Who is OM?

Back in the day, OM (the unnamed old man) was just that, and old man. Not only was he nameless, but he also had no depth. He was generic. But after the story discussions started (see story post) and we were fleshing him out, we started thinking of existing stories and what our underlying idea would be. Well, it’s pretty obvious, this would have the feeling of The Tortoise and the Hare. We didn’t want to copy it exactly, and we definitely wanted OM to be human, but there was nothing stopping us from making him feel like a turtle. Part way through character ideas, it all started to come together…

OM 1

Early sketch of OM when we started the turtle idea. He has a longer, wrinklier neck, tucked-in mouth and bald, elongated head.

OM 2

Cleaner sketch with some adjustments. Added the vest as a “shell”. Glasses were an option but didn’t stick.

It was a start, but not quite there. He was too normal. Too generic still. We needed some style. Something with more appeal…

OM Sketch 3

This was a LOT closer. I tried to get a nose with more beak, like a turtle, and sketched more rigid lines. He needed that “over 100″ look.

And, finally, we had OM right where we wanted him…

OM Sketch 4

A final color sketch. Since this sketch and during modeling, he’s changed a bit more.

Of course, I didn’t go in to every detail of how we ended up here (probably because I can’t remember half the brainstorm discussions) but I can tell you it took months. Lots of research about turtles, old men clothing and lots of Red Bull. LOTS of Red Bull… See you next post!

So what’s the story?

No need for a “Spoiler Alert!” label here. I’ll give you a little background about the story, maybe share a few pics, but the punchline is a secret until the end! So, here we go…

In the beginning…
So, at least 10 years ago, while delivering pizzas and totally not paying attention to anything besides the thoughts in my head, I thought up an idea about an old man, a scooter and a race. It was always an unfinished idea and it went through a bunch of phases while I developed it on my own. I always knew the old guy was going to drive through town and the real story would start when he was confronted by something much younger than himself. What I didn’t know was why he was bothering to race, what he cared about and, most importantly, how it would end. (Funny enough, there was a version where the old man’s powers came from Viagra! Probably not a family show…).

Bzzzzzzz...

Drawing from Redshift storyboards.

…and then the mind meld…

One night after a party, the three of us started talking (I think we were soberish) and I told them the very basic idea. Within minutes, there was pacing, talking, excitement. I knew it was a great decision to finally let this story out and take on a life of its own. After a few hours, we decided to move forward with a few ideas and talk more when we were in a better state of mind. But it was official – the old man had a reason to “live”. He had life and, more importantly, he had an end.

The old man (often referred to as OM) had gelled in to a grump who thought his life was over. At his age, what did he have left? He was alone, wandering the city on his scooter, only carrying his memories. He’s a tinkerer, passionate (especially about hot rods) and hard working… and in stereotypical old person fashion, he has no tolerance for younger people (especially those who play loud music from their tuner cars!).

Memories...

Drawing from Redshift storyboards.

…and, finally, in the middle was the end.
Finally, OM had an end. The best part was it came from the development of the bulk of the story. A man who has nothing left and really has plenty to live for. It takes OM reliving his life, realizing what he’s gone through and what he’s had to finally realize what he wants from the rest of his life. It became a story about living in the moment and appreciating that time instead of dwelling on what isn’t any more. It was so much more than Viagra. :D

Major character of Redshift

Drawing from Redshift storyboards. A major character in Redshift.

So, that’s where we are. You know enough to realize this isn’t a shallow story, it’s also action packed and, hopefully, hilarious. See you next post!

Hello Everybody!

Welcome to RE-Animation, a blog about an animation project started by three friends and creative “professionals”. Hopefully, we’ll have frequent updates about the project we’re working on and give everyone an inside look at the development, creativity and foolishness that is going on.

With that, here’s a brief description of the characters working on this show…

David “D3″ Darrow
Video Editor, Audio Designer
Having grown up during the beginnings of 3D animation, video games, digital audio, and of course personal computers, the steady advance of technology, especially for entertainment’s sake, has been a constant influence on David. Seeing how creative people use (and misuse) technology for creative expression is always inspiring to him.Originally studying music and lighting design in college, he found that people were willing to pay him money to play with their computers as long as they received things that resembled business reports, corporate presentations, and advertising brochures. Joining a startup at the beginning of the multimedia revolution, he continued to learn new ways of avoiding real work: interactive CDROM development, web design, video editing, and flash animation. Focusing on video led him to a job producing video for elearning, and now he works as an independent video producer/editor for a number of corporate and small-business clients.

The conundrum of working as a creative person in the business world has led him to this project, possibly as an entry into the entertainment world, or at least to work on something that doesn’t contain the words “core competencies”.

Micah Fegley
Director, 3D Modelor/Rigger/Animator
While other kids were absorbing their Vitamin D in the sun, Micah was learning ”Rocket Skate 101″ from Wile E Coyote.  Tom & Jerry were the guide to a loving sibling relationship.  G.I. Joe taught him that knowing was half the battle and that people never die when an airplane blows up from a direct hit with a missile.  But there was always something more.  Something he needed to do.  Was this his destiny?

After studying traditional art in college, teaching himself 3D modeling and texturing, working in video production and eLearning as a 3D Generalist, Micah finally realized his destiny, learning animation and graduating from Animation Mentor in September of 2011.  Quickly noticing the state of the economy and its effects on switching careers, he decided to revisit an old friend he conjured up over a decade ago (man, I’m old…).

While delivering pizzas for an unnamed-red-roofed-cola-owned-food-chain, Micah would use that time not to pay attention to the road, but live inside his brain, developing ideas for paintings, etchings and, of course, animations.  A seed was planted by a scooter advertisement on television and it has been growing ever since.  This animation, with the generous help of the rest of the team, will finally be realized, hopefully, before Micah needs a scooter of his own.

Kevin Connolly
Art Director, Look Dev, Texture Artist
In the first grade, Kevin was told to fold a page into 6 squares and draw the appropriate pictures, a simple enough task for most kids.  However, he was less than cooperative.  After many meetings between his parents and teacher, and many threats of failing the first grade, the truth finally came out.  It wasn’t that Kevin couldn’t fold the paper correctly – there just wasn’t enough room for his drawings.

So begins the life of a graphic designer.

There’s no question Kevin won’t stop to think about.  With degrees in Graphic Design and Philosophy, he’s equal parts designer/philosopher, the kind of guy who asks the questions that confound or annoy most others.  Luckily, if you’re reading this, you’re probably someone who’s likely to join in the discussion.

A designer by trade, a serial doodler by birth and a diehard Phillies fan by blood, Kevin’s role is to make sure the work is representing the emotion and vision the team has conceived. He’s the one who keeps it cohesive and visually stunning.  He also breaks up the fights between Micah and Dave.

So it can’t be that bad.  You read past the intros.  Hopefully the next update will be a little more interesting… and graphically enhanced with great production art.