Fruut the Ugly Griffin Part 9

Philip Hunt from Studio AKA came in today to look at our projects. He told me to check out Tyrannosaurus Drip by Julia Donaldson because it also had an ‘ugly duckling’ type story, about a herbivore dinosaur egg that gets mixed up in the next of the carnivorous Tyrannosaurus Rex family. this is one of the book’s illustrations by David Roberts, I really like his style!

I liked the idea he had to have a narrator telling the story like reading from a children’s book, but I’m not much of an author, there’s a certain style to this kind of writing you need to get right to make it charming, so for now I think it’s best to stick to pantomime acting with a score.

He also came up with really good ideas for the story but the changes are so drastic it would mean starting from scratch and totally reworking the storyboard, unfortunately that’s not something I can afford to do this late on. But maybe an idea for a sequel!

Good news is I’ve finally started the animation! Happy Fruut! 😀


Fruut the Ugly Griffin Part 8

Over the weekend took a couple of field trips to do some research on the animals that make up the creatures in my animation. The London Wetlands Centre had an event on with birds of prey. There were no eagles but they had peregrine falcons, buzzards and kestrels which are pretty closely related. I sketched, took photos and videos and listened to the demonstrator talk about their behaviour. One of them was preening, which was great to see because that is what Kristi is doing when Fruut first sees her, I was amazed at how flexible he was. Here is a collection of reference I gathered that day.

Gesture Drawings

sketches 3sketches 2

sketches 4sketches 1

Photo Reference


Video Reference

I also went to my local park to see the pigeons. They are so funny to watch and some things they did have inspired me for movements for Fruut. When the big crows were barging in and stealing their food they would jump and spread their wings quickly when they got a fright, I could use this when Fruut first sees Hans. I also noticed that they never stop moving! Their heads are constantly twitching and bobbing even when they stand still. This will be a good way to capture his pigeon-ness at the very start of the animation. But I have a lot of work ahead of me to pull it off. Here is what I got from that day.

Gesture Drawings

sketches 5

Reference Photos

20130217_134710 20130217_134725 20130217_134731 20130217_135615 20130217_135701 20130217_135721 20130217_140018 20130217_140032

Video Reference

I also rediscovered these two videos I took last year for the creature design assignment that will be useful.

Fruut the Ugly Griffin Part 7

These are the final model sheets for each of the characters.

I took more time to develop Harley (who was my least favourite during storyboarding because I couldn’t seem to draw him the way I wanted) I think he looks much more like a biker now with his facial hair, ponytail, piercings and studded handcuff, which was what I was going for at the start, hence the name. He looks like a total tough guy now, he’s definitely the leader of the trio of bullies.

Harley 2

Harley 1

Les is a short, stubby, muscle bound pea brain.

Les 2

Les 1

Percy is a lanky upper class character who likes to write poems and overreacts to everything.

Percy 2

Percy 1

Hans is the ‘knight in shining armour’ type character who is a real charmer with the ladies and will threaten any male that competes with him for their attention. His chest, wings, jaw and feet are huge.

Hans 2

When it came to the females I found that the best way to make them appear more feminine was to bring in the waist and exaggerate the hips.

Kristi is an airhead and a bit shallow.

Kristi 2

Kristi 1

Geffy has had a name change, she is now called Fumaa. She is sweet but has a fiery side if you cross her.

Fumaa 2

Fumaa 1

And the star of the show, Fruut the clumsy but lovable pigegriff. His features are rounder than the others including his beak and claws to make him appear as cute and unthreatening as possible.

Fruut 2

Fruut 1




Philip Vallentin

This week we had Philip Vallentin from Espresso Animation come in to show us his work critique our projects. I adore these frames from a Coco Pops advert he brought in. I find smear drawings completely fascinating, I could look at them for ages!


He also gave some great feedback on my drawing, telling me to avoid parallel legs (some of my characters when standing side on the leg in the foreground was completely covering the other leg and it’s not nice on the eyes) and also to remember the cheeks beneath the beak and the eye and treat them as volumes between them.

Also after IMDB research I found out that he was an animation supervisor for the Pound Puppies movie from my childhood, that is awesome! XD