerous other aspects of the play, have led to many interpretations since the play’s 1953 premiere. It was voted “the most significant English language play of the 20th century”.

Pudy and Soma are similar to this play in that they can never move on from the obstacle and are therefore stuck in place. They talk about the problem of the obstacle but can never find a solution. like the pair waiting fro Godot they never actually achieve their goal.

Sesame Street had an episode in March 1996 in a segment called “Monsterpiece Theater” entitled “Waiting for Elmo”, where Grover and the Telly Monster wait endlessly at a dead tree, without Elmo showing up.

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The angriest dog in the world (1983 – 1992) was a comic series by David Lynch, in which a dog is so angry it literally cannot move, the only thing that changes between the comics is the dialogue.

Anyway the dog doesn’t move because of anger, and Pudy and Soma don’t move because of stupid…

David Lynch Interview

“Well, I had tremendous anger. When I began meditating [in 1973], one of the first things that left was a great chunk of that. I don’t know how, it just evaporated.”

Why is the Angriest Dog in the World so angry?

David Lynch: “That’s a mystery. Certain clues come from the world around him.”

How much time have you spent on that strip in total?

David Lynch: “A long time. I’ve been doing it every week for seven or eight years. Every Monday is Dog day because I have to come up with a dog, and occasionally I’ve gone as late as Wednesday, but there’s still time to get it in the paper.”

“Yes, it is perverse because the humor in the strip is based on the sickness of people’s pitiful state of unhappiness and misery. But it thrills me.”

This is somewhat reminiscent of Pudy and Soma who cannot move for not anger, but stupidity. Although i will be playing around with their emotions as well and one or both of them may become angry or sad or something..

I’m thinking about Pudy being angry at the news there is an obstacle in their way stopping them from going over there. Pudy will potentially become really angry and then very very unhappy about the news. I think it would be funny to see this character imediately lose it over something so silly and out of their control. Soma is not very considerate and only wants to know how they should tackle the problem in front of them, but Soma has no idea how to deal with it at all. So Soma relies on Pudy, but Pudy is an idiot, and an emotional wreck! So Soma tries to keep it together and form a plan, but he requires Pudy to tell him what to do. So Soma must figure out a combination of things which will get the information out of Pudy. If Soma cannot get Pudy to figure it out, they never will! Soma is never really angry with Pudy either, he knows Pudy is trying and its probably his fault they are in whatever predicament they are in. So Pudy will be angry with the situation and the obstacle, but never yell directly at Pudy. Because that would be mean, and Soma is not mean, even if he isn’t the best ever.

  • Dinosaur Comics paid homage to David lynch’s angriest dog in the world:

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(Accessed on 27 Nov [online] http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=393)