Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Background Design

When creating the backgrounds for The Robin I really wanted to keep them simple and try to create a tone and feel rather than a focus. The first step was to take out any black lines from the elements, like you see in a lot of TV cartoons. By doing this it would enable the focus to be on the characters within the story instead of diverting attention to background elements.

Creating a sense of scale was also important as the robin is a very small bird and making this world believable meant creating a world that seemed a lot bigger in comparison. In order to achieve this shots that featured the seed and bird tables were kept very low, increasing the amount of sky. In creating these particular backgrounds, with two thirds sky, meant that the robin constantly looked smaller against the vast openness of yellow. With the introduction of the pigeons, perspective was needed less as the physical nature of the pigeon against the robin was already very imposing and belittling. This helped a lot in creating different and more interesting shots as I wasn't concentrating to heavily on low perspective.

Another key task in creating all the different backgrounds was to create a simple plan of the garden. This allowed me to move a camera around and see what was in shot. It was also key to remembering where I'd put all the different trees and bushes and where they would be in relation to say the house and the tables. Nothing worse than a continuity error!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Style Design

When thinking of the style for The Robin I firstly thought of how the script was written. The story was simple and heartwarming. The style therefore needed to reflect that. Warm, friendly and over all, simple. For me this conjured up round edges, no sharp lines, warm colours, to keep it friendly. Something reminiscent of childhood.

The story is set in the morning, this allowed for a rich colour scheme. Making the sky orange created an instant warm and friendly outlook. By having the sun rise slowly over the course of the story meant that we could include long shadows adding to the depth and overall colour scheme. Going back to the simplicity of the film I tried to limit the palette both in saturation and amount of colours. Sticking to greens, oranges, yellows and browns really helped to set the tone for the film. I have always been a fan of loosing a lot of the saturation in the backgrounds and adding it in the characters. I feel that it makes the animation pop and your focus is more on the action rather than the aesthetics of the world.

When it came to creating the props and backdrops of each shot it was time to look around for inspiration. We had our colour scheme but now to find a method of creating this world. I have to credit one video from a Swedish animation and illustration house called BRIKK named PAR – Think big. I had favourited the video on Vimeo weeks before and it struck me as being something that would be perfect for The Robin. Obviously not copying it, I took bits from it that I liked. I had always enjoyed using the dry brushes you get in Photoshop and loved the way they were used in BRIKK's video. Also the thick black lines would also really help to distinguish the elements like the bird table from the large expanse of the garden. By incorporating these techniques, using the dry brush in the background and solid colour with black line in the foreground, the style was coming to together. Now how would the characters look within this world?

Monday, 3 June 2013

What its all about

You've just woken up. It's freezing cold inside and out. Your stomach is rumbling. You go downstairs to settle your hunger pains. You pour yourself a bowl of cereal and throw away the empty box and as you're about to swallow your first spoonful two pigeons shoot through your open window, knock you off your chair and gobble up your porridge. Now imagine that you're a tiny little Robin whose survival of winter depends entirely on your breakfast. What would you do to make sure you don't go hungry? Just about anything, right?

The Robin is set to be a great short film due out at the end of the year. Produced by two guys, Tom Sanders and Will Long, who have a passion for animation, filmmaking and all things fun! This blog is setting out to take you through the process of how the film is being made. From script to design, animation to the end product. 

We hope its informative and fun and that we can all learn something from this fantastic process! Lets make a film!

About Us

Writer and Co-Director
William Long fell in love with films as a child from the moment he first watched Jurassic Park. Whilst growing up he watched as many films as his parents would allow and started to make his own as a teenager. He then went on to study animation and film at a London university and left with a degree in filmmaking.

He currently works in London as a freelance filmmaker. Jurassic Park is still his favourite movie.

Website -
Email - indeduous@gmail.com

Animator and Co-Director
Tom Sanders found a love of drawing cartoons at the age of 8, continued drawing throughout school, literally sometimes, his books are littered with more doodles than words. Found the art of animation in his final year and went onto uni. Graduated with a degree in character animation and has not stopped bringing characters to life since.

He is currently freelancing 2D animation in London making films commercially, corporately and  personally. Love animation!

Showreel - https://vimeo.com/60891422
Website - www.tomsandersanimation.com
Email - tcs16@hotmail.com