For this year’s Year In Review, Nik had the pleasure to do some visual development work for the character designs. Nik decided to keep the characters very simple and graphic, while keeping the process efficient, as there are a whole lot of characters in Year In Review! There were a few things to consider in coming up with the style — mainly, to keep it cartoon-y. We decided to give the characters drawn over cartoon eyes, giving them more personality. This also allowed the animator to have a lot more to work with for a smooth animation process.
Here are some initial concepts for Walter White from Breaking Bad. Here, Nik was exploring different styles and trying to design the face asset as oppose to using a photo asset. Ultimately, this approach wasn’t practical with the turnaround time constraint.
Below is a concept for the Lone Ranger film, which ultimately didn’t make it into the final cut. However, this was more or less the final look of the characters where photo assets were used and draw overs were done afterwards to get a more traditional hand drawn look. The characters’ bodies were kept very simple for the animators to push it through and have fun with it.
Below are also more character concepts Nik came up with to establish the look.
Lastly here are all the characters that appeared throughout the short all in one scene!