DC THOMSON: BEANO STUDIOS
Big Eggo: The Magician's Assistant. A 60 second animation featuring a re-imagined Beano Studios character, created by Dima Nowarah and Holly Summerson.
Dima and Holly knew early on the setting and general storyline for the film - Eggo would be in a magic show, make his egg disappear as a trick, and create chaos trying to get it back. This lead straight to character and set design.
Dima and Holly finished animating and editing the piece before the original deadline of Monday the 19th, and exported a maximum-quality video file of this version. With the extra week of time, they decided to make some minor adjustments, such as finessing the timings, improving the sound editing and adding lighting throughout. This was very beneficial and brought the film up to a higher standard.
However, one major issue was that, due to the number of large files, and limited disc space, Holly only had one copy of the final edited scenes. These were on an external hard drive which was dropped and broken beyond repair on the 20th of February. Luckily Dima had made sure that they had exported the high-quality render, and had saved it in multiple places. This allowed them to make the final adjustments, despite no longer having many of the original files.
Dima and Holly had originally been importing scenes directly from Adobe Photoshop into Adobe Premiere, which was causing the project to load and render very slowly, making editing difficult. Mike suggested a far better way, using Adobe AfterEffects to pre-render our scenes, meaning that they could be edited easily. The source compositions were then used for the final render. This added a small amount of extra work, but made the final editing much smoother.
For certain elements of the animation, they wanted to include texture but decided to add it later on in the process rather than during colouring. For these sections, they used block colours to later key out in Adobe After Effects. Mike Mullen was incredibly helpful in showing Dima and Holly how to replace one colour with their textures. In this image, keying was used to add texture to the egg in the magician's hat.
After the work in progress submission, Dima and Holly continued animating and colouring our scenes. They generally worked on the same pieces of animation that were divided up earlier on but kept in good communication. Decisions regarding the colour of the rabbit and the pattern and string-colour for the bunting were based on the established colour scheme and tone. These are examples of colour tests.
Work In Progress Submission
This submission combines the original animatic with line animation and coloured animation sequences. Music from a collection of Antique Phonograph records which is now out of copyright has been used. Bringing the existing animation sequences together has allowed Dima and Holly to adjust the film pacing, and illustrate an example of the final film.
To Outline or not to Outline?
For the few weeks before the Work In Progress screening, Holly continued with some of the line animation. Dima created the final background textures and began colouring the animated scenes. During this process, the decision was made to remove the outline from the animation sequences and use the rich colours of the backgrounds to define the characters instead.
In this image, the Eggo on the left has no black outline while the Eggo on the right does.
Final Background Outlines
Final Coloured Backgrounds
Animatic and Sound Guide
Dima and Holly created the animatic by placing the rough backgrounds and character positions on a timeline. This allowed them to experiment with timing and use the animatic is a representation of the final film. This will also be a template for placing the final animation sequences.
After recieving feedback, some minor changes will be made for the WIP submission on the 11th December. Most notably, Dima and Holly have re-thought the scene with the bowling ball and 3 hats, which will now be from Eggo’s perspective looking out onto the audience.
Initial Research and Sketches
Here is the finalised Big Eggo character design created by Holly and coloured by Dima. The tall magician is the original draft drawn by Holly as a work in progress that Dima would develop. Based on great feedback during the Live Pitch in Dundee, the differences between the two characters is now exaggerated - Eggo is elongated and elegant while the magician is now short and grumpy.
Dima and Holly discussed working together early on in the project and found that they had very similar ideas for redesigning Big Eggo. One of Holly's initial ideas was to set Eggo in a circus, which complimented Dima's visual idea of having Eggo in fishnets and heels. Together they developed the idea of Eggo working as a magician's assistant.
Original and Revised Storyboard
The Live Pitch on the 9th October was an incredible opportunity to utilise the Beano archive and receive feedback from the clients. Dima and Holly were advised to shorten the beginning and ending of the film and include a greater variety of viewpoints. Here is the original storyboard and the revised one.
Colour Tests and Background Designs
A brief narrative outline and production schedule from the live pitch PowerPoint. This schedule covers various elements including animation, colouring, music and sound design.
Narrative Outline and Production Schedule
The animatic was to be used as an opportunity to make more definite decisions about the layout of the film. To begin, Holly created A3 draft versions of the backgrounds. Holly and Dima then discussed possible alterations for the final versions and used smaller photo-copies as the base for the animatic drawings.
Dima experimented with potential textures and colour schemes, using line art from the storyboard. Although they are not as detailed as the final animation will be, they give some idea of the desired overall look.
This video will be made public with approval from DC Thomson.