Friday, 17 February 2012

Animatic redraft

This is the second shorter animatic.

The previous one was too long and the audience lost interest before it finished, so we shortened the script and screen play and re recorded the voice over so that it was more consistent.

James Tomkins re did the narration for me, this animatic was far shorter than the previous one but there are still a few pacing issues, we needed to try and shorten the story without losing any of the crucial plot points. This proved far more difficult that anticipated.

The main points we needed to keep in the story were:

-establish the Cat and Rat are friends at the beginning
-establish the race and its prize
-make sure the audience know that the Rat pushes the Cat into the river
-show that to this day the cat and rat are enemies (due to the rat tricking the cat)

These I considered the more important points to the story as it is mainly a story about the order of the zodiac and why the cat does not appear, and as to why cats and rats do not like each other.

I admitted to not being very god at animatics, I have a million ideas for it I just have poor execution when it comes to these things.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


This was the first rough draft of the animatic I drew up.

I have come to the conclusion that animatics are not my forte but I wanted to try and give them a go. This animatic was merely to sort our shots and the script.

James Waters did the voice over for this animatic, I just needed a rough dialogue track as I needed the narration to work out what shots went where.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


Originally James was in charge of the Ox's character design whilst I was busy doing the animatics. But after being told that James drawings were not professional enough, I offered to do the OX so that he could concentrate on re designing the Jade Emperor.

I went for a very simple design as the Ox is only a side character and merely a "boat" for our main 2 characters. So I went with the traditional musk Ox (I hope to never draw another Ox again).


Here I also did the character sheet for the Rat.

I went for a more simple design with the rat as he is the "bad guy" in this film. The cat is more friendly and approachable than the rat.

We didn't want to go for a plain black or brow rat as rats are often associated with disease. So we went for a dull purple colour so that he looked a little more friendly than you normals bog standard rat.
Purple can be considered "artificial" and this ties in with the Rat attitude towards the Cat in the film, so this was a nice link.

I also based the rat off of a character from an anime (this is also where I got the inspiration for the film) called Fruits Basket, in which 13 members of a family turn into one of the 12 animals (plus the cat) when touched by members of the opposite sex. A boy in this anime, called Yuki, turned into the rat. Our rat is influenced by him. I like to think of it as a little homage to the anime as it was where I first heard the Cat and Rat story.


This is the design I came up with for the cat. She is the main character of the story so I wanted her to be interesting and likeable.

I had a few ideas of how I wanted the character to look. To begin with I considered making her look similar to a Chinese Lucky Cat.

In the end I settled on this design, her design was influenced by a couple of things, the breed I chose was the Japanese Bobtail (minus the bobtail) The Japanese bob tail is also the same breed of cat that a lucky cat is based off of so I thought that was a subtle connection. I also used a paint splat effect to co inside with the water colour theme we are trying to achieve. I gave her blue eyes so that she stood out a little more and looked cute.


These were some notes me and Sarah made in the car, a veeeeery long car journey.

- Sort StoryBoards and look into the timing.
- Talk to James Water's about asking him to re-write the stroy into a screen play.
- Look into the dialogue of the character's.
- Experiment with watercolours and ink for the style.
- Character Designs.
- Environment Designs.


- Cherry Blossoms, Bamboo, Riverside, Middle of River.
- Arbour - Wooden Structure - Pravillion.

Characters -

Emeperor - (Chinese) Huangda
- Wear's Gold
- Look at the Emperor from Mulan. (Disney movie version)
- Either really fat or really skin.
- Wise (Aged)
- Tall or short.
- Eyebrows covering Eye's.
- Elegant and Graceful.
- Long robes (N-Cloth)
- Jewellery (?)
- Forbidden city
- Palace
- Look into famous Emperors (Jade Emperor)
- Sort out concepts.

Rat - (Chinese) Lao
- Male
- Young
- Mouse like
- Plain fur coat
- Olivia Walters drawing style

Cat - (Chinese) Mao
- Female
- Young
- Gullible
- Cute
- Like Lucky Cat - White fur - Collar red - Gold bell.
- Cute
- Medium cat sized

Sound Track
- Old traditional
- Chinese
- Instrumental
- No singing

Sound Effects
- Water Splashing
- Running water
- A Breeze

Narrarator suggestions -
- Matt Alford
- Lawrie Rose
- Rebert Bowles
- James Tomkins
- James Waters
- Jeff Chen

We wanted a male to do the voice over.


Who we wanted to Target
Do we want it to be fun, educational, serious.
How will the style effect the Audience

Monday, 6 February 2012

Style Influence

The style influence that Okami has and what I would like Cat and Rat to have is that of the old Japanese Woodblock prints and paintings known as Ukyio-e.

Ukiyo-e was very popular in Japan between the 17th and 20th century and has a very unique style to it that makes it very recognisable.

Okami took some influences from Ukiyo-e  but was more heavily influenced by Chinese watercolours and Sumi-e art. Sumi-e is known as ink and wash painting.

We wanted to have a similar feel to traditional art but be made in 3D for a distinct look.