søndag den 16. december 2007

Grande Finale at The MONK STUDIO

It's over.. the internship at the Monk Studio has come to an end and tonight Jannick, Jeppe and I will go back home to Denmark. Maahir left already Saturday - uh it was so sad! But WOW it's been a crazy time!! We have made this poster for the studio - picturing ourselves off course - it's the greatest gift we could think of :o) It was made last night and its kinda corny, Jannick made the beautiful title while I struggled with the maincharacters and grafics.We thank the Monk Studio for having taken so well care of us and for the whole crew for being so fantastic and generous!! We definately want to come back some day!!!
(by Sus)

torsdag den 22. november 2007

So, it took me a long time to post this thingy. It's not done yet, I will probably finish it in january when I get back to good old DK.. I'm coming up with the kitchen for Granny, where the Gingerbread Man comes to life. Meanwhile I have also played around with character designs, storyboard and color keys for the film - so this kitchen has been put on hold. Working with the over all color concept is really interesting and very important, It is some of the first things you want to deside, otherwise you may have to go back and change your artwork later on. And by "you" I mean "I". Take this kitchen; I cant tell you too much, but it aint gonna be yellow!! (by Sus)

In the story there is a story book which I am working on Pt. Quite interesting! Here I am trying to find a good color for this illustration/forest and the cottage of the old man and the old woman. I like the happy nice feeling that the green forest has and should be. But otherwise my favorite is the 1st thumbnail. I'm trying to have the house stand out from the forest, using contrast in warm/cold colors and saturation. The characters need adjusting in color to fit in now... This is work in progress.. (by sus)

lørdag den 3. november 2007

Jon Kenny

Above: Irish funnyman, writer, actor Jon Kenny has agreed to do a voice for "Gingerbread Man". It's exciting to bring his talent and brain onto the project.

http://flickr.com/photos/docaoimh/ photo by Donal O' Caoimh

torsdag den 1. november 2007

Monsters of Kerry revisited

Jeppe has been working on the little boy monster design... and Maahir the little girl monster design. Finally getting them to a place where we can start building the models in the computer. Above is a little sketch by Maahir based on the designs of both fellows.

fredag den 26. oktober 2007

Trial by collage

Above: Mark did some rough concept sketches of the "narrator". Loosely based on Eddie Lenihan. I am trying out a "Collage" style for the beginning sequences. Here I used photos from hair ads... and different cloth textures... still not completely working... but getting there. Tod

torsdag den 18. oktober 2007

Sheep In The Deep

Above: A rough concept from the "storybook sequence" borrowing heavily from Mary Blair, and Kay Nielsen. We are still developing the look of that section... but have some good leads. Right now its sort of a mis-mash of stuff... just seeing what works... and what doesn't... trying to get a direction.


onsdag den 17. oktober 2007

Coming Soon..

Soo... Maahir and Susie are doing their own 2D animation project in their sparetime. This will be a fully animated 4½ hour feature! It is very good! Here is the first shot. Animation and character design by Maahir, background by Sus.

tirsdag den 16. oktober 2007

Proven Inspiration

Above: Alice and Martin Provensen have had a huge influence on animated film design... both worked in animation until the early 1950s where they began illustrating and writing children's books. They married texture and graphic shapes in such a fun way.


Visual Structure

Above: Working with a visual structure... Having a road map to help guide a project is really helpful. Here I have plotted the intensity of each sequence of
"Gingerbread". If you use the same lighting, color, and contrast in each sequence of your film... your film will feel flat. But you can really push a story by pushing things visually. This method of working is described in Bruce Blocks book "Visual Storytelling". Dave Thomas, and Jorge Gutierrez, Roman Laney and I used this method on the TV show "El Tigre" for Nickelodeon with a lot of success. Just thought it might be interesting to show the Visual Structure for "Gingerbread" here.

mandag den 15. oktober 2007

Inspiration from the land of the Danes

Just wanted to show a few of the images that are influencing the look of "Gingerbread". Kay Nielsen (1886-1957) was a Danish illustrator who was popular in the early 20th century. He illustrated many children's books, and did a stint at Disney in the 1930s. I really like his use of shape and pattern. tod

to see more of his work go to:


onsdag den 10. oktober 2007

Bandy Characters

Playing more with "the band" ... this group will provide a musical backdrop throughout the film. I imagined music being one element that ties all classes of Irish society together. Rich or poor... all can enjoy a pint... and the songs of a good band. Above is a sketch I did trying to show this concept. Not entirely happy with it... but there are some good ideas developing.

Tomm Moore of Cartoon Saloon has once again taken time out of his busy schedule, and put pen to paper helping develop the feel and look of "Ginger". Thanks Tomm!


tirsdag den 9. oktober 2007

mandag den 8. oktober 2007

fun with characters

YES... I know I should be doing my storyboard sequence for tomorrow but.... characters are FUUUUNNNNNN!!!!
(Posted by Sus)

fredag den 5. oktober 2007

Secondary Characters

An early sketch of the fox... still exploring shape and color.

Another frequent pub patron... though an Irishman would never drink out of a mug like this I was later told. Old Scratch must 'ave brought it over with him from wherever he came from.

