Thursday, December 29, 2011



Klikt recently brought me on to develop a series of illustrations that told the story of how their new rewards/coupon program could help small businesses. The end result would be a short, animated video featured on their website. I wanted to share some of the process put into the development of the video.

An example of the storyboards vs. the final scenes

I am not a storyboard artist by any means, but I had to do enough to get client approval before moving on to the final illustrations. The image shown above shows my process for this particular project. Luckily I worked with some great people who did very little to change my original vision.


Several drawings were done to capture the right look of the shop owner.

The sketches above were done with pencil and Photoshop. This step was needed as it helped the team decide, very quickly, on the look for the main character.
Several poses for the main character. Most scenes only showed from the waste up.

When the job calls for a lot of character drawings/poses and there's not much time, drawing in vector really helps. You can borrow a lot of common elements (note that the shoes, legs, head etc. for our main character are the same) which can speed along doing multiple poses. It's almost like creating illustrated puppets.


I'm always surprised at the various items I'll end up drawing. By the way, I'm your man when it comes to drawing bus signs/trash cans.

I read a letter Ward Kimball once wrote to an aspiring animator where he spoke about needing to be able to draw everything, and draw everything from multiple points of view. I think about that when creating scenes and props for characters. What Ward said is true! You really do have to be able to draw almost anything at any time for any project. Having a set style does help as it narrows your approach to drawing something you've never drawn before. I had no idea I'd be drawing a trash can for this project, but well... now I have.


Lots of various customers were built out of just a few parts.

Call me Dr. Frankenstein. Look carefully and you'll notice that several of these characters are built out of a few common pieces. This helps me keep projects on schedule and profitable. I sure would love to intricately design each customer the script called for, but I also have to eat, so you must decide where to spend your time and how to build assets efficiently.


The Coffee Hut is open for business!

One thing I stress is attention to detail. You'll notice this coffee shop is now called "The Coffee Hut" with a silly little logo. This is not anything the client asked for, but I felt it needed to be part of the story. It was weird to have a coffee shop not being branded in some manner. The logo itself is nothing remarkable, but it fits within the story and adds a bit more detail that wasn't there before.


The final interior scene used in the video was much lighter.

This drawing is the interior of the coffee shop. It was designed to house a lot of characters so you'll notice that as you move to the right, it gets really open and there's not much detail. Also, notice the 73 points of perspective. Put a cup of coffee down in this place and it would crash to the floor. :-)

You can see more scenes from this project over on my site, and don't forget to check out the Klikt video for yourself!