Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Style Frame

Here are the first drafts of my style frames. They will change, since I'm still trying to flush out my story.

Basic Color Design Nigel and Fang
Fang hears the phone ring
Nigel speaking on the phone

Reference Citations - SpongeBob Square Pants - Mermaidman and Barnacleboy III

Mermaidman and Barnacleboy - I can place Nigel in a bat cave, not the den. I have to place him in the room where he conducted business (no sound)
Bat Cave Like

Mermaidman and Barnacleboy – I like how every thing they do has that cheesy "POW" like design that the 60's batman show had (no sound)

Mermaidman and Barnacleboy – Patrick in a wheelchair (no sound)
Wheelchair Reference

Mermaidman and Barnacleboy – a nice flying pose (no sound)
Fly Pose

SpongeBob Square Pants
Mermaidman and Barnacleboy III. SpongeBob Square Pants. Nicktoons Network, Burbank, California. 27 Nov. 2000

Helpful Information

Well I meet with Myles, one of the professors on my review panel today. He gave me a lot of helpful information, I though I had to totally rewrite my story, but I didn’t, I just have to revise mine.
Some tips he gave me:
Play with cut between Nigel’s POV and Fangs POV.
What was Nigel’s Power, what could he do before that he can’t go now.
Gags that happen to older people that are funny to us not them.
Have audience relate
May Nigel is Fat or skinny, from years of not working.
He can’t turn on the radio/scanner; Fang has to do it for him.
Keep Nigel Local.
Maybe he drops things and Fang has to pick them up.
Maybe he has a hard time seeing or hearing.
Show past by old newspaper on table or book.
Play on dog more.
Maybe Wheel chair pushes into screen.
He can do everyday routines with power.
Maybe little episodes that builds up in aTime Lapse.
Look for other two characters like Wallace and Gromit.

He showed me a short that had a minimal background and focused on animation
The Troubleshooting

Playing with the Story

I tried to fix the story while taking into consideration what was said during my review. I still have a few concerns. For story 1, I’m adding a third character and I still haven’t figured out how to establish he was a superhero in the past. For story 2, I also need to establish that he was a superhero in the past, I could do what I originally had and show his past accomplishments by how his room is decorated. I also have to figure out what the scanner says, and what Nigel thinks it says. I also need to figure out how to end it. Also, some of the panel didn’t like that I had stretch as his ability, I think both of these stories can work with stretch or flying, his new power since I don’t want Nigel to have an ability that deals with dynamics.

1) Nigel and Fang are sitting in the park playing checkers. They hear a yell for help. Nigel goes to get up and Fang grabs him. Fang doesn’t want to go though this again, he just wants to finish the game of checkers. Nigel insists on helping. Fang just puts his face in his hands. They look and a kid who bought balloons is flying away with them. Nigel raises his arm to fly up and grab the kid, but he can’t fly as well as he use to. Nigel tries again, this time standing on the chair to add a bit of height; he still can’t get high enough to reach the kid. Finally Fang grabs the straw out off his drink and fills it with pebbles. He shoots at the balloons until the kid lowers down. Nigel than still trying to reach the kid grabs his foot and pulls him down. Nigel thinks he saved the day, but Fang and the Kid know otherwise. The kid walks up to Fang and says: You bad Dog”, He puts his hand out and says, “ you owe me $2 for my balloons.”

2) Nigel and Fang are sitting in the living room playing checkers and listening to the police scanner. Nigel’s mishears what is said and thinks the town is need of help, so starts to get ready. Fang looks at him like what are you doing. Finally Nigel repeats what he heard to Fang. Fang tries to stop him from going. Nigel goes to get out, and forgets to open the widow and flies into the glass. Then he tries to open the window and struggles, until Fang comes and unlocks it. Nigel looks at him like oh. He decides to climb out the window and lands in the bush. We see Fangs POV as he looks out the window down at Nigel in the bush. Fang then disappears and we see Nigel’s POV as Fang walks out the door, next to the window.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Reference Citations - Looney Toons

Story Ideas- what works

Fast and Furry-ous
Fast and Furry-ous. Looney Tunes. Warner Bros. Pictures, Burbank, California. 16 Sept. 1949
What I think makes the short work:
The use of smear drawings
The stretch of the coyote’s jaw
Long holds. Pauses
The gags always backfire on the coyote
When the road is drawn on the rock, it becomes a road for the roadrunner.
The way the rock falls – defies the law of gravity

Part of Hair-Raising Hare
Hair-Raising Hare. Looney Tunes. Warner Bros. Pictures, Burbank, California. 25 May 1946
What I think makes the short work:
Bugs is always one step ahead of the monster
The body language of the monster, since he doesn’t talk much.

