Three lads : Character designs

So today I've been working on the character's and I think i've got them to a level im happy with. They are similar enough to look good together, but different enough to have their own qualities.

Here's two pages of sketches, trying to hone what I wanted. I want the characters to be quite innocent, so a sort of UPA/50's cartoon style with the teardrop bodies fitted the bill. But then I need them to be built up enough to show emotion, because I want the audience to feel emotion when watching. I also want them to look quite broad age-wise - I want them to look like 'kids'. Kids is a large definition really - that ages from 6-17, and that's the range I want to capture.

The second page, I half-based his posture on Jake Lamotta. I wanted that bull-like presence that gave him his nickname - the low hunched wide shoulders & V shape body down to the feet. You can see that in the bottom right drawing. However I didn't want him 'Ard like old Lamotta, so tubbed him up a bit too. His face is inspired by Dennis the Menace, I love the Beano.

Here's the final picks(.. for now)

I am happy with them, however I do still feel they are quite typically me, so may give them one more going over. Here's a bit of inspiration I put together that may help ship-em-up a bit, im looking mainly at the shapes of characters:

Tis going well thus far, have the storyboards all done, and last night put them into an animatic to give myself a estimate at the length.. Currently, am thinking about 2:00 minutes in length. Two minutes in 21 days? Is it possible? Lets find out.

Tom's American facts #3 - If you want to work here, you have to be good at Street Fighter. They are obsessed, if you couldn't already tell by the staff page..

Pretty happy with myself, stayed up a little later and managed to get all three turn around's done. Am chuffed, I was originally gunna get up and do them early tomorrow - but it woulda probably dragged all day.. (that seems to happen when things need doing doesn't it?).

If anyone's reading this, can you tell me, what do you think of the characters?

Im working at quite a fast pace on this project... pre-production has now been COMPLETED in 4 days. That's awesome. All by myself. To save time i've decided to do the layout's on the fly... working from the storyboard, i'll be able to focus on each shot when & where I work on it as opposed as planning it to a tee prior. I quite like this approach.. feel it gives me more freedom when it comes to doing the shot.

That means I can begin animating tomorrow... eek!

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