The "Monsters of Clare"... all children are terrifying ... from a cookies perspective.
I decided to upload some more early sketches from the film. All the characters have continued to develop from these designs. But you have to start somewhere... right? The process of taking something flat like this into 3-D has been interesting... Its been great working with "The Monk", Ingo, and Mark Oftedal on developing the designs for computer animation. Been a fun adventure... for me at least.

Pub Patrons Kilkenny style

Above: Cartoon Salooner Tomm Moore, took a crack at some of the pub characters. Tomm, Nora, and Paul all did voice work for "Gingerbread"... and it was great of Tomm to take a bit of time for these sketches... as he is directing the feature film "Brendan, and the Book of Kells" with Nora in Kilkenny. There are more sketches on the way says he!

torsdag den 4. oktober 2007

A day out in Ayutthaya

Ingo... excited about the rice he is about to receive... I think he got excited at least 3 times throughout the day.

Jannick... looking directly into the sun... and liking it.

Jeppe... new 40D camera in hand... ready for photo action. He did a flying backflip after this photo was taken.

Maahir... scouting video locations for "MacGyver Knife". http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=118922155 to take a listen.

Susanne... getting brownie points for wearing the kings colors... wearing her cleats, ready to kick some b**ty.

P'To ... managing director of "the Monk" ... and our guide for the day. Looking relaxed and in control. (actually he was looking for the restroom) Many thanks to him for showing us a great weekend.
"The Monk" took us out to see the old capital of Ayutthaya... a complex made of elephants and ancient temples all along the river. 2 hours on a boat... eating, drinking, and listening to live music. A few history lessons... a few new Thai words... Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

søndag den 30. september 2007

more sketches

A Couple of sketches for the irish catholic folk preacher band and the pub crowd

Monsters Of Kerry

Above: Some early inspirational sketches of "The Monsters of Kerry"... by the ever versitile Barry Reynolds. Barry is originally from Dublin, and has a great graphic style... and has really helped influence the look of "The Escape of the Gingerbread Man".

torsdag den 27. september 2007

ZOO photos

Another research trip was made, this time to Bangkok zoo, in order to...ehrm...gather information about wildlife that could appear in the film, and such...and eat icecream.

These strange birds appeared out of nowhere. Fear struck the expedition members, but luckily, the creatures seemed to be of friendly nature.

Jannick, Yee and Ingo chilling in the jungle

Classic Inspiration

Above: "Escape!!! of the Gingerbread Man" sketches from nearly 10 yrs ago!

I wanted to share a little more "Gingerbread" inspiration. I realized just today that I have been kicking this idea around for almost a decade! ... and am only getting to it now. Maurice Noble was involved early on this a few other projects we were cooking up called "Noble Tales"... he, and his group of trainees used to sit around his pool, drink cokes, eat cookies, and talk gags and story.

Above: A few of the "Noble Tales" short ideas that were in development by Maurice, and his trainees... the "Noble Boys".

Maurice is best known for his work at Warner Bros. and he explained why people loved the "Golden Oldie" cartoons of the 1940s & 50's. He also explained why after over 50 years... people still love them. He wanted to infuse the same elements into the cartoons we were trying to make. Here are just a few of those elements:

1. The shorts should be well designed and entertaining.
2. Don't make "children's films"... Explore mature themes... but with class.
3. The films should give an "impression" of a place, rather than a realistic view.
4. Don't forget the "craft" of film making... a small budget film doesn't have to look or feel low budget... make them look great ... and stand out from tv fare. It will pay off in the long run when people want to watch them again and again.

Maurice talked about a lot of other things as well... some of which I will share here at a later time... but really don't have time for now.

Here are two films that have made a huge impression on me over the years... and have had a big influence on "Escape!!! of the Gingerbread Man".

"Little Rural Riding Hood" -Tex Avery
The characters are great! Watch how each character has a specific movement style that matches their personalities. And even though there is a lot happening... and a lot of fast paced stuff... there really isn't all that much cutting. Tex really sets a stage, and lets the characters act on it.


"Together in the Weather" -George Pal
Just great writing, and a great delivery. Part of the Noble Tales series was meant to be a mix between whats best about animation, and whats best about traditional "oral storytelling". The only negative thing I have to say about this cartoon is that sometimes its difficult to understand what the narrator is saying. But for 90% of the film... its just great voice acting and delivery.


onsdag den 26. september 2007

Just wee lads

Above: I thought I would talk a bit more about some of my inspiration for "Gingerbread". I found this photo somewhere on the net a while back. ( sorry I can't remember where exactly ) But it has inspired a lot of ideas... a whole sequence in fact!

Above: More photos ... if only for inspiration.
While these photos are funny in a peculiar way ... and while yes... there is a lot of beer in the film... no one actually gets drunk. After all... its only a cartoon. Sadly, I did come across more than one angry drunk schoolboy while working in Ireland.... and I dont mean to make light of this problem at all. It's not as funny when there are 10, 8 year olds standing around you with big wooden clubs.


mandag den 24. september 2007

Chlong Hippos are very rare!

Yes it was an amazing tour through the Chlongs in Bangkok. Very beautiful in a way, with it's dirty water, old broken houses, happy people and look... a hippo!!!