Haredevil Hare
Haredevil Hare. Looney Tunes. Warner Bros. Pictures, Burbank, California. 24 July 1948
What I think makes the short work:
Bugs crying until he gets carrots
Comedy of the large rocket that that is lit by a small fuse
Bugs body shape coming through the bottom of the rocket from the force of the take off

Tortoise wins by a Hare
Tortoise Wins by a Hare. Looney Tunes. Warner Bros. Pictures, Burbank, California. 20 Feb. 1943
What I think makes the short work:
Slow Turtle vs. Fast Rabbit in speed and speech
Nice extreme poses during the race
Nice old man poses by bugs
Nice anticipation on bugs as he goes back before he takes off for the race

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Reference Citations - Powerpuff Girls - Major Competition

A great reference for a goofy superhero

Powerpuff Girls
Major Competition. Powerpuff Girls. Cartoon Network Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. 6 Jan. 1999

Friday, October 26, 2007

How my Pre-Thesis Review went

Well, I had my review today. David, Boaz and Myles were on my panel. It didn’t go as well as I would have like. They liked my concept and character but didn’t think the story was working. I was told that he shouldn’t get the phone call, it’s to unrealistic, to have someone call for help or have him listen to a police scanner. I also need a bigger ender. I should also establish the characters relationship better. As well as, play with the comedy. Some didn’t like that I gave him the stretch ability.

Some suggestions I got:
Maybe Nigel misunderstands the scanner and they really don’t heed help, but he thinks they do.
Maybe the dog doesn’t want to help Nigel with his heroic adventure and has the attitude, here we go again. The dog knows that he can't save the day anymore.
Maybe end it screen to black and can still here the two arguing.
Maybe the dog is the real superhero.

So I’ll watch some Looney toon shorts and shows about superheroes this weekend and then try to rework the story. I’ll meet with some of these professors this coming week and see if they approve of what I’m working on. We’ll at least they liked my characters so I can start to model them this weekend.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Reference Citations - Superman Returns

Costume Design Reference- classic nylon suit with the trunks

Superman Returns. Dir. Bryan Singer. Warner Bros. Pictures, 2006

Monday, October 22, 2007

Getting Ready for the Pre-Thesis Review - Midterm

We have our Facility Pre-Thesis review this Friday. I’m putting all my updated info in one posting.

My main goal in my thesis is to get a solid animation while refining my skills. Many areas of animation inspired me, however there were a few works of art in particular that really motivated me. They were Chuck Jones’s Animation, The Incredibles, Wallace and Gromit as well as the sculpture exhibit L'Hospice. Through these reference I’ve come up with my narrative about a retired superhero that gets called out of retirement to save the day. However with the help of his dog Fang the two actually wind up getting into a predicament were they themselves need to be saved.

Thesis Statement -
A Character Animated Short with an emphasis on comic timing and exaggerated poses that showcases the humorous relationship between a retirement superhero and his dog in a cartoon style.

Story Synopsis

Thesis Treatment

Flexman Script

Flexman Storyboard

Thesis Outline

Research Paper

Character Sketch/Design

Fang -
I want Fang to have a cute cartoon look. He’ll have a slightly bigger head and his body will be only about 1 1/2 head length.

Nigel -
I want Nigel to have a slightly big head. He’ll have a large nose and ears with bushy eyebrows. His body is about three heads in length. He has a big stomach and body with skinny limbs. As for Nigel’s costume it will resemble the typical superheroes costume like Mr. Incredible, Superman and Batman. He will have a fitted nylon suit with his logo on the chest and trunks. He’ll also have boots and gloves.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Reference Citations - Open Season

Open Season. Dir. Roger Allers and Jill Culton. Sony Pictures, 2006
To see more about this movie visit this Link: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/openseason/
Reference for the Elliot’s wacky personality for Fang

Reference Citations - SpongeBob Square Pants - Mermaidman and Barnacleboy II

Great Cereal for older superheroes, the toy is false teeth. This is great.

