October 21, 2009

Sneak Peek: Mr. Jack O' Lantern

With Halloween fast approaching, I can't help but think about Mr. Jack 'O Lantern, a project that's currently in development here at 2A!

It all spawned from a few sketches of mine that evolved into the final piece shown above. I loved how whimsical the image turned out to be, so I tried taking it into Flash to see how it'd animate. From there it just snowballed, and Mr. Jack is now on his way to being a fully animated short.

As soon as I knew I wanted more for Mr. Jack than a run cycle, I started making sketches and trying to flesh out a simple little story. The above sketch was for an idea I had where Mr. Jack can choose any pumpkin, carved or not, as his new head.

Making an animated short requires lots of work, so thankfully I have my coworkers here at the studio to help me. I created the above model sheet, with information from where all of his patches, tatters and tears are located, to how many stripes he has on each leg, to help keep Mr. Jack on model. These are important details to keep the consistency of the character as it passes from artist to artist.

So what do you think about the above test? I’m pretty happy with how he moves so far. I feel like there’s a classic look about the animation, and I think a lot of that is the way we move the legs. They have a very 1930's noodle feel to them, with a more stylized design that lends a freshness to that sort of animation treatment.

The gang and I hope to get Mr. Jack O’ Lantern finished in time for Halloween next year. You can bet you'll be the first to know when it's done! ;)

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