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Spring 2012 Update

April 15, 2012 in East and West

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!

Senior Soiree Winter 2012

January 19, 2012 in East and West

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!

If you haven’t already, follow us on Facebook!

The World of East and West

January 10, 2012 in Crew, East and West

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:

Lastly, a fantastic first half of the color script by Jill. The layout artists use this and the animatic to create the layouts!

We have fantastic talent on this film!

The Color of West

November 5, 2011 in East and West

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.

This pink salmon color just wasn’t working on him. 26 is the closest, we’re.gradually closing in on the final color scheme…

Ta-da! This version is on the business card we’ll hand out at the upcoming Winter Senior Soiree!

How Sai Came To Be

October 19, 2011 in East and West

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.

Finally, Sai’s design is finalized! Next up: color!

How Dong Came To Be

September 19, 2011 in East and West

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.

Flor-de-lis tail!

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!

Dongs, Dongs, and Dongs

September 6, 2011 in East and West

Elise: I’ve been looking at Dong’s color swatches all day, and I thought people might like to see how seriously we take colors in this film!

The first one to take a stab at Dong’s colors was Karyn, our animation director. Our art director, Jill, then took these three ideas and expanded them…

She made a ton of varieties! She made it to where we could switch the background to other colors so we could see how he’d stand out against different background. The background now is a color key she did of East.

She also made a greyscale version so we could determine effective tonality.

We’re getting closer, but it’s still not quite “main character colors”.

The director, Elise, did some studies with a zebra pen and gouache. Who says you never learn anything useful on the back of a cereal box?

Elise: I like the very middle yellow one because it looks like a pomeranian puppy!

HERE we go, that’s more like it! The bottom right is what we went with.The whole red lion mane was making him look to Simba-y.

So that’s the progression of Dong’s colors! Next up: Sai!




“East and West” Update – Liz Lundblade

July 5, 2011 in Crew, East and West

We’re so proud of our concept artist, Elisabath Lundblade! She unfortunately had to leave the project to focus on academics and other pursuits. Check out her portfolio here! Here’s some of the artwork she’s done for our film:

Dong Silhouettes

 We originally brought Liz on because we felt our designs for the characters were a bit stale. These are the first things Liz made for us. We liked A-9, but ultimately went with A-11.

Dong Variations

 She then took A-11 and created these ideas! These are still some of my favorite pieces of hers for the film.

Early Sai Variations

After Dong was hammered out, we moved to the Sai character. We had originally wanted him to be slinky and ferret-like. I liked these patterns a lot, but they would be difficult to animate! Below you’ll see we went for a more heraldic character. Liz was a really dedicated and responsible artist and a true pleasure to work with. May we meet again on future projects!

Sai Variation