Idea for Zombie VS Robot Animation





I made a sort of rough storyboard/comic about the idea:




Looking at the comic/storyboard i think that it could be a little cluttered from time to time- too much stuff on screen at once, and it could definetly be more streamlined and focus on whats important more. I’m not sure how long this animation would turn out to be if i just did it as it is here, maybe it would be too long, but the pacing is something i will need to think about a little bit more as well.

I think it would be cool to suggest that the arm comes from an accident in the laboratory, and it’s a scientists arm which has just been chopped off by a machine or laser beam or something.

So the robot arm is not used to working on such a thing. So when the arm appears it is new to the robot arm, it looks around to see if it’s ok to look closer and it seems OK so the robot allows it’s curiosity to get the better of it. It prods the arm, and then decides to turn on a device which it connects to the arm and the arm comes to life – flopping around sporadically. The robot arm moves away from the human arm quickly, then from side to side as it judges what to do. The robot arm manages to grab onto the human arm which causes the human arm to grab onto the robot arm. The robot arm flails from side to side to throw the human arm off it, and after the human arm briefly waves around holding onto the robot arm, it ends up flying off. The robot arm looks in the direction the human arm flew off in, then looks left and right – decides that no one saw what happened and goes back to what it was doing – if it could whistle then it would be whistling (there should be a way to convey this feeling with the robot arm, camera angles and stuff as well – will need to think about this a bit more – possibly could have the robot arm sigh- body language and a robotic sigh accompanying it).

  • Equilibrium: A robot arm is working in a laboratory.
  • Disruption: A human arm appears and the robot brings it to life and it goes mental!
  • Equilibrium: The human arm grabs onto the robot arm and gets flung away. The robot arm goes back to working in the laboratory.

I did a little bit of drawing today on Photoshop, and because this project is about arms I drew some..Hands.jpg


Same idea slightly different:

Black screen – credits fade in white text (title, created by, etc)

Voice: “This way Mr. Johnson, thank you for signing up to participate in our scientific study today, just step inside and the experiment will begin.”

Mr. Johnsons voice: “Okey dokey

Voice: “Now you’re going to hear some noises in a moment from the machine so don’t be too alarmed.”

*Machine begins to warm up sounds

Mr. Johnsons voice: “no probl…”

*Laser sounds slice through the air, whirring saws whizz by and cutting and grinding sounds are accompanied by mr johnsons screams – which end abruptly.

Fade in to a sign which says ‘arms dept.’ (or something, ‘sentient industries’ maybe or ‘next life research facility’ or ‘research dept’ whatever) and a light next to it. zoom out to reveal a room with a robot arm in it. There is a hole in the ceiling or wall and an x on the floor beneath it.

The light blinks on and the robot arm comes to life – lifting up from a drooped down ‘idle’ position, it stretches and comes alive and looks around the room. We hear a rumbling like something travelling down a metal chute getting louder and a human arm tumbles out of the hole onto the x marked on the floor.

The robot arm reacts to the arm with a jump (sort of) and then closely inspect the dead looking arm, cocking its hand to the side like a puppy (for example, i mean a human does too i guess but puppies are cute..) cocks its head. It prods the arm and backs away and then gets bold and tries to pick up the human arm when it springs to life. The robot arm backs away quickly, pulling away and becoming tall to escape the flailing human arm. The human arm gets some kind of traction and starts moving more efficiently instead of just flopping around and the robot arm gets worried as the human arm moves towards it.

So the robot arm smashes the human arm until it stops moving -like maybe six or seven times really hard and violently. The human arm stops moving except for a twitchy finger or something (would i have to model a new destroyed human arm?)

The robot arm looks left then right and sighs – at least it does the action obviously it cant sigh (unless there was a little vent and i let some steam escape from the vent accompanied by a sigh sound and movement, then i guess it could sigh).

Fade to black ‘The end’ fades in (white text)

Cut to the robot arm against wall background, the human hand appears behind the robot suddenly with a silly wave and then a claw shape that grabs towards the robot arm just as it is turning around to see the human arm. Cut just as the human arm is about to reach the robot arm.

The end!


Robot arm sounds: 

whirring, clicking – when its moving

beeps – for expression (r2d2 style)

Human arm sounds: 

Flippity floppity sounds for movement – organic (Will record my own arm – need to think about which kind of surface will give me a good sound so might need to experiment a bit)

It would be really cool if the robot arm had a human brain in a jar on it or something, like it was not just a robot arm, but had more life in it. But of course i could portray this in different ways, just a power cord or two i suppose, but it would look cool if it was being run by a brain!

