11 Second Club – February 2015

It’s about time I get back to it, right? The animations don’t make themselves. And I can’t win the competitions, nor have my work seen, nor build experience, if I sit on my hands all day. So off I go!

The audio for this month’s 11 Second Club is from the television show “True Detectives”. It’s a contemplative, relaxed performance from Matt McConnaughey and my first thought was to have Matt driving in a car, babbling to himself. That would be so perfect, but too obvious.

The line reads:

“See, everything outside our dimension.. that’s eternity. To us, it’s a sphere. To them, it’s a circle.”

I spent some time trying to figure out the meaning, which is difficult as the audio is taken out of context. However, thinking of dimensions, in general, and more specifically regarding 2d and 3d animation, I could start to see a connection.

3D is all about the sphere; 2D all about the flat circle.

My thoughts started taking me places I didn’t want to go – intelligent places where words have meanings which are visualized in an amazing concept traversing multiple dimensions of time, space and physics.

Look, I’m just a monkey. Let other people do the deep thinking. Basically, I just want to see a guy sitting up in a tree, smoking a cigarillo and babbling to himself, while a couple of squirrels gather nuts.

concept sketch

I’d love to see the squirrels jamming nuts in their cheeks when suddenly, the man begins orating. The squirrels look at him as if he’s insane – which he quite possibly is! There will possibly be some very minor camera movement, but no cuts.

Squirrel concepts:
squirrel concept

squirrel concept

But before making the characters or starting animation, the first, most important step, is creating the tree on which the characters will be stationed. I harkened back to a waterpainting post I did some time ago regarding the amazing artistry from the Winnie-the-Pooh movies.

pooh tree

Finally, placing the character concepts.


Next up, refining the man and the squirrels, learning all about cigarette smoke, determining how many nuts a squirrel can actually shove in it’s cheeks (and if I want to set a new record), and stylized mouth shapes for the lip sync. I can also picture blurred leaves and branches in the background, against a lovely gradient sky.

After such a long break, it’s nice to be back creating something again. Until next time!