"You better eat your veg or the pirates will get you!"

And so, here lies our blog documenting the tales of the Veggie Pirates. Follow us as we hack away at creating our graduation piece! We be a crew of five, of which you can find our personal blogs on this page. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

What I'd like to do

Hmmm.. tricky.

I really like concept art, I like the development and thought that goes behind animations and games and the amount of detail that a development team can put in. Seeing all the rough works, sketchbooks and all the nitty gritty development work has always been my thrill. Art of books for animation are amazing (of course any animator will say that) but what I'm trying to say is I'd like to go into the direction of research and development, 2d concepts maybe? It's all a bit scary really.
     Of course I definitely need to improve my drawing skills. By miles. I'm a very harsh critic on myself and I guess the only way I can remedy this constant feeling that I'm not doing well enough is by drawing. Tons. Like... all the time.
   That's why I'm wanting to do environments for Pirates, even though I've only touched upon them due to the fact that we spent most of this semester doing character design (which I also find really interesting, seeing all the elements of design going into characters, from shapes that influence their final outcome to learning how they can be appealing in terms of colours and shapes.) Doing environments I find really interesting and I want to improve in that area, especially in the basic like perspective, colour etc. I find composition important and I'd love to be able to create images that tell a story just by glancing at them. But then on further inspection you'd see all the details, little things that the artist has added in that makes up the bigger picture. I really like my colour stuff, it's kinda obsessive and I still need to definitely master colour theory if I want to make effective backgrounds for pirates. Even for the character designs I feel I could probably still do tons more sketches for the Burly guy (probably again this feeling of never doing enough.)
     Anyway I've rambled, what I'm basically trying to say is I enjoy doing character design and environments... and animating too. I'm not sure I've found a good strong point yet but like I've mentioned before, it's the smaller details that I like in concepts that really help the final picture have that much more charm...

Will probably edit this later. It's pretty much a ramble right now. :)

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Loose lips sync ships. Pirate ships.

A rough lip sync test, done in Flash. The song is You Give Love a Bad name by Bon Jovi. I enjoyed this, think I'll look into working in Flash more.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Thar be a ship!

Rough Model sheet for the Veggie ship which we're going to be modelling in 3D.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Burly Man expressions

Template from here

some Burly man expressions, he's becoming more and more fun to draw :) I think the silly expression was my favourite, just because of having to pull that face in the mirror for reference.

Hipster Colour Turnaround :)

With some much needed help from Kat, we have a coloured Hipster :D Going to fix a few things with shading but pretty happy!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Production Bible/Style Guide Cover

Front cover image for the production bible. Textures from CG textures.com, logo was drawn in illustrator/flash CS4, then compiled in PS CS4.

Final(ish) Crew! :D

Here we are! Our current crew for the Production Bible. Changes will inevitably be made but we're all pretty happy with this lineup. Choosing character designs has proven to be the hardest part so far!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Opinions urgently needed

Here are five different possible house styles we could end up using. I've numbered them one to five and we'd be eternally grateful if you could have a quick flick through and tell us which you like best. I'm afraid that not all the artists had time to put together a final layout and I can only offer some sketchbook pages to illustrate their styles. Please don't let that affect your choice. Let the voting begin.

1. There's no final line up for this style but hopefully these sketches can give you a good enough idea of what the characters would look like.


3. Again, no final line up. The designs outlined in black instead of blue are the final designs though.



Fisherman and Boy sketches

Thursday, 14 April 2011


I whipped up a quick logo to put at the top of the storyboard sheets. Based off of what I remember of a logo someone else drew (I think it was Suzanne, correct me if I'm wrong). Thoughts?

Two wee digi-doodles

Went back to an old hairstyle for the girl pirate - I was just wondering if folk preferred this duck's bum one or the one with the wee pony tail? Or indifferent?

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

More environments

Rough sketches and a few digital paintings :) Definitely need to use perspective lines next time..

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Some quick digi-drawings

Mostly drunk girl pirate. Some of these are a couple of months old now. First five are old, last two done today.

Drawn on a scan of a cachet earthbound whateveryacallit sketchbook page. Quite nice, should do it again.

Still quite like this hair-do... what do you think? Makes her look a bit like a coconut.

Friday, 1 April 2011

What's gonna happen...

I want to tell stories. Or I want to HELP tell stories at least. All kinds of stories. I reckon storyboarding is the way to go.