The human arm could be all tattooed and scarred, and Mr Johnsons voice could be really gruff and deep to accompany that character. The scientists voice should probably be kind of higher and sinister or with an edge to it somehow that makes the viewer wonder about him – so slower and oddly paced maybe..

This idea summarised:

A robot arm meets a human arm.

A robot arm meets a human arm which comes to life.

A robot arm meets a human arm which comes to life and it reacts by trying to kill it.

Another possibility i quite liked was the idea that the arm is from an accident in a factory assembly line building things. The robot arm discovers the arm and goes through much the same kind of things in the previous idea, perhaps it tries to use the human arm somehow before tossing it aside to continue with its repetitive job that it was built for.

The robot arm could be the only arm to actual move and have life, which would be a bit risky because both arms should really be animated, but it would be interesting to see the dynamic of an assembly robot arm coming to life, and not the human/zombie arm.


Zombie VS Robot!!!

‘The arm of the robot v the arm of the robot’

3D Animation 

  • Design, rig and animate am abandoned zombie arm and the abandoned arm of a robot.

  • 1 minute 3D animation in Maya.

Hard surface modelling for the robot, organic modelling for the zombie arm.

Man VS Machine!

Organic stuff deforms, robots not so much. They move and sound different as well, so they can be distinguished from one another in more ways than how they look.

The good thing about this project is that watching Shaun of the dead and the terminator are reasonable and probably actually really good forms of research.

[Ryall, C (2008). Zombies vs. Robots. US:IDW]

This is a really cool comic book series with a great art style that is about zombies vs robots, called Zombies VS Robots, so its kind of perfect as inspiration for this project. The robots look very different from the ones we see today- they aren’t very streamlined and aren’t as human, they have bodies and arms and legs (some of them) but don’t look quite as human as we normally see – the one above looks like a human crossed with a rusted water boiler.

Zombies vs Robots #2 A-Cover by Ashley Wood

The robot above looks like it was inspired by the Vietnam war for some reason, love the skull painted onto the front of the robots face.

There is actually a lot of Zombie and robot stuff in popular media today, so there is a lot to draw inspiration from.

The robot and zombie arms can look like anything really. the robot arm could look human – or not, and also could be like the one above, so bendy and not as rigid as it could be. The zombie arm could be a human arm, or maybe it could be an animal arm that’s zombified!

Terminators arm. One of the most iconic robot extremities that has ever existed in film.

*Note the blood on the metal arm, as normally it is enclosed in an organic material.

(I appear to have got a bit carried away with watchmojo today…)

The zombie arm is basically just a dismembered human arm, it is a zombie arm specifically because it is animated when it should normally be stiff and dead as its not attached to a living person!

It could be a robot arm that is experimenting on dead body parts – bringing them to life by injecting them with something and electrocuting them or something. Then the human arm could spring to life and animate some actions and then die again (lose its juice or whatever) and then the robot arm could react in some way to that (like crossing off from a list patient no.12,335,655 or something). What kind of world would they live in for this to happen. The robot arm would be controlled by a sophisticated AI, and the human arm is just a severed human arm, perhaps another body part from a soldier in a never ending future war, the body parts are collected by robots and brought back to be experimented on. The humans behind the experiments are trying to discover the secret to life, and bringing people back to life. In this reality humans are fighting a never ending war against each other, they are all scrambling to create better technology for war to destroy each other and win. But our scientists who created the robot want to also bring back life! They are a mad scientist perhaps, or maybe its the world that’s mad! But other way they are attempting and experimenting in unethical ways to find out if they can! Has science gone to far? In this reality that’s not a clickbaity title, its serious business!

You would never see the (humans) scientists – but you could see a speaker above the robot and a voice could command it to “Run version 4.50”

The robot arm could damage the zombie arm, or they could fight? Maybe the robot arm could just find the human/zombie arm and pick it up and throw it to see what it is, as a curious robotic entity like a probe would when coming across it or something, and the zombie arm fights back against the robots prodding.

If they were whole again, and it was a robot versus a human/zombie, then the fighting would be a little bit different. The robot would be superior, mainly because without organic brains and flesh the zombie cant really harm the robot. Unless of course the robot is controlled by a human brain in a jar, and instead of just an artificially controlled robot, it is a conscious robot that is actually a person in a robot body, so a cyborg? This would mean the robots movements while being mechanical and sure of itself, there would also be a human element that is not so perfect. The zombie would be a human that has been brought back to life by this robot/human hybrid, so they wouldn’t be all there mentally – after having been dead for so long, and they would be clumsy – like they’ve just woken up (as in this story they have!) So it would be a drunk undead person versus a clinically insane cyborg robot. The cyborg is on home ground, as he has just brought the human/zombie back to life in his laboratory, so he would have an advantage in this fight – perhaps props around the lab that could help him. Also he’s a cyborg robot, probably he’s got lasers and stuff..

