February 10, 2009

bullyalien and bullyship layout

Finally I took a shot at making some designs for the bullies and their ship.
I already had a couple of sketches laying on the shelve for some time now. So just for the fun of it I attempted to translate them in illustrator.
I tried to keep the designs simple so there's room for suggestions. Please let me know what you think..


  1. Interesting Niels and nice to know you're exploding to design for the show, but how do you expect me to react on these designs? Like "Wow, this is so cool, I'm going to re-write the storyboard to get these designs in!"?

  2. I'm just sharing one of the ideas I had for some time, so do with it what you want. And like you said, the designs might be useful for episode2 (if there's ever going to be one. )
    Don't get me wrong, I made these drawings (for the biggest part) for my own fun. I think this blog should be buzzing with creative energie, and I'm just trying to contribute..
    Still I won't stop you to re-write the storyboard (haha). How is he/she doing by the way ?

  3. The storyboard goes much slower than I anticipated, because
    A) I stubbornly wanted to do it in Illustrator (& on my new Cintiq :). For me this project is about learning as well and I learned to not do it like that any time soon again.
    And B) I wanted to cover as many bases as possible, to do all the thinking ahead, so I 'lost' myself in parts of animation and design as well. The good news is, that I lived the Bullies throughout like this, which will come in handy for the following episodes of this episode ;)

    Realistically speaking I send around the new draft of the board around this week for 'test-reading', so the final version will be done before I'm on NON-speaking terms during Carnaval :) I make sure you get the draft as well, because I am not going to rebuild the backbone.

    Keep on pushing the energy in! And save a bit for later ;)

  4. I am glad to see you are exploring the design of the spaceship in a way that contributes to the story. Giving the ship the resemblance of a hair trimmer tells me these aliens KNOW what they are looking for. They come prepared. Not only does it help to give me an insight in their desire, it also potentially informs the manner by which they rob their victim of it's fur in a way that communicates more clearly than before.
    If anything, I would suggest to PUSH the reference even further and make the idea a clearer read. The top of the ship ( the part LEAST referring to a hair trimmer) i.m.o. distracts somewhat from the main idea.

    Judging by his comments M-Jay is confused about the exact purpose of a storyboard. Well, ...it is "STORY", hence the name STORY board.
    The focus of the storyboard should be on telling the story in the clearest and most entertaining way. It is not meant to lock down the exact 'look' or design of a particular prop or character or shot.
    Trying to render a storyboard in Illustrator is about as silly as attempting to give birth to a baby on the same night you are conceiving it. One thing at a time.
    Force yourself not to go beyond thumbnails or rough sketches. Allow yourself to discard the mistakes you WILL make, in a relatively painless way, instead of clinging to bad ideas because of your investment in their cosmetic appearance.

  5. I hope I'm not confused Wilbert, but this time I needed to simply feel why stuff is done the way it's been done.
    And again, since this 'Bullies' is a number-One, it's a project of love by volunteers and since I'm hard-headed anyway, I just want to live it's place on many bases already. Obviously, as the storyboarder I need to explore the possibilities only from the story-perspective, but as one of the producers I need to look at it from a technical one as well. I believe the investment I put in (painfully) will benefit in the end. And hopefully saves trouble later on.

  6. One thing I would keep in mind for the design of the spaceship, is that the way the story is set up (with its current staging), the "vehicle" doesn't really play a role, other than as a means to transport the aliens. The size-ratio of the aliens vs ship is quite important for both the action as the framing. Make the ship too big, and you will either lose most of it outside the frame or it will force you to reframe so wide that the aliens will appear tiny on screen, losing appeal and legibilty. I think it's advisable to invest in the characters first and treat the spaceship as secondary.
    Note on the characters...the fished shaped head with the big chin makes them look dumb. What I think is favorable about M's approach is that the bullies are clever but hairless (so despite their intelligence, unsuited for the world they are part of) as opposed to the hairy alien who is single minded, but at least warm. The bullies rely on their technology to be part of something they shouldnt be part of. I'd love to see that translating to their appearance.

  7. Thanks for you comments Fons.
    In the end I'm going to base my designs on the shapes M allready used in the storyboard. Still I' would like to have some reference of 'trimming/shaving' in the designs, maybe in the bullie-outfits.
    I like the idea of having more contrast between the bullies and hairy alien.