Friday 30 December 2011

Design Production for Digital//Silent Movie//Sequential Storyboarding.

*Incomplete* storyboard from a workshop on 13th December (only about three weeks late... lost pens, can't find pens, can't buy new pens... have to make do with lack of colour- would otherwise be bright yellow solid colour for my backgrounds)- spreading one storyboard and it's key frames across five 60cm timeline lines to make the most out of the available space and multiple frames. In hinesight, I think too many key frames were used here- repeating a stretching motion (like an elastic band- video recording examples will be posted asap)- could have cut out at least three frames- although, aside from that, reasonably happy with the design for this storyboard.

Now, I will go on to develop more storyboards for the next week (hand-rendered and digital) before going on to develop and create my finalised After Effects motion graphics designs.

Thursday 29 December 2011

Design Production for Digital//Top 10...//Pingu.

Researching the classic children's television programme 'Pingu'- an ultimate representation of the lives of penguins (if a little elaborate... not seen too many penguins hanging out with their seal best friends, drinking at bars, etc) for (at very least my generation) young children with stop motion animation. For me, Pingu will be an effective and easily accessible resource to watch the way that the character's movements are portrayed, their walk, mannerisms, and so on. 

Below, a little more information about the classic animation, along with video resources and important references in motion graphics through the series for my own design practice.

Pingu is a British-Swiss stop-motion claymated television series created by Otmar Gutmann. The series was produced by The Pygos Group and Trickfilmstudio for Swiss television. The show is about a family of anthropomorphic penguins at the South Pole. The main character is the family's son and title character, Pingu.
The show ran originally for 4 seasons from 1986 to 1998 on SF DRS. In 1998, there were two Pingu episodes made (one of them being "Pingu & the Doll") that never aired due to schedule problems. In 1999, they showed the two episodes with a Pingu marathon between commercials. However, HiT Entertainment's request for more episodes convinced Pygos to bring back the show in 2004, with two more series.



The program is set in Antarctica and centres around penguin families who live and work in igloos. The main character Pingu belongs to one such family. He frequently goes on adventures with his little sister Pinga, and he often gets into mischief with his best friend Robby the Seal.
One reason for Pingu's international success, is the mix of Swedish and Swiss human languages. Some dialogue is in a loud honking "penguin language", and was initially retroscripted by Carlo Bonomi, who also did all the other sound effects. This allows people of different linguistic backgrounds to still be able to follow the story.


A total of 157 five minute episodes were originally made, from 1986 to 1998, and then again from 2004 to 2005. The episodes were written by Silvio Mazzola and were directed and animated by Otmar Gutmann using clay animation, at Trickfilmstudio in Russikon, Switzerland.
In 1989, David Hasselhoff released (in Switzerland only) the single "Pingu Dance", a rap song based on the Pingu shorts and featuring samples of Penguinese. A portion of this song is used as the theme to Pingu in international airings, and was also heard in the new version of the "Pingu Looks After the Egg" episode and replaced the Woodpeckers From Space song from the original version which it does shown on Cbeebies.
A special twenty minute episode ("Pingu at the Wedding Party") was also produced, in 1997, which introduced a family of green penguins.
In 2001, HiT Entertainment bought the UK rights to the series (including the original 105 episodes) for £15.9 million and remade all classic episodes in 2002. The original cartoon title card (series 1 and 2) of the show was replaced with a claymated inspiration (series 3 and 4) of the intro and the music is half of the Pingu Dance single. Carlo Bonomi reprises his roles and these versions are the only versions broadcasting today. Later, HiT decided to bring back the show, and produced a further 53 episodes, created at Hot Animation Studios in 2004, continuing in stop motion but using resin casts of the original clay puppets which had deteriorated by this time. Cbeebies only shown the original version episodes of Pingu with the original cartoon title card (series 1 and 2) from 53 episodes, and shown 13 episodes from (series 3) with the claymated inspiration intro. Contrary to some sources, there was never any CGI used in these later episodes. When Bonomi's non-English language became a problem, he was replaced with new voice actors Marcello Magni and David Sant. Magni and Sant, Italian and Spanish actors based in London, both have a mime and clowning background and were already aware of the clown language of "Grammelot" on which the penguin language was based. In 2005, after the last episode aired, Pingu finally ended its 20 1/2-year run on TV.
Pingu first aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's Sunday morning omnibus program Small World, which featured various cartoon shorts produced internationally, from 1996 until the show's discontinuation in 2001. The show would return to America in 2005, when episodes began to air on PBS Kids Sprout. On April 11, 2010, HiT Entertainment removed Pingu from the Sprout schedule due to low ratings.
Pingu has also been a mainstay of the children's programming blocks on TVOntario since the mid-1990s.
In 2006, Pingu was featured in a music video for Eskimo Disco's first single, 7-11. Also in 2006, pop icon Madonna told Swedish talk-show host Kristian Luuk that she considered Pingu (and TV in general) to be a bad influence on children.
In India, Pingu was aired by Doordarshan in the late 1980s & early 1990s. Since 2000, it is aired by Hugama TV and Animax.
In Japan, Pingu currently airs as part of NHK's children's program Nyanchu's World, and also on Cartoon Network Japan and is also featured in Japanese KFC restaurants as part of their Kids' Meal.
In the UK, Pingu was featured in the Children In Need 2009 video by Peter Kay which contained many other popular characters. This was shown on live television across the UK & then sold on both CD and DVD.
A Japan-only game made for the Nintendo DS known as Pingu no Waku Waku Carnival (Translated: Pingu's Wonderful Carnival) was made by Square Enix and released in November 2008. This game is a series of mini games starring Pingu and his friends, including one where Pingu's mother and father bake a heart-shaped cake, with the gameplay style resemblant to that of Cooking Mama.
In Canada, the show aired between programs during lunchtime hours on YTV from 2004 until 2006. It can still be seen on TV in that country since APTN airs "The Pingu Show" as part of its morning children's programming block "APTN Kids" and the show is available in English and French language versions. Some of the controversial episodes such as "Pingu Quarrels With His Mom" and "Little Accidents" have aired uncut on APTN Kids.

