Thursday, 21 April 2011

Inspirations and Research log.

I thought it would be a good idea to keep a log of all the things that inspire me during the production of my short film. I will continue to add to this post as i stumble upon on more inspiration.
 If you have any suggestions of anything that may inspire me please leave a comment.

I will start with some amazing animations that Tim pointed out to me after hearing my new idea and reading my script. They all share a similar theme of loss and passing but deal with it in a very subtle, stylized and sensitive manner. All things i hope to achieve in my film.

Father and Daughter from Max Sombroek on Vimeo.
Written and Directed by Michael Dudok De Wit

Le Papillon - Antoine Antin & Jenny Rakotomamonjy (2002) from O.C. on Vimeo.

The Chestnut Tree Directed by Hyun-Min Lee
A much more familiar source of inspiration is 'Married Life- Carl and Ellie' form Disney Pixar Up by Michael Giacchin. Beautiful character design, i especially adore Carls hands. 

While on the subject of UP, Wesley Louis showed me this incredible blog post by 
Lou Romano- 'Up Color Script' Not only am i blown away by the his use of colour but i absolutely love his graphic illustration style as well as the textures of his pieces.

For background reference i have been looking at the works of Scott wills i do not expect to create any thing near as amazing as his paintings but they have inspired me to grab some paints a do so some tests as research. I particular enjoy his work on Samurai Jack such as these:

The pace and story telling in Ian Worrel's 'second wind' is great and the visual style is mouth watering!
Second Wind from Ian Worrel on Vimeo.
Another touching graduation film Directed by AIB graduates Laurent Rossi and Tori Davis. I have been fortunate enough to get some really helpful feedback from both of them so THANK YOU guys!

the following two animations really influenced my approach to character design.  

i love the finish of this film, to achieve something similar would be ideal. Eliza Ivanova uses flash but animates in the traditionally way, which is something that i have really been pushing over the last few months with my own work.

Piece of Cake from Eliza Ivanova on Vimeo.
more from Eliza and another interesting method of using flash's colours

pope from Eliza Ivanova on Vimeo.

 and another good finising technique by Kris Anka

a bear film from kris anka on Vimeo.


  1. 'Second Wind' was AWESOME! Thanks for introducing me :)

  2. WOW!!! i agree!! Second Wind!!! What a lovely little short!! Super animation and style!! Love the music and story!! Really nice!!!!

    Thanks so much for dropping by Frankie!!! Im glad i could be a little bit of help!! Also, Thanks for the Favelados link!! Two thumbs up for that!!! :D

    I'm really happy if i can be any help to you and really appreciate how greatful you are!! :)

    Thankyou for your compliments, its very kind of you. Im so happy to hear your little niece enjoyed RIo and i cold help contribute in making a little one happy. (in the end, making movies and telling stories that all generations can enjoy is part of the reason why i want to do what i do!!) :P

    Im also really chuffed to hear after all these years, Favelados is still enjoyed and even used as an artistic influence. Im glad that we could help :)

    As for layout, i believe any one who can hold a pencil (and especially animate in 2D) can draw a layout. Understanding volume is a great start and thats where i believe any one with the 2D skills can draw them....

    I think the harder part is getting the perspective, composition and colour right.

    Speaking of colour, you have certainly hit the nail on the head with discovering Lou Romano and his talent for colour scripting!! He has a very unique and distinctive style which is easily recognized. He uses a very bold and graphic style which can easily be read.

    Check out http:

    This guy is awesome!! He was a big influence of mine when making favelados.

    Also check out:

    This guy, Dice Tsutsumi is most recently know for doing the colour script for Toy Story 3. I worked with him at Blue Sky!! He is an incredible artist!!! Im sure if you google his name, you will come across many sites with his TS3 work on!! Check it out if you get chance!!! Its amazing stuff!!

  3. I can go on and on with a list of artists, if you wanna check out a wee sample of some other artists who float my boat, check out the links on my blog down the bottom right hand side. There is a whole list of "inspiring talents".

