This week I came across some old concept sketches, and color boards from a commercial I had been directing a number of years ago. Every year members of the Thai royal family put on a theatrical show in Bangkok. This spot was to be part of the advertising campaign for the show.

Many times I simply scan my storyboard, and put some loose color down to give the clients a feel for a project... as was the case here. From there I will develop the final art: BGs / character designs, based on the feedback I get. The client for this particular spot was wanting to capture the feel of Thailand in the 1940's and 50's. I had always wanted to make something with big band music... and this was the perfect opportunity. The client responded well to the initial sketches, and I began to plan the production.

I was experimenting with the idea of using cut-outs in Maya, mixing in elements of 2D animation. The first initial animation tests looked good, but everything came to a screeching halt when the clients son was killed in the tsunami. The whole country was in shock and mourning... the commercial spot, and the theatrical show were cancelled indefinitely.

My contract at the company I was working ended shortly after. But I have many fond memories of my first few years in Bangkok, and all the good friends I made there.

Jakata Tales

A while back, my friend Nat from Xhabition studios, approached me about helping her design a personal project based on the "Jakata" tales.

P'Nat liked the look and feel of the backgrounds on my short film "The Pumpkin of Nyefar"... and wanted something in a similar vein. I took "Pumpkin" as starting reference, then developed visual ideas that were more appropriate for "Jakata". The story takes place in India, so I wanted to use design elements from Southeast Asian art. For the background styling, my wife, On Krapook, and I would sketch the locations out in pencil... I would block the designs out in color, we would pass the designs back and forth for a while... then she would add the final finishing sparkle. It was fun to work back and forth this way on the designs.

Below: Some of my exploratory character sketches for the story. These inspirational sketches were then modeled in 3D.