Superheroes struggle (no sound)

Pow- Classic Batman TV series

They fall into their invisible boat, after being suspended in air, they realize it’s not there and fall. Classic Chuck Jones, Just what I’m looking for. (no sound)
Mermaidman and Barnacleboy II. SpongeBob Square Pants. Nicktoons Network, Burbank, California. 8 April. 2000

Reference Citations - Toy Story

I love the chunky simple shapes of the furniture. It has just the right amount to detail.
Toy Story. Dir. John Lasseter. Walt Disney Pictures, 1995
Link:http:// http://www.pixar.com/featurefilms/ts/
Reference for the Environment

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thesis Production Schedule

Since the rigging will take a lot longer than I thought, I’ve decided to make a production schedule and start modeling and rigging, so when January comes I can start animation. This way I have a few months just to focus on animation, my concentration. Here’s my first draft of my schedule, I’m sure it will change. It's just for me to use to stay on track with for now.

Production Schedule

Script - Version 3

I keep revising my story and was not completely happy with my last ending. I felt it was too forced. So I’ve reworked it again, and is still flushing it out a bit. Here it is so far.

Story Scripts Version 3

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Reference Citations - Speedy Gonzalez and Slow Poke Rodriguez

Speedy Gonzalez and his cousin Slow Poke Rodriguez - a good reference of a slow and fast character
Speedy and Slow Poke

Mexican Boarders. Merrie Melodies. Cartoon Warner Bros. Pictures, Burbank, California. 1962

Research Paper

I went down to the office and took out Zeth's A needful Head (2007) and Charles Burnor (2006) to see how other character animation majors but their books together. This is the first version of my paper, I still need to fix it. I'm not sure if I'm going in the right direction.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Reference Citations - Chuck Jones - The Director

The Dover Boys at Pimento University - clarity of timing and clarity of poses
Dover Boys
The Dover Boys at Pimento University. Merrie Melodies. Cartoon Warner Bros. Pictures, Burbank, California. 19 Sept 1942

Bugs Bunny & Daffy Duck-The Abominable Snow Rabbit - Slap stick comic timing with extreme squash and stretch
The Abominable Snow Rabbit
The Abominable Snow Rabbit. Merrie Melodies. Cartoon Warner Bros. Pictures, Burbank, California. 20 May 1961

Bugs Bunny & Daffy Duck-Mouse Wreckers -Slap stick comic timing with extreme squash and stretch
Mouse Wreckers
Mouse Wreckers. Merrie Melodies. Cartoon Warner Bros. Pictures, Burbank, California. 1948

Reference Citations - Over the Hedge

I want Fangs personality to resemble Hammy's.

I want Nigel's personality to resemble Verne's.

I’d like to shoot for this type of environment.

Over the Hedge. Dir. Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick. DreamWorks Animation, 2006
To see more about this movie visit this Link: http://www.overthehedgemovie.com/

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Reference Citations - Batman TV series

Costume Design Reference- classic nylon suit with the trunks

I didn’t realize this show was from the late 1960’s. I remember watching it in the 1980’s. I guess they were reruns.

Bat Phone

The classic Pow (1966)
Original intro

1965 ABC Network Presentation. Batman. ABC Network , New York, New York. 1965
Show aired on Wednesday January 12, 1966.

Reference Citations - Power Puff Girls - Telephonies

At first when I thought of using a phone for help to be called into Nigel, I thought of the bat phone from the old TV show. I actually never watched the powerpuff girls until I used them for research on this project.

Blossom on the phone. When ever the major calls, it sounds like the Peanuts teacher’s voice.

Powerpuff Girls
Telephonies. Powerpuff Girls. Cartoon Network Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. 23 Dec. 1998

Reference Citations - Power Puff Girls -Uh-oh…Dynamo”.

Powerpuff Girls
Uh-oh…Dynamo. Powerpuff Girls. Cartoon Network Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. 27 May 1999

good cartoon water sample (no sound)
Cartoon Water

Reaction of the Mayor – Great for my ending when Nigel and Fang are stuck in the flood. The mayor basically says thanks for the help, but you ruined my town

Reference Citations - SpongeBob Square Pants - MuscleBob BuffPants

Well watching Sponge Bob for reference on Mermaidman and Barnacleboy, I came across this episode.
This is a successful squash and stretch of an arm, which I will reference for my thesis.