Here’s an example of a robot arm that is used in the manufacturing industry, which have a very different look(often) to how robots normally look in film and TV. They are designed for function and purpose over looks.

I found some blueprint art of different robots on the internet which have various different styles and looks. What kind of robot am i going to be animating and what will it look like?

Big Hero 6 is such a good movie with some pretty great robot designs. The main robot has a simple design, but also gets an armour upgrade during the movie. Its a caring helper robot, and has this sort of translucent material for its body which can have images projected on it or colours shine through it or whatever – could be cool for a futuristic looking robot arm.


And finally, probably the best thing ive been able to find and watch while doing my research for this project:

Like a fish out of water!

Words and Pictures Project

I ended up creating an animated video about the saying ‘Like a fish out of water’ for this project. It is a little longer than 30 seconds (41 secs), but the script i wrote was almost perfectly 30 seconds, but i ended up adding a little something to the end because i thought it would add some humour to the piece that would be appreciated by the audience and the titles add some time too, anyway here’s the final video:

So this video is about the saying ‘like a fish out of water’ which is like to feel awkward in a situation or whatever.

If i had more time i may have thought about imagery more, using the words to create a dead fish image or something like that. I would also make sure to distinguish between the two voices with different colour text. This change, although not vital- because I think it works just as well as it is to convey the message/joke/whatever and that it’s a convo between two voices- it would help anyway and wouldn’t be too difficult to do at all. 

I tried to use a range of different movements and effects/transitions to make the video really come to life and be more visually interesting to the audience without going overboard and being distracting to the content; which is bizarre, but i think its also kind of funny- of course i would because i made it, but the point of the video is to showcase that I can make this kind of video, and I hope it does that at least. I made the animation in Adobe After Effects, then I exported it to Adobe Premiere Pro and edited the film together. In After Effects I was able to use key frames to adjust the text in various ways to animate it, for example I used the opacity to make the text appear; by setting a key frame and putting the opacity at 0%, then moving forward a frame (or more depending how quickly you want it to appear) and then increase the opacity to 100%. This ended up becoming a bit of staple for my animation actually…

*I still need to adjust the sound for the video, the music is a touch loud compared to the too quiet speech audio.

I decided i had some time to do something so i did this:

And then this:

Here is a screenshot from Premiere – it shows the entire animation start to finish (with the gratuitous additional NTU Animation bit at the end). It shows how i organise everything and the inner workings of the final piece; you can even see the effects attached to parts of the video and audio. Video on top and audio on the bottom. You can see that the main animation and audio is basically uncut- because i animated to the audio and they fit together and when i planned my script i planned it so i didn’t end up having to cut stuff up to make it work later.


I am really glad that i revisited the project anyway (even though really i should be focusing on the next one), this is because the end product is much better – even with only so many changes i think it has made a big difference. Also i just really like adding those ‘NTU animation’ bits to the ends of my animations and am glad i did another one!

P-Slice Origins


This is almost all the artwork i have created for the character i created called P-slice, the amazing slice of pepperoni pizza that was brought to life by a superhero.


Some of it is just doodles, but there are expressions and a turnaround in there as well as some poses and action shots of P-slice.






























I much prefer P-slice’s final design, where his body is just the pizza, its




I was just doodling some of p-slices’ friends and i liked the idea of a snails shell being brought to life when the superhero sneezes in his garden and the superhero not realising, and the snail just carries on snailing while this sentient shell comes alive and tries to come to terms with life on the back of a snail. Now and again he would show up on the snail and then be unable to direct the snail and be taken off wherever the snail wants to go. A bit of comic relief really..



Project 7 – Words & Pictures


Thinking about images as counterpoint to words, look for emphasis, direct an actor, record and animate it…


To discover how although text and typography often accompany words and ideas, how can font, rhythm, pattern, weight of stroke and motion blur help emphasize or obscure meaning?

So i have to create a 30 second animation (@ 24FPS, format MP4 H264 file format @ 1280×720) by next Friday.

An idea:

Words in words. A word could appear and then a word within that word is revealed, with the deletion or changing of the other letters to reveal the word in the word. E’g: meow in homeowner! Ass in Grass! Star in starve! Rat in fraternity! Lion in Million! Ran in Orange!

