perjantai 6. toukokuuta 2011

Animation references

I found it difficult to find any animation references on flying bats. So I captured these off a BBC documentary. These images are from bats catching fish China. They are apparently from the first ever footage filmed of bats catching fish!

torstai 5. toukokuuta 2011

Comic influences

European comics are very popular in Finland and there are a number of comic artists, who undoubtedly have had an influence on the style of my animation. In particular artist such as Hugo Pratt, Jean Giraud Moebius, Jean-Claude Mézières and Didier Comés.

Hugo Pratt being the creator of Corto Maltese, one of the best examples of traveller comics representing cultures from around the world, combining history with the life of early 20th century. The simple drawing style of Corto Maltese represents characters and costumes from different ethnicities in a memorable manner. This is the style that Pratt has used for his travel diaries during his numerous voyages from continent to continent. His drawing style is also easily applicable to animation.

The other artist who's influence I find undeniable is Jean Giraud. His visionary style and ideas in French comics since the 60s has been so remarkable that even famous film directors such as Ridley Scott and Luc Besson have invited him to create concepts for their films, such as Alien (1979), The Fifth Element (1997) and Disney's Tron (1982). Also in his later comics he adopted a dreamlike sci-fi style, which uses imaginary transformations to represent the surreal visions in his dreamlike visual stories. In this context I'm interested in his intuitive way of using metamorphosis.

keskiviikko 4. toukokuuta 2011

Sketches on some of the elements

Madagascan boats

Sri Lankan boats

A Flying fox

Useful anatomy for animation on bats.

A flying fox skeleton

More on influences for this animation

Since this animation is taking place in mostly natural environments, I would say that the works of director Terrence Malick has been a significant influence. In particular three of his four films involve natural elements as a significant part of storytelling, although dealing with different subjects that are not directly related to nature. With this style he is able to bring in the natural setting of these films more significantly into the picture, making elements such as water as important as the leading actors in the film. Also in this way he is creating a vivid ambiance to immerse the viewer more deeply into time and surroundings where the film takes place.

These films are: Days of Heaven (1978), which shows the life of the migrant worker in 1920s United States. The Thin Red Line (1999), showing the battle of Guadalcanal island during World War II. The New World (2005), which shows the encounters of British settlers with Native Americans of Virginia in 1607. These films all being period pieces, deal with subjects such as war, conquest and fight over inheritance, which don't seem be directly related to nature. But the director uses shots of the natural surroundings to establish the mood of the period and the effect of nature on humans and vice versa. Above all these films include stunning cinematography of nature with exceptional camera angles and under water photography created without the use of special effects.

Story Synopsis

The Curse of the Pirate Boy is the story of a 16-year-old boy with a harsh past, who's trying to escape his past. His childhood is spent on the streets, stealing for survival. Until one day he is marooned on a deserted island and ends up living in a cave with bats. He spends his days sailing and helping sailors at sea. But at night his past still haunts him, turning him into a bat. Once in his past there was a little girl, who made him enjoy his life briefly. But will he be able to free himself from his past?

Character concepts