This aspiration is why I'm undertaking the storyboarding on Veggie Pirates, and Kieran and Mark and kindly let me have a go at re-doing the storyboarding their film. It's also why my dissertation will be discussing storyboarding and storyboard artists. This will give me both hands-on practice at storyboarding while simultaneously studying the craft - studying and comparing artists such as Hayao Miyazaki, Chris Sanders, Bill Peet and of course, directly being able to talk with Wayne. Studying camera angles and so on in films (both live action and animated, being careful to choose the best examples), and sketching them down to get a feel for it. The Bruce Block book will no doubt be of great help, as will Hans Bacher's Dream Worlds (specifically for animation). 

For Veggie Pirates, I'll be animating as well. We'll be studying animated and live action film, observing and acting out. The tone of the film is slapstick and over the top, and yet still epic (in my mind anyway), so thinking about and sourcing the appropriate reference material  is crucial.

Lynsey's Influences

This is a tough one.

I have HUNDREDS of bookmarks of blogs and websites of artists, not to mention following people on deviantart, images from other artists that I've saved onto my computer, art of books, graphic novels, manga, comics, dvds... to narrow it down to but a few influences will be tricky. I feel magpie-like when it comes to this.

HOWEVER, I shall persevere. There are no doubt people I'm going to miss out. This may be in some particular order, it may not, let's just see where it takes us. (Prepare for rambling and nostalgic tangents.)

Teen Titans (bear with me on this one)
Cool drawings by Brianne Drouhard aka. potato farm girl

What can I say? I was young and foolish (about 13 to be precise). I had little access to actually watching real, honest-to-goodness-made-in-Japan anime that I thought looked so cool and different. The choices were limited. Cartoon Network was offering me an American substitute, so I took them up on that offer. All in all, I still think it's a decent show, but the point of this entry is that it was probably what kick-started my desire to enter the field of animation. I would study these episodes, trawl the internet for production art (model sheets and sketches being particualrly coveted). I would then redraw the characters, put them into my own little comic stories that are now ridiculously embarrassing to remember. It made me curious about the animation process, led me to find blogs and websites of artists, gave me the drive to draw.

And I will forever have a soft spot for Beast Boy...

Katie Rice

I was one of those aspiring artists just a tad obsessed with anime and manga in my early teens, and got stuck in an art rut. It came to a point when I realised I wanted to stop trying to imitate this way of drawing characters. It wasn't me. Neither was copying 90s Disney. I was getting down about it. Then I found it - the Funny Cute blog. I hadn't seen anything like it before... and yet I had. There was all sorts of influences getting poured into her drawings(anime/manga, Warner Bros, Disney, European comic art... loads more no doubt), but they were utterly unique. And so, being young(er), I started copying her a bit instead. She made me realise that you could combine influences - thats sounds like a no-brainer, but it was a revelation to me at the time. Bring on the hybrid art! 

Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata (and pretty much any other person at Studio Ghibli)

I saw my first Ghibli film when I was 16. Film 4 were having a summer of showing Miyazaki films. My mind. Was. Blowntotinylittlepiecesofaweandwonderment. I had never felt so much emotion in an animated film. I liked how the character designs weren't super sparkly-eyed generic anime that I had been growing tired of. Sure, they were generic in their own way (I couldn't help but notice very familiar faces cropping up throughout the films), but I could forgive them that.
I particualrly love looking at Miyazaki's storyboards and story sketches - they could be percieved as crude and scrbbly, but the man can get his point across without polishing his drawings. With a few simple lines I can understand what's going on.

Chris Sanders

Co-director of Lilo and Stitch and How to Train Your Dragon (with Dean De Blois, who I really need to learn more about. Unfortunately he's not as internet-active as Sanders =( )
I love how he draws and how he thinks. He tells stories a bit like a child... but a with a sometimes dark sense of humour. His pin-up art is gorgeous. I would love to get my hands on more of his storyboards.

Alphonse Mucha (art noveau in general)

Art class in high school. Design. Art noveau or art deco. Choose.
Thats how it went. I chose the former every time. Beautiful, delicate flowing lines, women dressed like nymphs from a Greek myth. I think I always naturally drew in a more...flowy way, so this definatley appealed to me.

Disney (I know, shocker)
Milt Kahl - one of the GREATEST

I feel this one shouldn't take much explaining, really, but I'll go for it anyway.
Growing up, most of our videos were Disney films. The classics, and a few of the 90s ones, but with the exception of Aladdin, I prefered the older ones. It was at the end of Snow White, there was a short making-of featurette that actually revealed to me that this film was, in essence, a whole lotta drawings. Ah-HA! So that's how it's done! Another little revelation that stuck with me.
Now I can look at these films with a more critical eye - they are far from perfect. Some beautiful animation, sure - some of the best. But my goodness, if it was a choice between a Disney short and Looney Tunes, it's Looney Tunes all the way.
Sacchirine fluffiness aside, the individual artists that contributed to the films at Disney - Mary Blair, Bill Peet, Freddie Moore, the Nine Old Men... the list of awesome talent goes on and on.

