I like animals - ZOO
Game dev / 10.10.2022
Croatian Radio Television (HRT) has approached us after a long-standing collaboration to engage in animated content as part of an upcoming new children’s show.
What was required of us was to create an illustrated intro, and several different scenes for each of the ten episodes.
Development, Design, Gamedev, Illustration, Character dev
Breaf & idea.
The request from HRT’s Children’s Program included developing animated content as part of an upcoming children’s show that would educate children about animals and be filmed at the Zagreb Zoo. In addition to the initial intro lasting about 30 seconds, it was necessary to create an animated head of each episode that would give the host tasks, and several animals for each episode that would be integrated into the recorded content.
Working on projects of this type is always a great pleasure for us, and we quickly agreed on all the key details for the start of the project. Since it was a long-standing client with always positive feedback, all communication went smoothly.
The first step was to agree on the style that we would use to draw. The client sent several proposals downloaded from the web, based on which we decided to do something different, better and more “ours”. After a few steps forward and backward, we reached an agreement to both our satisfaction.
At the time of writing, the success of the show has resulted in two mobile games that have been very successful on the app store, and there is already talk of a second season on TV and who knows what else. That’s why it is extremely important to approach the determination and development of the drawing style thoroughly and thoughtfully.
Of course, the client’s opinions come first, but the illustrator and art director who guides him always have to try to “push” what they love and consider the best option, because that “oh well” can soon become a long-term burden if the project is multiplied in several future projects like this one.
Each project is a small world of its own, and although there are some general guidelines for the workflow, they cannot be applied equally to two different projects.
In this case, instead of following standardized phases, we had to adapt to the deadlines and first start and finish the intro, and only then everything else.
Due to the tight deadline, in the end, we were not able to incorporate all the elements and details that we initially planned into the intro, but we still managed to produce a great result that the client was happy with.
Illustrating is a creative field where time management is one of the biggest challenges for the artist. Before starting a project, it’s crucial for an illustrator to plan out how they will allocate their time effectively. The level of detail for the characters, whether to shade or not, the level of detail in the backgrounds, etc. are all factors that need to be considered.
Self-control is a rare but highly desirable trait for illustrators and artists in general. Naturally, we want all of our illustrations to be the best they can be, but most projects don’t require the “best” work from the illustrator, often due to tight deadlines, budgets, or individual needs. In these cases, it’s common for the artist to face an internal struggle where they must sacrifice some style or quality for the sake of other factors, usually time. However, with each new project, the artist becomes more comfortable handling these situations, and with better time management, these situations become milder and less frequent.
For this particular project, the illustrator was tasked with creating a main illustration and a character illustration of the boss, as well as 50 animated illustrations of animals that appeared episodically. To our surprise, the illustrator was actually a veterinarian by profession, which added a special touch to the entire project. Life can be full of unexpected twists and turns, and in this case, the illustrator went from treating animals to bringing them to life with his pencil.
There’s no greater satisfaction than working on highly creative projects like this one, especially when the client is a national television network, and our final product will be available for viewing by our families (especially the younger members) and friends in the comfort of their own homes. The success of the show led to two mobile game projects that were thematically related to it, but that’s a story for another time…