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Progress So Far: part I 

Concept Arts

Alyssa, our concept artist, had created several sketches and illustrations in late March 2020 to visualize our characters and environment. Initially, the characters were both males; a boy and his grandpa. 

Concept Arts

Early character designs of the boy and the grandpa by Alyssa Lee

We went through many iterations, exploring different body shapes to contrast the two characters, and we ended up deciding to change the little boy to a little girl instead. We felt that two opposing genders would have a more dynamic and interesting relationship. We were also inspired by Pixar’s Sparkshorts Wind, which focuses on a boy and his grandma. So Alyssa went ahead and made adjustments to the kid’s proportion as well as the hairstyle. Likewise, we went through different variations for her look:


Revised character designs from a boy to a girl by Alyssa Lee

In the first week of April, Alyssa also created a colored version of these character designs so we can figure out the color palette associated with these two characters. Amanda and I then made slight adjustments in Photoshop to make them more Indonesian-looking.


(left) Original colored character design by Alyssa Lee

(right) Alterations by Amanda Jayapurna and me


(left) Original front and profile design of the grandpa by Alyssa Lee

(right) Alterations by Amanda Jayapurna and me

We also asked Alyssa to create a profile view of the grandpa character to ease the 3D sculpting process for Andreas. We learned that while things may look fine from the front view, sometimes they may look whacky from other angles. In our case, the grandpa’s proportion looked really off in the side view, even though we’ve aligned all the features with his front view. So Amanda and I went back to Photoshop to adjust the general line of action and proportion to fit the pose of a grandpa.

Besides the characters, Alyssa also did concept arts for our interior and exterior environment. It’s a shame that many of her works on this didn’t end up being used for the short film (more on this in a later chapter), but here is a gallery of her beautiful works on our environment design, highlighting Indonesian architectures and furniture!


Exterior and interior environment concept arts of the grandpa's house and kite garage by Alyssa Lee

Character Modeling

Meanwhile, our character modeler Andreas had started sculpting the early version of our girl character based off Alyssa’s concept arts. I applied basic shaders and colors to his model to better visualize the character in 3D space. Here’s what our first version of the girl character looked like as of late April 2020, though much has changed ever since, but more on this in a later chapter!

Character Modeling

(left) Early 3D sculpt of our girl character by Andreas Smidt

(right) Basic color applied by me

After working on the girl’s model, Andreas started sculpting the grandpa. He blocked out the main shapes following our concept art carefully. Here's our early version of it as of late May 2020:


Early 3D sculpt of our grandpa character by Andreas Smidt

2D Animatic (Early Version)

This is the trickiest part of the production so far (a lot more tricky stuff in later chapters). Most of us had really little to no experience with storyboarding before, let alone for a short film (I only took the storyboarding class at SCAD sometime after). Nate and Amanda stood up, took the role, and split up the work (Amanda did the first half, Nate did the second)! After receiving the storyboard panels, I stitched them all together into a video and added some sound fx here and there; in other words, I turned the storyboards into a 2D animatic, which is essentially our very early version of the whole short film. Here's how it looked like back in late April 2020:

2D Animatic

Early version of the 2D animatic by me, soryboards by Nate Huseth and Amanda Jayapurna

But of course, like any other filmmaking process, we went through quite a bit of change in our story along the way (that's an understatement; we had MAJOR changes) and thus having to revised our storyboards and animatic. I'll talk more about this in chapter 7 (yes, it needs a whole chapter dedicated to this), so you can jump ahead if you want to see our final version of the animatic, but I suggest you wait till you get there!

Chapter cover by Alyssa Lee

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