Ideas and Concept

the camera shots

 Above is my final camera and storyboard. Its very simple, and allows me to understand the camera angles when it comes to me putting cameras into Maya. I have quite a few camera shots because I want them to aid the story – for instance when the small ball cannot bounce up to where the main ball and tail is, the camera has a close up on the ball and tail to show how it gets upset. I’ve used an over the shoulder shot to show to show how the ball and tail has all the power in the scene and he has finally out witted the small ball – and it makes for a more interesting scene.

The chosen idea


The left side

The balla and tail is asleep and then a small ball bounces over and wakes him up. The ball and tail wakes up and then tries to capture the ball – the ball tries to run away. When the ball and tail finally corners the small ball, the small bounces up and hits him in the face. To prevent the small ball from bothering him again the ball and tail jumps up onto a block. When the ball tries to also make the jump he fails and falls down. The ball and tail then feels sad he is alone he jumps back down and they both cuddle in the ball and tails, tail.

thumbnails  thumbnails6     thumbnails5 thumbnails

The several images I’ve included above are scanned from my sketchbook. After coming up with many ideas i decided to create these pose to pose storyboard to understand how the tail would move in the scene. It just let me put my ideas down visually for me to imagine what the animation would look like – to see what was to complex and what lacked a story. I really wanted my piece to have a story.


I began generating ideas for the Ball and Tail animation with simple storyboards like these above. I use around 7 frames to capture a simple idea. I then take the strongest and develop them out further. This page is just a tool to play around and generate lots of ideas in a short time until I come to one I really like.


Above, you can see a number of pictures of the rig that I will be using to make my Ball and Tail animation. I have posed the rig into some of the action poses that I made in my drawings below – I did this so that I could see what transferred well from the 2D sketches to the rig itself and I could potentially use in my work.

foxThis is a pose to pose drawing of a fox jumping into snow. The arc is very obvious here and the path the tail takes as it lifts of the ground (behind the ball) until it hits the ground (int the air) – each pose shows a different tail – it doesn’t just remain straight it bends and flicks. – I need to try and capture this in my final animation.


I wanted to look into a variety of tails and animals as not every tail moves in the same way. Above I’ve looked into the way a Lion tail moves. The lion’s tail, like the Lemur moves in a stiff way – more like a limb, it flicks and curls but it does not ‘fold’ like a fox. One of the most useful reference was a lion hunting – i was able to see how the tail moves when it runs and I got this in out curl pattern  – which will be very helpful when I come to animate my Ball and tail simply moving.


This is a action sheet of many different poses a fox tail can make. I have tried to think about different angles and movements when making this – as well as using online footage to to capture different poses. I will later use this sheet and the others to model in Maya with our rig.


This pose to pose sheet I drew from Disney’s Sword and the stone, when Merlin and Arthur become squirrels. In the footage I looked at there was this one clip where Arthur takes a jump and swings around a branch, the tail follows inn a very fluid movement in an overlap.


Another pose to pose of squirrel – this really shows how a large force can impact the tail so much that it falls over the body – what is also useful is it reveals how the tail goes back to its ‘solid form’ after the jump. I can also see the arc the tail makes as it takes the jump.

swordandstone2This is action poses of a squirrels tail. The tail is softer and more fluid in its movement. And because it is so soft the tail can flick and overlap with the smallest force. This is probably my favourite tail that I have looked at so far. I drew these from the Disney’s Sword in the stone.


Another selection of action poses and pose to pose drawing of a lemur. This page just shows how it would bend if it hits the floor or an object. Compared to the fox drawings it is very stiff.


This is a pose to pose drawing of a fox making a jump. This research just enables me to understand the personality of my ball and tail – my ball and tail might be lively and jump all over the place just like these pose to pose drawings.


These are some action poses I drew from a Lemurs tail. These tails are quite different to a squirrels or foxes as they are more stiff and bounce around with every actions. However they are not as fluid – it could be interesting to draw the lemurs tail that stays vertically straight when walking.

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