The Art & Making of

Created by Sugarcube. Studios

UCA Computer Animation Arts

A young boy is distraught at the loss of his pet, Pikatti. A hungry fox watches
him from afar, only interested in the food he carries. Though dissimilar,
perhaps they can help each other more than they know…

Creating The Characters - Miki

A specific design was chosen and taken
forward for further development (see Fig.2)

Fig.1. Early Development Thumbnails

Creating the look of the young boy was the
starting point in the design
process. From the initial thumbnails
(see Fig.1)
Fig.2. Chosen Design Thumbnails

Creating The Characters - Miki

After Miki’s facial
appearance was
created his attire
was next on the list.
(See Fig.1) The
main aspect for him
was his hooded
coat, which was
designed to be
made completely
out of fur, this was
inspired by the
clothing of traditional
inuit families. This
then lead to the final
design.

Fig.1. Clothing Design Thumbnails

Miki Facial Expression Sheet

Creating The Characters - Miki

Miki Final Design Turnaround

Creating The Characters - Miki

Creating The Characters - The fox

Fig.1. Fox Body Thumbnails

Fig.2.Fox Head Thumbnails

The same methods of finding the correct design for the previous character also
applied to the fox, the early thumbnails were a starting point to try and capture the
shapes that would form the silhouette of the character. (See Fig.1 and Fig.2)

Creating The Characters - The fox

The colour of the fox
depended on the
environment, as the
environment is
primarily vast snowy
landscapes the fox
had to resemble this.
Known to be sly and
sneaky the fox
designed for the
animation had to
blend in to it’s
surroundings. The
design chosen was a
mixture of both
designs 1 and 2 (See
Fig.1)

Fig.1. Fox Colour Thumbnails

Creating The Characters - The fox

Fox Final Design Turnaround

Fox Final Design Turnaround

Miki and The Fox Final Designs

Creating The Characters - Miki & The Fox

Creating TheEnvironments

Fig.1. Early Sketches

Creating the environments was a slight
challenge due to having to build a vast
landscape in a 2d space, early sketches
tried to capture both this and how colour
would play a part in the world.(see Fig.1 and
2) These then developed into more
elaborate and atmospheric paintings.

Fig.2. Early Sketches

Story Development

Fig.1. Opening Scene Storyboards

To adapt the story from script to screen it first had to be storyboarded. The real
challenge within this was being able to produce dynamic shots/scenes within quite a
flat, 2D scene.

Bringing The World To Life

When creating the characters in a 3D
space they first had to be cut into
individual pieces and then put back
together on image planes in Maya.
This would create the 2D look that we
desired for the animation.
Fig.1. Fox Orthograph

After this the characters were sent
forward to be rigged. This would bring
the character to life and the ability to be
animated.

Fig.2. Fox Assembled

Bringing The World To Life

Fig.1. Miki Rigging Process

A rig was created to enable the characters easy movement within the animation
using various controls. Secondary animation was taken into consideration when rigging which
would enable an extra aspect to work with to bring more life to ‘Pikatti’. (See Figure.1 and 2)

Fig.2. Fox Rigging Process

Bringing The World To Life

After all the pieces were assembled
and ready they were added to their
scenes and composited together to
create depth.
Each piece has its own layer which in
turn gives it the availability to be edited,
whether that’s colour correction or an
effect that would enhance the aesthetic
of the animation.

After the scene was constructed, special effects were added. These included things like snow,
sunlight and shadows to give the scene more depth and life.