    In terms of story telling and making an animated film, the back grounds MUST be come 2nd!! if your supposed to be watching the animation, but instead are focused on the tiny teeny detail in the background, the background is not doing its job. Its soul principle is to stage the animation!! Of course dont get me wrong, the backgrounds will help tell a story and will really help set the location etc, but the backgrounds should never over shadow the animation. They should work hand in hand. For a very good example of how successfully the most basic of backgrounds can work,(literally in this case, just a few props!!) check out:

    this is a very strong example of how literally NO background can still support very strong animation. When watching this, you never really question the amount of white as the audience is so focused on the characters. SO, taking this into mind, it proves how, especially in a short story the backgrounds can be very simple. (Of course, this may get a bit visually dull for a feature length film, but in a one minute short wiv a very limited production time, it proves how the majority of work can be completely focused on the animating and story telling). You could easily get away with maybe a handful of more detailed 'establishing shots' (like the opening scene) to set the story location etc, but then the rest of the BG's can be very basic. Some times, just a splash of colour or a wash can be all you need. I think especially if you are going to go with the muted, bleached out colours, you will easily be able to get away with very little detail.

  4. Ooo, another good example of bleached out washy bgs is "Street Fighter Alpha" the 2D animated movie .... (I think its alpha, i'll have to get back to you on that one). It was another refference we used for favelados.... mainly for the flash back scene when he swings his sister around. It has a nice 'fresh' feel about it. We also liked a couple of the animatrix shorts.... cant think of their names of the top of my head, but i can fish them out for you when im back home.

    You might think i sound a bit of a hypacrit with all this SIMPLE bg stuff as all of the Bgs in Favelados are soooo over the top with detail (like alot of my stuff).... but like i mentioned to you before, we were obsessed with "EPIC" and wanted to use our student film as a portfolio to show case the best of both Laurent and my abilities. (Laurent- character animation n me, Visual Development and Environments, colours, design etc).

    In all fairness, its your film and you do what you think is best for you. I can only advise you from our past experiences.

    My detailed work has got me most of my professional work in the industry, as clients/studios (especially the feature studios) see the details and want some thing simular for their huge productions... but it all depends really. I have also done some REALLY basic stuff before, which i kinda look at it and thing "Really- is that all you want from me?? I haven't even got started yet"... but it all depends on the production.

    Animating on 3s and 4s might not be suitable for Disney and their usual standard of doing things, but for other studios it may be perfect.

    Especially in the industry, you will find studios will always be looking at ways of cutting corners, saving money and production time. Sometimes, you simply can NOT put in all the small details and loving pencil strokes as their is just not the time or budget. Its always about cutting corners, finding ways to get a 'decent' result (maybe not the best), with out spending extra time on it. (Unless your PIXAR, and they will spend ALL the time/money in the world in perfecting their product!! :P

    Ok, WOW, it looks like iv written you, the first chapter on "backgrounds- helping Frankie the Tori Way!!". hee hee :P

    I hope that this has helped you a wee bit and makes sense!!

    I'll make sure to keep an eye out for more stuff you post on your film's pre-production!! Its all very exciting!!

    I'd love to get the chance to make my own short again!! I have the story- just need the time and money!!! :P

    I look forward to seeing what you post next.

    I used to teach 2D/stop motion animation production at the university on Saturdays whilst we were making favelados in our final year. i haven't written so many notes on background's since back then!! hee hee!!! I hope i can still remember it all :P hee hee

    Good luck, n i'll try to continue to support your film in the making in any ways i can!!

    Good luck!!

    All the best and happy easter to you!! Hope the easter bunny brings you lots of chocie!! :D

    bye for now!!


  5. Inspiration Nation. Awesome post Frankie. I'm liking the progress of your film so far. Very emotive, your going to have a lot of fun animating it, if you stick to Tims plan. I came in last week, didnt see you, hopefully I might see you this week or next. Maybe I can offer my 2 cents then.