Wednesday, August 23, 2006

On top of the World

This image shows the other side of the farmhouse, we've added two bedroom windows onto the roof section.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sunrise on Tom's Farm

It is a crisp summer’s day in late August. The dew and mist slowly evaporate off the fields at the start of another day on the farm. This image shows the completed farm exterior model; see earlier posts for work-in-progress images. The grass is made using 3DS Max's hair & fur modifier.

Character Profile - Madeline Odd

Madeline is a relatively new addition to the series; she never featured in the original comic strips. As we started to develop the show we quickly realised we needed a new human female character that could interact with Rufus. We toyed with using Flossie but realised that this would mean changing her character quite a lot. So Madeline was born. We took two existing characters from the comic strip, Dr Donald Odd and Madam Madd, and made them into a married couple. As Donald Odd is a Victorian-esq man of science and Madam Madd is a crazy mystic type we thought the clashes of culture would make for an interesting dynamic.
Madeline is basically a mix of her parents which makes her one of the most rounded characters; she has less of the extremes of her parents. She is intelligent, confident and usually knows the best outcome to a situation. She will not force her views on others which can sometimes mean her opinion is not always heard.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Lorie - the rabbit that never was

During our tenure with Nelvana we had a conference call with an American writer whose name escapes me. She had a very good pedigree having worked on numerous animated shows as well as one or two live action comedies like The Cosby Show. During our discussions she suggested introducing a female rabbit called Lorie. To be honest neither Gordon nor I saw much mileage in the idea, but that’s just our opinion. Anyway, I did the quick sketch below to explore the possibilities. She’s a bit mumsy and not very exciting, probably because we weren’t set on fire by the concept. Just thought I'd share this with you, it’s a long time ago now and Lorie doesn't feature in our plans now. Onward and upwards eh!
Also worth mentioning, in a blatent attempt to get the number of comments up, its my birthday on Sunday! 23 already! Let the jokes commence.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Summer Magic

It’s been a busy few weeks. We haven’t posted much but there has been a lot going on. We appointed animation consultants Red & Blue Productions to help us bring the Farm to market. They have already provided some much needed advice. We had a meeting with them in London during the middle of the heat wave a couple of weeks ago. What we realised was that we have got something worthwhile but we needed to refine it in certain areas. There were questions about the tank to resolve, the age of Rufus, who the main characters were, even the name of the project has come under much scrutiny. (So don’t be surprised if the name changes!)

Since then we’ve had many discussions and we believe we’ve managed to address all the issues and make the project into a more coherent entity too. We’ve now got to do some rewriting on our pitch material and come up with a new script.

I had a week in Northumberland on holiday with my family. As we spent a few nights on a Farm and lots of time exploring castles, woods and gardens I’ve had lots of inspiration for the Farm! On one particular day we go caught in a heavy rain storm while we were in a thick forest. The rain hardly got through the tree canopy and it made everything really quite magical. This is me camping it up on the edge of the covering.
It really was a good day for thinking and I hope the new ideas will feed back into the show. I really like this next pic as it reminds me of a Totoro style landscape of tree-tunnels! We defiantly need to get some of this magical feeling into our farm.
This week we’ve had meetings about funding and we are hopeful that by the end of the year we might have our first animation tests of our main characters. I’ll let you know how this goes over the next few weeks.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Ding Dong the Bells are Ringing!

Sorry for the extreme lack of posts recently, Niel and myself have been very busy with Farm related work and our own illustration and animation jobs. (That's our excuse anyway!) As a reward, or punishment, for the huge gap in posts, I managed to locate one of my missing Farm paintings. I'm afraid that this is a scan of a pretty duff colour photocopy so apologies for the quality. For obvious reasons, Niel has the original as this was a wedding present for himself and his lovely wife Diane. Since this was done, Niel's hair seems to have slipped off his head and ended up on his chin.......surreal!