Layout progress by Jill Dykxhoorn
Special thanks to Ben Ray, who composed the awesome music for our film! Check out his other work here. There are quite a few things missing in this version of the film, but at least we’re getting closer! We also have some layout updates. Keep looking for more updates!
This Saturday, January 21, East and West will be promoted at the Senior Soiree! This quarter we’re looking for animators, Houdini artists and layout artists. Clean-up and coloring begins in the spring! Look for us there!
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Now you know how the characters came to be, what about the world they inhabit? The following are a few development images and color keys done by our lovely art director, Jill Dykxhoorn.
Here is the first color script we did for the original animatic.
And enter Nathan Pierce (Totem). He was a lucky find, I stumbled upon him while looking for a subletter in a SCAD Facebook group while I was in California. He really helped us nail down the film’s aesthetic and standardize the overall look. Here are some pieces he created after reading the film’s beats:
We have fantastic talent on this film!
Sai’s color was a tough one to pin down, because no one could really think of definitive Western colors.
Someone let a big box of Prismacolor markers in the intern cube at Nickelodeon when I had my internship there in the fall of 2011. So, of course, I colored things with them. Look at that highlighter pink!
These color tests were done by Jill Dykxhoorn, the art director. We wanted to make sure he looked “West” and that he complemented Dong. Here, we both have NO CLUE what we want.
Jill put Sai’s colors in a greyscale because the values weren’t working quite like Dong’s.
Here she tried out a few variations of markings on the back, because we thought he looked a bit plain.
Sai went through many, many, MANY changes through the film’s progress. He started out inspired by the grungy dystopian style of Koji Morimoto:
Instead of representing the Western culture, Sai embodied the urban lifestyle.
He was a spray paint artist, and swung around the city’s many wires and cables.
Look at that chicken there in the bottom right. Yeah. That’s some good concept art.
By this time, we had decided to move the film in a different direction. The first step to doing this was making Sai a quadruped! This is another piece Sarah Menzel did for us.
Here is the process we went through with Liz Lundblade. We were going in an aesthetically pleasing direction, but Sai still wasn’t looking as creation-god-y as Dong. One thing we ended up keeping was the element of heraldry (example below).
More ferret/masked critters. Possible integration of Welsh Corgi.
Getting closer here, but still just looks too much like Dong, and doesn’t have the prestige Dong has, either.
Then I found this bear I drew in my sketchbook.
Drew some bears, testing out the shapes.
I thought lynx kind of looked like cat bears, and would lend itself to the aesthetic of a heraldic lion.
Some profiles. (Thank god I got rid of those ears.) Also, that dragon in the upper right corner I drew from Dan Woodling’s portfolio, because I liked the heaviness in the jaw.
Here we go! That’s more like it.
Elise: Dong had the fortune of not changing much over time. His designs were based off a kirin, the Chinese mythological animal.
This concept art was done by Sarah Menzel. Go check out her DeviantArt!
This was my original concept of having Dong and Sai able to fly.
He’s pretty much looking like he does in the film at this point.
I was watching Secret of Kells when I drew this, haha.
I didn’t feel like I had a good grasp of the shapes in his legs, so I drew some Clydesdale horses.
At this point, we brought Liz on and she took it from here!