SpongeBob arm stretch – just what I need for Nigel’s arm. Also a great reference for fang’s Facial expressions when he’s pushing. (no sound)
Arm Stretch

SpongeBob arm deflated – might be able to reference this (no sound)
Arm Deflated

SpongeBob Square Pants
MuscleBob BuffPants. SpongeBob Square Pants. Nicktoons Network, Burbank, California. 25 Sept. 1999

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


This is my first storyboard. It’s only sketched out since I am still trying to figure out the ending to my story.

Storyboard Page 1

Storyboard Page 2

Monday, October 08, 2007

Script - Version 2

Now that I have the story flushed out, I think I have the timing closer to what it will actually be. The animation itself will be less than a minute; the title design and credits will bring it just a bit over a minute.

Story Scripts Version2

Thesis Outline - Version 3

I'm still revising my outline as I continue to develop my story. This is the updated version.

Outline Version 3

Reference Citations - Superhero Stretch Ability

The Incredibles. Dir. Brad Bird. Walt Disney Pictures, 2004

Reed Richards – Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Dir. Tim Story. 20th Century Fox, 2007

Plastic Man (Patrick "Eel" O'Brian)
Cole, Jack. (w), Cole, Jack (a)"Meets the last man on earth!" Plastic Man #17 (May 1949) Quality Comics [DC Comics].

Story Synopsis- Do Superheroes Retire? - Version 5

I've reworked the story to keep both characters in the one room.

What happens to superheroes when they retire? Do they age like you and me? This short will answer both of these questions. “Flex Man” is about the relationship between two buddies: An old retired superhero, Nigel (Flex Man) and his sidekick dog, Fang. They both rely on each other to get the job done, which doesn’t always help the situation.

Story Synopsis 5

Detailed Story

Reference Citations - Bugs Bunny

This is the kind of stylized water I want in my thesis

Water, Water Every Hare

Bugs Bunny
Water, Water Every Hare. Looney Tunes. Warner Bros. Pictures, Burbank, California. 19 April 1952

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Brainstorming Gags

Old people Phone Gags:
Nigel picks up the wrong object – remote control, lamp, dogs ear
Nigel answer the phone upside down
Nigel tangled Fang up in the cord
Nigel can stretch his arm out to get the phone and his arm stays stretched

Door Gags:
Fang gets his hand shut in the door
Fang gets flatten since the door closes before he gets to it
Nigel walks into the closet instead of outside


Reference Citations - Family Guy

Reference of the Dog - I like the simplicity of Brian

A good Chess reference
Classic Clips - Stewie Brian Play Chess
Chess/Checker Idea (no sound)

Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story. Family Guy. 20th Century Fox, Los Angeles, California. 27 Sept. 2005

Reference Citations - SpongeBob Square Pants - Mermaidman and Barnacleboy

It was recommended to me by a few people to look at Mermaidman and Barnacleboy. Not only did I get reference of old retired superheros, but his particular episode also has a checkers scene and a phone gag scene.

Mermaidman and Barnacleboy Phone Gag - He picks the phone up upside down. (no sound)
Phone Gag

Mermaidman and Barnacleboy Playing Checkers - Superhero version (no sound)

SpongeBob Square Pants
Mermaidman and Barnacleboy. SpongeBob Square Pants. Nicktoons Network, Burbank, California. 21 Aug. 1999

Reference Citations - Mister Magoo

Reference for Nigel -I like his exaggerated features.

Mr. Magoo-
Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol. Dir. Abe Levitow. United Productions of America,1962
For more info on this visit this Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0123179/

Reference of the Dog and Phone Gag- I like the simple shapes that make up the dog.

Good Phone Gag - He answers the lamp instead of the phone. (no sound)
Magoo Phone Gag

Mr. Magoo
Magoo meets McBoing Boing. Dir. Abe Levitow. United Productions of America,1961
For more info on this visit this Link: http://www.bcdb.com/cartoon/19984-Magoo_Meets_McBoing_Boing.html

Monday, October 01, 2007

Reference Citations - Snoopy

Reference for the Dog Design- I like the simple shapes that constructs snoopy's makeup.

Schulz, Charles M. Peanuts. Cartoon. http://www.dance.net/ . 14, Aug 2004. 1 Oct 2007.

Snoopy also shows allot of character with his ears shown below. This is what I am aiming for in my character.

Schulz, Charles M. Peanuts. Cartoon. http://www.allposters.com/ . 1, Oct 2007. 1 Oct 2007.

Schulz, Charles M. Peanuts. Cartoon. http://www.wallpaperbase.com/ . 14, Aug 2004. 1 Oct 2007.