Thursday, July 29, 2010

Senses Characters

(click on these guys to see'em bigger)

I have some new character art and designs to share with you! If you follow the blog, you may remember a series of animations I posted about a year ago from a project we developed at FableVision for the Denver Museum of Nature & Science called "Top 10 Traumas on the Trail." If not --> here's a refresher (with plenty of animation to watch). You can currently see that project in a fantastic exhibit at the museum called Expedition Health.

Well, the awesome crew from the museum came back to us with a request for a sequel! (I was of course, ecstatic!... There are few things I love more than combining animation and science). This new series of shorts features the same hiker with a new friend—and this time they're learning about how the makeup of our DNA alters how we perceive various sensations.

I started by revisiting earlier designs of the hiker character, and coming up with a few more. The original, who we call Spikey, is in pink.

We ended up going with (B), but realized we'd need to add ears so they'd be able to, well...hear.

Next, I designed some environments. Below are stills from a few of the opening segments. We start outside at stops along the trail, and then enter into the body to explain the scientific process. These are all painted in ArtRage, which is an app I still highly recommend.

And then it was on to the senses characters. We needed all 5 of them (touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing). I thought it would be most fun to have the characters become the body part that perceives the sense. Here's an early composite sketch.

There's also a bright little character named Poly (short for polymerase, which is an enzyme that reacts with DNA). We think of her as the engineer responsible for reading the blueprint of your genes. Some early sketches of her, below (we went with C):

And last but not least, the Brain.

(like I really needed to design another brain character...YES!)
He's the guy all the senses report to.

*Update: FableVision animator, Hannah O'Neal, asked me to dig up the alternates for the Brain. She inspired version (D) with a doodle she passed over to me. So many brains, so little time.

And here they all are in the final character lineup.

One more image to toss at you: a test that I did to make sure they worked on the background concept (devised to be a cool little factory & command center inside the body).

That's all for now! I like to think of these little sense guys as cute cousins to my weirdo brain character. I'll share a few of the final animations in the near future.


Hannah O'Neal said...

You should also post some the other "cooler" brain designs! Those are some of my favorites......not just because I helped on that part either!....ok maybe it is.....hahaha

Bob Flynn said...

Ooo! Good idea, I don't have that sketch handy but I'll put it up tomorrow. For those following, the amazing Hannah O'Neal did the bulk of the animation on these. (soon to come!)

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, I love that brain! :D

Carter Malouf said...

The Brain is awesome!!! One of my favs

Louise Smythe said...

really great, bob!

:: smo :: said...

haha wow these are great!!! i remember sherm posting an art rage tutorial a while back so i snagged it but never dabbled enough. i'm subconsciously afraid of backgrounds and digital paint, i really need to branch out and get to it, it looks fantastic here!

also...Brain Franklin?

SGlascoe said...

I LOVE the senses characters!! What a great idea!

Renee Kurilla said...

You KNOW I love the tongue most of all... enough to make him my ichat icon. :) His puddle of drool is the best. I can definitely testify to Hannah's animation being awesome as well!

Food and Drugs said...

A lot of talent here.

Juan Bauty said...

Amazing senses characters, so original!!!

Bob Flynn said...

Thanks everyone! Glad you like all of the guys from the senses troupe.

Good observation on "Ben Franklin"—I think of him that way myself.

I'll post a few of the animations soon.

James Sugrue said...

Hey, i just came across your stuff on "Autumn Society". Everything you do is killer! Your work is so inspirational!