Sunday, 27 April 2014

BlueZoo Work! (1st Piece Of Industry Work To Show)

Last August I landed my 1st job in the animation industry working for BlueZoo Animation Studio in London, straight after graduating from university!.It was a great experience and was my 1st taste of working in the industry!

Now a few months on I can now share with you the work I did for them! I worked on a number of different things but for the same project.
The project I was working on was called Project X.My job was to design characters and environments for a series of short 2D web animations for Oxford University Press.These were aimed at junior school level children

Overall I had to design and create...

  • A treasure island - I had to design illustrations of different areas on the map which were then made into a treasure map.
  • A comic strip- Designing a comic strip based on a script called 'The Space Muncher'.This involved designing each panel of the comic strip as well as designing the characters and spaceships for it.
  • Backgrounds-Various backgrounds in different locations.
  • Characters-Designing giants,villains and also space cat characters for the comic strip
  • Props-Protest signs for garden gnomes 

I have a lot of pencil drawings of designs for each bit of work i did but ill just display the final pieces for you.

I was really pleased with what I produced for them and they were really happy with the work.Ive been so looking forward to sharing this work with you guys and now I can finally post my very 1st work done in the animation industry!


I enjoyed creating these the most out of all the artwork I produced.I also believe they are the strongest pieces of work I did for them.It is also great to produce more background work for my portfolio as I hadn't done a lot in univeristy.They did take time to create but I was very pleased with the outcome and so was the client.

I had to design a number of different backgrounds for the project.To start I did few rough sketches to get some ideas.Then once these were signed off by the client I outlined/Block coloured them in Illustrator.Too save time with shading and lighting I imported the artwork created in Illustrator into Photoshop to complete each artwork.


One of the first backgrounds I designed was for a deserted mineshaft.The client wanted it to have tools in the foreground as well as some old lamps to add some atmosphere to the background.The mineshaft has to be one of my favourites.

To complete the background in Photoshop I added some lighting effects for the lamps as well as some shadows and darker shadows to add some depth.

Countryside 1 

I had to design two countryside backgrounds.The 1st was just a shot of a country path leading into some fields with a few oak trees.

I finally imported the artwork into Photoshop to add shadows and a little bit of lighting on areas of the grass.I also added the sun and some flowers in the foreground.

 Countryside 2

For the second countryside background I was asked to design a shot from the top of hill in the beautiful British countryside!! This shot would overlook a number of fields with farm animals grazing.For the foreground I decided to place a stream with two trees either side of it.This stream would continue on to the background.Having the two trees either side I thought would create an area between them for the background to be seen through.I was asked for these trees to have blossom in them but this was something I decided to add later in Photoshop.

After adding block colour this was taken into Photoshop where a lot of effects were added.A very faint texture was added to the stream to show the rocks under the water.Shading and lighting from the bright sun were added.

The blossom I feel brings the background to life and also closes the background in slightly.

A few other things were added later such as sheep and a tractor in the field in the distance.

 Creepy Cave

The third background I had to create was inside of a creepy looking cave.I was asked to place a light source coming from the roof of the cave to light a certain area that the characters maybe interacting in.

Once taking this into Photoshop I add a cloud effect to the area where the light beam was.This gave it an effect that the air was dusty.

Spooky Forest

The 5th background I had to do was a spooky forest or haunted forest.I was asked to add creepy eyes in the trees as well as some animals like owls and bats hanging from the bent brances.I had an idea of making one of the branches in the shape of a claw or hand.The client liked this idea so I went with it placing it in front of the glowing moon to make it stand out.I think what really makes it spooky looking is the use of colour and also the mist that is lurking around the bases of the trees.

Colour Test 1

When I finished this background I tried out a few different overlays of colour to see if it changed the atmosphere slightly.
This colour worked well as it made it look cold and eery.The blue overall gives it a better night effect

Colour Test 2

This was the original colour I think before an overlay was placed on top of it.I like it but It lacks something but I'm not too sure what that is!

Colour Test 3

This colour test is very similar to the original.The only difference is theres a slight orange overall on top of it which has made the light from the moon much more noticeable.

Final Design

In the end I decided to go with this background.

 Forest With Deer

The final background was again set in a forest but this time less spooky! I was asked to create a scene that would be set deep in a forest with deers in it.

Again I decided to have a river flowing through the background.

I like the effect I created with the light coming through the trees.The dust particulars work nicely.This background was the final one I did for this section of the project

Like the spooky forest background I decided to add an overlay to see if it would look any better.Here I added an orange overall to give the background a more warm feel.I think the client chose this one in the end.

The Space Muncher Comic Strip

Another piece of work I was asked to create was a comic strip.I was given a script from the client called "The Space Muncher".For this I had to design the character and the spaceships going by the descriptions in the script.These character were....

