The Making of a Rat
I never quite know what to expect from a class, but this particular one really was a mystery to me. During my Winter 2019 quarter at SCAD I took a class called "Animated Digital Asset Development for the Illustrator." I wasn't sure what to expect and even more so, I wasn't disappointed. In this class I collaborated with three other students to create a fully developed pitch for an animated film or movie. The team leader was Trevor Osborne, who initially pitched the idea of Fluff and Order, and throughout the course we developed the story, characters, world, and final pitches. Our world was inhabited by stuffed animals, and had a cheesy 80's futuristic setting.
Tweaks was the character I developed and Undertown, the sewer city of lower Las Selegna, was the environment I developed. This is my process from start to finish!
Step 1 was to concept what this character would look like.
Overall, we liked the vibe and direction of the rat the best. He's supposed to be a homeless drug addict, so he's not the most majestic stuffed animal....
Initial asset development and concepting was very important to our development of Undertown and the rest of the city.
The colors were very important for his direction too. He went through several changes before we decided on a final design.
Grungy Green was the popular vote!
His props were next! His card board house, his donation sign, a thimble shoe that he only has on one foot, needles he uses to keep himself from falling apart, and a ladle and pot from his "Glory Days" aka his old dish washing job.
And finally the final assets and development of Tweaks! This was when we officially gave him a name and solid backstory. I also revised him to be more roughed up and dirty with his new props added to his turnaround. I also developed my final environment of a street entrance to Undertown.
My team and I had a lot of fun working on this project together, and who knows, maybe Trevor will pitch this story someday?
A Neverending Process
The artistic process can be very fun and very difficult at times. There is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into creating a single image. Hopefully, this post will provide some insight into the process I go through to create most of my illustrations.
I usually start by picking a topic and then thumbnailing ideas. For this project the subject was already provided, Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven," so the process was a bit faster and required less concepts.
I then go through all my thumbnails and pick some I'd like to pursue and explore more in depth. I usually only pick 2-4 to explore more, but that changes depending on the client or complexity of the project.
Value studies are usually next in the process, but sometimes i skip this step and jump straight into color. That decision is based on time constraints and project complexity.
From the explorations I choose the composition I want to explore and start gathering reference photos for lighting, rendering, color, etc.
Once I get the grayscale to a point where I like how everything is working together I start laying color down.
And then I render it like crazy! Finally, I get my final image.
I'm an illustrator who enjoys playing video games, harassing my ferrets and corgi, and drinking coffee on a rainy day.