So when the word Million appears on screen there is money sounds, maybe some kind of champagne bottle or something, maybe the word millions, then when the word lion is revealed there is a lions roar, or an impression of the lion from the wizard of oz. The word could be revealed by the letters (mil) being dragged away by an unknown source accompanied by a lions roar. This would marry the typography with the sounds very well, and give them more reason and emphasise.

Perhaps i could also do a word that jumbles up into a new word (god and dog for example).


When i was looking this over and deciding what kind of animation i wanted to make i came to the decision that i didn’t want to go this route. I had another idea, which was just recording a small conversation about a phrase or word, where one party explains it to the other.

So i ended up choosing the well known phrase “Like a fish out of water” which means when someone feels awkward in an unusual environment to them. They are struggling with it like a fish would struggle with being out of water.

Anyway i decided that it was funny to me, these two guys, one who doesn’t understand at all thinking that it means when someone is dying or whatever, and the other just trying to explain it isn’t but giving up in the end. Its short and sweet (hopefully).  Heres what i came up with anyway:img001

Storyboard idea:

storyboard 1 for wordsstorboard 2 for words

Feature Pitch

Reviving classic content and characters is very common in Hollywood at the moment and creating long running franchises a viable business model. Given the chance what property from the golden age of animation would you reboot and how would you go about it?




In the style of a comix artist / indy animator of your choice, design and write a pitch for an animated feature film aimed at a mature audience. The pitch should last no more than 5 minutes and should summate the story, the visual style and the context [market place] that the movie will be aimed at. 800 words maximum…




Learning to identify interpret and utilize a range of styles and sources is a useful skill that will enhance your range as a developing animation designer.



Gilbert Shelton: Fabulous Furry Freak Bros/Fat Freddy’s Cat

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I don’t really know what to say about this. The stop motion animation, taken from these dirty farscapesque cartoons is really interesting though.

John Kricfalusi: The Ren and Stimpy Show


It came out in 1991 with a pretty fresh look, it has such an interesting style, breaking away from traditional stuff.

The Simpsons – Intro By Ren & Stimpy’s Creator John Kricfalusi

Here’s a look at the creator making an iconic Simpsons intro, where his style shines through.

Marc Craste: Jojo in the stars/Stuck on a Sunday/Varmints

JO JO IN THE STARS is a 12 minute story of love, self-sacrifice, and jealousy played out against a black and white world that is both nightmarish and hauntingly beautiful.

(BAFTA award winning)

From the description:

Director Marc Craste
Producer Sue Goffe
Produced by Studio AKA

BAFTA 2004 Winner, Best Short Animated Film
Cartoon D’or 2005 Winner of Cartoon D’Or 2005
Clermont Ferrand 2004 2004 Best Short Animated film
Sicaf 2004 2004 Short Film Grand Prize
Bradford Animation Festival 2004 Grand Prix
Brief Encounters – Bristol 2004 Best of British
Aspen Shortsfest 2004 Special Jury Prize
IFCT 2007 Award for Most Innovative Animation

This is a very interesting animation style, all in blacks, whites and greys, with very original character designs. It was Marc Craste’s debut film, interesting to note the use of ‘title cards’ which use text to move the story along and transmit information to the audience.

Here are some more possibilities that could be rebooted for this project..

  • The clangers – 1969

A classic British stop motion animation. (actually would the wombles be another stop motion animation that could be rebooted?)

  • Top Cat – 1961

A fantastic Hanna Barbera cartoon with brilliant characters with a fantastic group dynamic.

  • UPA (Gerald McBoing Boing) produced thirty-eight films from 1948 to 1959, pioneering the use of limited animation.

Jolly frolics contained:

Robin Hoodlum (1948)

  • The fox and the crow

These two characters starred in several funny animal comic books published by DC comics, from the 1940s well into the 1960s.

They even had a cameo in who framed roger rabbit which was cut for some reason..

The Fox and the Crow are a pair of anthropomorphic cartoon characters created by Frank Tashlin for the Screen Gems studio. The characters, the refined but gullible Fauntleroy Fox and the streetwise Crawford Crow, appeared in a series of animated short subjects released by Screen Gems through its parent company, Columbia Pictures, and were Screen Gems’ most popular characters.

  • Space Ghost

Another Hanna Barbera cartoon that became popular during the golden age of animation, it had a reboot in the 80’s and the 90’s so its probably due for one soon. I really like Space Ghost and i think a remake that follows something like Harvey Birdman would be great- not the same audience or humour as original cartoon, but using the same characters and info (loosely).