Plans for Poppet

I’ve mentioned my children’s book, The Golden Pinecone, in a previous post, as well as my plans to revise the illustrations. I am currently working on a script for my midterm in one of my classes at SMCC, and will finish that – hopefully – by the end of the semester.

The goal is to create an animated holiday special that really represents the overall message of “Kindness is magic”, and showcase the kind of visuals that I have in my mind. Working out the redesign of my characters for this story will be a huge part of the adaptation, and I’m excited to work on it!

With my new Procreate/iPad combo, I have created a visual aid for my midterm project, here:

It still needs some work, but I really love the textures, making the background and landscape softer, almost fuzzy. I even figured out how to make my own brush for the willow leaves!

Pallo

So, it’s time to introduce Pallo, officially. Since I’ve been making little practice animations with her, I feel like it needs to happen to start building context. Pallo is a character I created, inspired by two little girls – twins – I used to take care of in my nanny days. We were together since they were fifteen months old until they were four, and have kept in touch really well since. I was there for them learning to talk, go on the potty, hold a fork, drawing a face, on and on.

I would often record conversations, kind of like interviews, with the kids I would nanny for, to share with their parents for memories. Lots of terrible, but hilarious, knock-knock jokes, singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, asking their age and favorite color, things like that. When the twins started really talking more, I worked on them saying my name. I mean, after all, I was with them almost every day! So, I would record them whenever I asked them what my name was, in order to catch the first time. I can’t express to you how cute these recordings are…so, here is “The One”.

Isis and Naila say “Peri”….but really Pallo.

The way that Naila was so sure that “Pallo” was correct – just repeating it over and over until I pointed the mic at her and got it nice and loud – makes it one of the funniest and cutest clips I’ve ever captured. I became Pallo, and then I created her as a character.

Photo of marker and crayon drawing of Pallo.

Pallo has four arms, for extra hugging, and has a crown of flowers on her head. In the Land of Lo, where she lives, all creatures are a mixture of plant and ocean life, and Pallo is no exception. Her “ponytails” are actually large petals, and when she sleeps, white puffs (think milkweed or dandelions) of seed fly out of a hole in her head, and the petals spread open and up to guide the seeds safely onto the breeze. Pallo is Claviger of the Flowers, and it is because of her that flowers grow in the Land of Lo.

First four panel comic I created for Pallo’s origin. The background is Mount Abbas and Mount Moya, with Pavo the Prophet’s tower on the island in Lake Chitali in the distance. Squirrels played a big part in my time with the twins, so I try to include one whenever I can.

She is also very maternal, and adopts a band of misfits as she journeys through Lodila Valley on her quest. Isi and Nin are directly inspired by the twin girls who named her. Their origin story belongs in its own chapter, so I’ll save it. Pallo goes through many emotions on her journey, each creating its own story.

2013 version of Pallo, Isi and Nin. A couple of the first complete depictions of them.

Pallo’s look has evolved as I convert her into an animated character. I have added a texture to her skin, and defined a purpose for her “ponytails”, as well as adding some cool markings on her back, which you cannot often see. She wears the necklace of a Claviger (key holder) around her neck. I have given her little stubby legs for walking. She’s ready to be a star, now I just have to catch up. So, please stay tuned for more short animations as I learn to navigate my way through Adobe Character Animator and Animate to create as much as possible. Please follow me on Instagram to see some of the older posts, and the most recent, as I update that much more often. Drop me a DM to let me know you followed me because of this blog. Until next time…

Pink Gelatin Skeleton

I have a great friend, who is a great musician/songwriter, and he has allowed me to collaborate on some music and art for his videos. It’s has been the only outside creative interaction I’ve had in years, so it’s pretty special. I decided to convert his illustration into animation, as a surprise (just a first test, mind you), and to time how long it takes me to make a working puppet for Adobe Character Animator. Approximately 75 minutes for just the head.

PGS Test

Check it out. 😁

Estoy Llorando – I am crying

My father passed away on Tuesday. He had suffered a long time, so he is free of pain now. It is only fitting that our lesson in Animation class this week was Cycle Layers, learning how to add tears to our puppets. Here is Pallo, crying:

Fortunately, I find solace in creating. I used the sound of a Sesame Street cartoon that has stuck with me since I was around three years old. Two cartoon characters sharing tears wasn’t really something that I had seen and it definitely made an impact. It was the first thing I thought of when our lesson came up. More Land of Lo to come…