My inspiration

So who/what inspires me to do what I do? To be honest, a lot of things and a lot of people. In each cartoon, Anime and animated film I feel inspired to create something just as good. However, there’s a small group of people that inspire me that little bit more. The man who first inspired me to pursue animation was Pendleton Ward, the creator of the popular animated series Adventure Time. At first glimpse Adventure Time looks to be a silly random cartoon just like most but in actual fact the series has deep emotion and intense stories. This cartoon is unlike any other and it showed me that even plain cartoons aren’t so plain and have the chance to become something amazing! 
Another inspiration of mine is Natasha Allergi. She worked as a storyboard revisionist for Adventure Time but that’s not why she inspires me. I look up to her more for her work on Bee and PuppyCat, a short video she created and produced herself for Frederator Studios‘ YouTube channel, Cartoon Hangover. When I first saw Bee and PuppyCat I fell in love, this animated short keeps you wrapped up in its story from start to finish, the charters are drawn beautifully and its become so popular a future series is being worked on.
The Third Person who’s inspired me is Rebecca Sugar. She’s also been involved with the animated series Adventure Time but I love her for her cartoon series Steven Universe. Steven Universe is a brilliant series! It’s cute, It’s funny and I can’t get enough of it! I love everything about it, The characters, the stories and the art. Whenever I watch Steven Universe I become entranced in each episode and nothing can pull me away. 
So, if you love cartoons, animation or drawing like me, I suggest you look these guys up and their work (if you haven’t already). Their work is amazing and each person has their own unique way of creating these animations.

Year 3 Overview – Blog Content

This blog post will contain links to my work which is divided between two modules, Independent practice and Creative Futures.

Independent practice

Before I knew what my Final Major Project was I outlined myself some goals to start with, these goals followed a main, second and tertiary goal.

Major Project Goals

When I finally decided on a plot for my FMP I did another post emphasising these goals in relation to my project idea

Major Project Goals – Finalised

After I laid out some goals I then came up with 5 different scenarios. These were simple ideas and I tried to imagine them from the perspective of my main character, Hugo

Narrative idea 1

Narrative idea 2

Narrative idea 3

Narrative idea 4

Narrative idea 5

I also began researching a developing on children’s anatomy as Hugo was an age of 5. I also researched dog and their anatomy. I then started working on character designs for Hugo and not long after I also began working on some storyboard’s.

How to draw children 1

How to draw children 2

Character Design 1

Character design 2

Storyboard roughs

Hugo Emotions

Hugo reactions

Dog research

Dog sketches

At this stage I was in full development of the Hugo and his surroundings. At this point I was beginning to think on what software to use and how I wanted my animation to look – Style. I ran a few tests using different approaches.

Software Research


OpenToonz test

Photoshop test

Photoshop test 2

Watercolour test 1

Watercolour test 2

watercolour test 3

Paper cut out test

I tried out a lot of different approaches on how to animate Ukiyo, in the end I chose to use ToonBoom. This was because it was quicker and easier to do in order to make sure I had a completed version of Ukiyo. If I was to choose a style now I would have carried on with the watercolours and hoped to have a completed watercolour animation, I would like to do this in my own time.

Creative futures

My creative futures project was a slow start and at first i wasn’t show at all what to do. I knew I wanted to do an animation for the place I lived in and studied, Hull, as it was the city of culture and it meant something to me. I then began thinking what hull meant to me and that’s where it all started.

Project introduction

Project synopsis and sketches 

I pretty much already had the locations figured, I just needed to create a storyboard.



The most difficult part of this project animation was how to animate it. I wanted it to be a smooth paced animation that went from one location to another without too much fuss in between scenes, much like the ones I shared on my blog as part of research.

Celebratory animation research

ToonBoom test

I later decided to work in Photoshop drawing up the scenes and animating in ToonBoom.

Photoshop update

Update 2


I then made a few changes to the locations which are explained in a blog post. I also reflected on my choice of style and approach and found new shortcuts to quicken my workload progress.



This animation ran into a few problems last minute and left me with no choice but to change approach. This wasn’t a terrible issue however it did result in the animation pace to be a little bit off. I’m happy with my choice of style however if I knew I would of run into this problem i would of spent a little more time tweaking the animation to make the pacing right.

We Are Diverse – Completed

This is the completed version of We Are Diverse that I showed at the degree show. There was some issues on the day and the files couldn’t be exported unless they were SWF files which is no longer supported in Adobe Premiere. Speaking to someone who has experience he suggested exporting all the frames individually and piecing them together in Premiere that way. The animation is off pace a little due to this but it is still moving!

Ukiyo – Completed

The final version of Ukiyo that got shown at the Degree Show. It is a lot shorter than originally planned due to lack of time and I chose a digital approach however, I would like to work on it a little more in my own time to create it in watercolours the way I had planned.

FMP Dog References

I have been doing picture research for the fog that will pull Hugo out of the water. I was originally planning on making it a Labrador when I was recommended a short-haired pointer which I preferred and it’s a working dog so the physical strength works out well too.

Creative Futures Reflection

When it came to drawing up some of the landscapes I’ve learnt that they take time. The Great Wall of China took longer than the rest as I coloured all the trees individually and looking back I could have copied and pasted the trees and slightly changing them. This would have saved me a few hours.

I took this on board when it came to the mount Rushmore scene. There’s a lot of loose bricks and rubble below the faces, I did a few bricks and just duplicated the layer, merged and repeated. I did the same for some of the trees. This resulted in much less time.

This is a more efficient and effective way of doing it.

Creative Futures Update #4

The locations in the animation have changed. The original locations in order –

  • Mount Fuji
  • Great Wall Of China
  • Taj Mahal
  • The Kaaba
  • Egyptian Pyramids
  • The Tower Of Pisa
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • Hull

Now the loactions are

  • Mount Fuji
  • Great Wall Of China
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Egyptian Pyramids
  • The Tower Of Pisa
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • Hull

These we’ve completely cut of the Taj Mahal and The Kaaba. This is because both the Taj Mahal and the Kaaba would have been complicated and slowed down the animating process and with such little time I made some cuts. I also added Mount Rushmore because I felt the animation needed to include an American monument. The other monuments already chosen are nicely spread out around the eastern side of the world, it felt wrong not to include at least one western monument.

Client Project

The Hull animation which I like to call “We Are Diverse” is currently being worked on. It has been a very slow progress because the locations are first drawn in Photoshop then important into toom boom and more animation is added using that software. Hopefully it should pick up soon and the style is coming through amazingly, I’m really happy with how it looks just the progression is too slow.

See below a couple of the shots that I’ve drawn up in Photoshop

FUJI Print

GW Print

Ukiyo paper cutout look – test

The animation Ukiyo has taken a change in style and although I’m still using studio Ghibli as influence it’s not going to all be digital. I want to watercolour some scenes and use layers of backgrounds that are hand painted and for the parts that need animating such as the protagonist Hugo or the trees blowing from a breeze I will do in Photoshop. I will attempt to get as close as I can to the watercolour style when using Photoshop however if this fails to work out I have a back up plan of using the Line tester to animated the boy instead. However, this is my very last resort as it is not the style or feel I want at all.
Below are some pictures that show Hugo in a paper cut out which gives a sense of how the animation would look if I took this path.

I do now have a full cut out of him which I will take a picture of and upload. As I have said this is a very last resort that I hope to avoid. I personally don’t believe this style would compliment the animation in the same way as the style I’m trying to create.