Agent Cat spin- Good guy
Captain Catroll- Good guy 
Agent Cazoo- Good guy
Professor Zotoc -The villain

I also had to design the ships which each character would fly across space in, as well as the villain's ship "The Space Muncher" which is a ship which looks like it has a mouth at the front of it.One of the characters ships had to be green the other was orange.

I was only asked to make the art work for the comic strip as someone else within the company was adding the text later on after it was complete.

Drawing Of Comic Strip

After being told roughly how they wanted the layout and after changing a few shots after recieveing  feedback.I was ready to make a start on outlining my drawing.Here is the pencil drawn version of the comic strip.

Outline Of Comic Strip

Here is the outlined version of the comic strip created in illustrator

Space Tests

Because the scenes were set in space I needed to create some space backgrounds in Photoshop.I found a really cool way of creating a space scene with nebula

The think colours work really well.

This one is of a planet that was also created in Photoshop after finding a really useful tutorial online

These would then be used on almost every shot in the comic strip

Final Coloured Design

After setting up the outline and creating the space backgrounds I then moved onto colouring up this bad boy!
Each colour had its own layer which made it easier to changed colours if I needed to or if the client wanted me to change them.I used a few glow effects on the artwork for things such as the rockets on the ships and also the laser beams that were fired from one of the main characters ships.This took the longest out of all of the work I had to do but it was a good experience by creating a comic strip from a script which Ive never done in the past.I haven't seen the final piece with the text but I'm sure the kids will love it!

Obviously without text its not as easy to know whats going on but I think if you have an imagination you can work it out for yourselves!! Pretty pleased with how it turned out!

Character Design

As well designing backgrounds I also had to design a few characters.The 1st characters I had to design were the kids of the giant from Jack And The Beanstalk.I had to design both a boy and girl kid giant.These were brother and sister so I had to make their features very similar.Here are few design sheets for each character 

Kid Giants

Before I started I did a few rough designs of the kid giants.Once the client had picked what one they liked I could move on and make a little design pack for both of them.After these characters were completed I had to split up their body parts so that they could be animated.


With both characters I tried keep facial features and hair similar.As you can see from Anastasia's design I incorporated the beanstalk into her hair by adding leaves and little curls.

This was outlined in Illustrator and then finally finished off in Photoshop.


Archie is the younger of the two siblings so I had to make him look slightly younger.

I tried out a variety of different outline styles as well as trying out a few different styles of the design of the character.

I was asked to put together a few expressions of the character as well.This was used as a bit of reference for the animator.

Here is a design for Archie's club

Giants Castle-Kitchen Background

This was the 1st background I did for Blue-zoo. I was told that they needed a background designed for the inside of the giants kitchen at the top of the beanstalk.This scene would be used for a shot where the two kid giants would be speaking to each other while sitting at the kitchen table.

Sketch Up Design

After sketching a few ideas and then picking the final one I made my design in sketch up so that I could get the perceptive spot on.

Block Colour

Once I outlined the sketch up model in illustrator I then added some block colour.As you can see I had to give the impressions that they were giants.To do this I placed trees on their plates.Out of the window you can see the beanstalk.And finally on the table you can see the golden eggs from the Jack And The Beanstalk story.

Adding Archie to the background gave me an idea to see how he would fit into it

Final Design

 After completing the design in illustrator I then imported it into Photoshop where I added light and shadow.

I then placed both characters into the background to show the client what the shot may look like before animating.

Gnome Logos And Protest Signs

These design were the 1st things I was asked to do.I basically had to design some protest signs which some garden gnomes would be holding up in a scene protesting against being made to move out of the their garden homes.

I can't remember now what the H.U.G.G initials stood for but it was something about a team of gnomes. The colour scheme was inspired by the Star Bucks logo if you didn't already guess!

These are a few sign mock ups I made in Photoshop.


Ginger Bread Man

Ginger bread man illustration I had to colour up


Villain Character Designs

 Finally I had to design some villain character which I think would act as the main villains in the online series.There were 3 characters I was asked to design and these were all designed in pencil sketches 1st before getting the all clear from the clients

Villain 1

 I was given a description of the character and then from that I came up with this creepy looking guy!

Villain 2

The description for this character was that she is witch like with a long cap and dress.I was also asked to give her a staff.I got some inspiration from some Disney villains.

Villain 3

 The description for this character was that he is like a Bond villain.There are some similarities here to the Bond villain Blofeld. Very evil indeed!!

Overall I was extremely pleased with the work I produced for Blue-zoo and I hope they liked the work as well.It was brilliant to start off in an animation company that is well known throughout the UK.I also believe it gave a great feel for what its like working for a client and also in the industry.Id like to thank BlueZoo for making me welcome last year when came to work for them.Thanks!

Thats all for now! More personally coming work soon 

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