I wanted to try something a bit different form my usual fair, and after doing the pseudo-Disney-esk Hand Turn I was in the mood to try something a little more graphic and iconic. I knew I wanted to animate some kind of monstrous bird and had a little rough sketch I quite liked as a starting point.
I also quite enjoyed the black and white old school vibe that I had with the hand turn but as I didn’t want to go rubber hose with this, I instead looked to the classic illustrators for a bit of inspiration. Aubrey Beardsley, while he isn’t my favorite illustrator, his use of bold shapes, big value masses and graphic patterning was something that I felt could be interesting to try out here. The 2 images below where my main source of inspiration, with just a touch of Hakumen no Mono‘s eye with some of the big bulky solid shape masses I like from Bengus‘ concept drawings he did for Capcom.
For the movement itself, I really liked how Aku’s body sweeps across the picture plane as this fluid dynamic shape and wanted to bring that influence into the movement.
While I feel it’s pretty clear I ran out of time at the end, missing the drag and follow through of the whiskers, the settle of the eye and the mouth, and the body’s still pretty rough, I felt it was time to put it aside and move forward onto other things. Overall I generally liked how this turned out even if it’s still a bit unfinished. I expect at some point I’ll get round to adding the last few frames but not just yet.