Bill Watterson 

When visiting Gran and Grampa Schaschke, I would sometimes go exploring (read as: noseying about with little regard to grandparent's privacy. Not an issue when you're a kid, feeling a little guilty now)
Anywho, on one such expedition to Grampa's study, I found a bunch of comics books in his bookshelves. There was a tiger on the front, and a boy with spikey blonde hair. But more importantly, a tiger. This needed investigating. Grampa Schaschke was held in high esteem for many reasons, and one of them was the interesting stuff in his study.
I had found Calvin and Hobbes. I read all that Grampa had in an afternoon (which was a fair few collections) and my sides were hurting. Garfield could take a hike. This is the epitome of newspaper comics. Hilarious writing and wonderful drawing/watercolours, the energy, the expressions... it's a shame not much is heard from Watterson nowadays.

Mythology, legends folk and fairy tales

I've been interested in this (pretty big) area for a long time, but it's especially great to revisit them now I'm a bit older. There's some dark stuff in these, and it's FASCINATING (and a bit shocking to realise I read some of this stuff in primary school, completely going over my haed back then.. People will be using stories and characters from these age-old stories for years to come, retelling and remaking, twisting and sampling, making more relevant to the times.

Monkey Punch

My eyebrows nearly disappeared into my hairline when I first read a Lupin III manga. I had only seen the Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro film directed by Miyazaki - pretty family friendly. I was not expecting what appeared in the manga. It was grimy, sleazy, crude, unpolished, ridiculous and downright filthy at times. But I loved the poses he would draw, and it was unlike any manga I had seen before. So I kept reading, and bought a few more. He seemed to have quite a bit of influence from Western comic artists, and has a very lively and funny way of drawing.

Akira Toriyama

Early Dragonball, Dr. Slump = yes. Dragonball Z = nonononoNO. I know this makes me sound like such a douche, but I liked Toriyama's work before he hit the big time. In other words, before whoever worked out that stupidly long battle scenes and ridulously muscly men was going to bring in the moolah.
Pre-DBZ, Toriyama's art was really charming and funny. A bit dirty, but only a little bit. His work was rounder and more appealing, really quite cute. It looks like he put more effort into it. Perhaps he himself enjoyed drawing more in the early days. Maybe not.

Jamie Hewlett

So. Cool.

Looney Tunes

Albert Uderzo
I love European comics (as much as I can see of them) and Asterix is definately what got me into them. Uderzo openly admits that Disney is a huge style influence for him, but done so with a very continental flair and sense of humour. He draws some of the best noses.

Also, I think he's the master of speed/motion lines. 

Larry Mac Dougall


Paul Kidby

Best known for his Discworld cover art and illustration. I can't speak for everyone, of course, but almost all of his drawings of Terry Pratchett's characters are what I imagined them to be in my head. Spot on. The previous artist, Josh Kirby's covers were fantastic in their own way. They were wonderfully bizarre. You could spend ages looking at all the stuff he crammed in, all the tiny little details. However, I always thought that before making the cover for a book, he may have just had a flick through, jotted down a few notes on certain things that popped up in the book and just got on with it, letting his own imagination run wild. Kidby appears to study tiny details in the novel. His attention to detail is truly admirable. I would be most surprised if he didn't love these books.

Beautifully rendered, great caricatures, plenty of emotion and character in his drawings. If my dream to make an animated Discworld film/tv special ever comes true, I would definately base the character designs off of his drawings.

Pin-up art


Anyone who's had a flick through my sketchbooks will quickly discover I like drawing girls. And why the hell not? They're so much fun! And I must admit, I find it much easier to get variation in shapes for females. Pick up a women's magazine, there's almost always a section devoted to talking about "dressing for your shape". Pear shapes, hourglass, apple, cellos, flutes bananas...okay, so I made some of those up, but it's true!
Sometimes I feel a bit sheepish about this... am I saying it's okay to sexually objectify women? Urgh. I draw and admire them anyway. I really like the ones that are a bit different - a sense of humour, cartoony, women with imperfections and so on. I'm not a fan of the airbrushed riding-dragons, sort of realistic except for the ridiculous proportions type thing.
I could ponder this for ages, but I won't.

(Still a work in progress!)