El Tigre Concept: Dad's humble abode

Some more Concepts from El Tigre- This time concepts for Dad's (White Pantera's) room.

White Pantera is a super hero... but refuses payment for his good doing... so lives in complete squalor. I thought it would be fun to push the contrast between the sparseness of Dad's room with the opulence of super-villain Grandpa's fancy crib.

As usual I explore the bathroom area early on... to get a better handle on what sort of man lives in this space.


El Tigre Concept: Grandpa's Crib



Above: Early sketches for Grandpa's Crib.

A number of years ago Jorge Gutierrez asked me to create concept sketches for his show  El Tigre. The goal was to create a bunch of fun visual ideas that I would then feed to the crew in Los Angeles. Since I was working overseas, I would basically have to pitch my concepts to the crew with lots of written notes etc.  If Jorge, co-creator Sandra Equihua, director Dave Thomas, and art director Roman Laney liked the direction of a certain rough idea, we would explore it further in additional sketches.

The Concept- Grandpa is a retired super-villain, and we wanted his room to be a little over the top. His every vice at the ready, gambling TV, exotic drinks, and lots of gold, red, and black. It was inspired in a large part by the movie Scarface.

The earliest sketches simply explored shape.

Badland Vista

Above: The badlands just south of our kitchen window.

After an amazing year of working and living in Seoul, we have returned to our Wyoming home. To me the sky always seems a bit bluer, and the light a bit richer after a long trip away.

Next stop... Ireland.

Image © 2015 Tod Polson

The Book of Life: 2D Flashback 002

Above: Some key color frames for the 2D bullfighting flashback

One of the key themes in The Book of Life was that the main star, Manolo, was unable to kill a bull in the ring. He did defeat a bull once however when it was struck by lightning. Which is the moment this key frame illustrates. Of course Manolo goes on to defeat the grandest bull of them all... with love.

Below: Some color day time color exploration.


The Book of Life: 2D Flashback 001

 A concept sketch for one of the 2D flashback sequences. Here we see an idealized version of Manolo's childhood... before the passing of his mother.

For the backgrounds in the 2D sequences I tried to use a design style that complemented Sandra Equihua's character designs: simple color and shape. Here I tried tying everything together by using background colors that echoed those of the characters.

Cocoa Astronaut

video

Above: A Cocoa Puffs commercial from House Special, directed by Aaron Sorensen

A while back I was asked to design a space themed commercial spot featuring Sonny and his "Koo Koo for Cocoa Puffs." Commercials can be a lot of fun because the schedules are short, and you often get to work in a style that you normally wouldn't.


A few of the key sketches I created for the spot.

Book of Life: Parade Balloons 2

Above: Parade balloon concepts inspired by Mexican folk toys- for the animated feature "The Book of Life."

The Book of Life: Galleon Parade Floats

One of the areas I focused on in the "Book of Life" was the festive parade near the entrance to the "Land of the Remembered." Each float in the parade represented a different character from the movie. Here are but a few of the many sketches I made for the Galleon float.

Above: My first sketches captured the fractured quality that the creative leads were looking for... but weren't that unique to the world of the dead.

Above: So I played with more ornate versions of the ship. Thinking of it as a character unto itself.

 Above: I thought it would be fun to have "dolphins" pull the ship down the street.

Above: First I focused on the overall shape of the ship. Then I spent time detailing out areas that were important to the story. For example, in one version of the storyboard the hero lands on the ships sail yard, and another character jumps from the crows nest. -tod


Book of Life: Entrance to the "Land of the Dead" 1

Above: Exploration for the entrance to "The Land of the Dead."

The LOTD, which would become "The Land of the Remembered" was a great place to explore. A place where almost anything could happen. I reckoned that gravity wouldn't act exactly the same way as it did on earth... so played with floating walk ways... upside down roads etc. This land was neither night nor day. There was no bottom or top to this world... it just kept going and going.

In the final movie, the hero comes through a much simpler door... something more parallel with the "Land of the Living." But a number of ideas made it into the overall treatment of the world. 

More entrance ways to come. 

The Book of Life: Fountains 1

Above: A few of my fountain sketches for "The Book of Life."

Every detail in the "Land of the Forgotten" was thought out carefully. Here I was exploring a fountain that was planned near the grand entrance. You'll notice most of my designs are very rough. My technique for most every assignment was to explore as many ideas as I could in the short time I was given. Trying to give as many choices to the creative team as possible. I explored dozens of fountain ideas. Whimsy and fun were the artistic direction I was given.

More fountains to come...

The Book of Life: Parade Balloons 1

Above: Parade balloon exploration.

One area that I focused on in The Book of Life was the parade at the beginning of the "Land of the Remembered." Director Jorge Gutierrez imagined this land as a constant party, filled with balloons, floats... and anything remotely festive. My early balloon sketches were inspired by Mexican Day of the Dead sugar skulls.

Here I was mostly exploring shape and color. Other than art director Paul Sullivan, I was the first artist on the team to explore this world. And though most of my balloon designs were never used in the film. They helped inspire other elements, and the general shape language used.

More balloon sketches to come...

The Book of Life: Travel Posters

Above: Maria dreamed of traveling the world... and plastered the walls of her room with travel posters. Several of us on the Book of Life design team contributed poster ideas. These are a few of mine.