Episode lists

  • Derivation of episode titles
No official episode title appears on screen, so the lists were initially created from the titles used on various official DVD releases. The main episode titles for series 1 to 4 were taken from the official Japanese DVD releases and the alternative titles from the official European DVD releases. Episode titles for series 5 and 6 were taken from the European DVD releases.
Changes have subsequently been made to these titles to bring them more into line with English usage and practice (e.g. to correct spelling and grammar) and to relate them to the titles used on UK DVDs produced by HIT Entertainment. Alternative titles have also been appropriately added, amended, etc. Title data has also been supplemented with information from other sources, such as the titles used by the BBC for television broadcasts and on video tapes.
  • BBC broadcasts
In the UK, the BBC appears never to have broadcast any of the normal 5-minute episodes from the latter half of series 3 (3.14 – 3.26) or from series 4 (4.1 – 4.26). However, all the episodes from the latter half of series 3 (3.14 - 3.26) have been featured on BBC produced videos. Of the episodes that have been broadcast, all have been broadcast since September 4, 2006 inclusive.
Since 2007, in addition to standalone episodes the BBC and APTN in Canada have been showing The Pingu Show ("Pingu welcomes viewers to his secret whale-shaped funhouse for a show packed with brand new sketches, two classic episodes, narrated by Marc Silk and the chance to learn more about the amazing world of penguins in Penguin Facts").


These are some of the characters appearing in Pingu.
  • Pingu is the title character of the series. In the beginning of the series, he was twelve years old. Despite the actual running length of the series, Pingu was twelve years old when the show ended. His catchphrase is "Nug, Nug!?" if he makes a megaphone shaped like beak sound to indicate anger, happiness, frustration or to get attention. Pingu can also change his shape (for instance, he can morph into a ball) and increase his height.
  • Pinga is Pingu's baby sister. She first appeared in the episode "The New Arrival". In all of series 1 and early series 2 episodes she appears as a baby. In series 3 and early in series 4 she is three years old, however, as series 4 progresses, she becomes four years old. It has been shown in some episodes that she can also roll into a ball.
  • Mother and Father are Pingu's and Pinga's parents. Father is a postman who smokes a pipe (he has quit in later episodes). He has a Snowcat to deliver the mail with the help from Pingu. Mother spends most of her time cooking and does all the work in the home. Mother sometimes gets help from Pingu & Pinga and she always gives them a cuddle. Their real names are unknown at this time.
  • Grandfather is Pingu and Pinga's grandfather. He is the father of Pingu and Pinga's Father. He is an expert accordionist, and this was shown in the episode "Pingu & the Braces". He is also a former professional weight lifter and political activist from 1938. He first appeared in the episode "Music Lessons".
  • Bruce is a homeless man who owns a barrel organ who is occasionally helped by neighbors, or by Pingu. He first appeared in "Pingu and the Barrel Organ", and "Pingu the Chef".
  • Robby is Pingu's best friend. His name is a pun; "Robbe" is German for "Seal". In the first four series, he is appeared in mixed blue and gray but in the last two series he is light gray in color. He first appeared in the episode "Pingu Goes Fishing", in which Pingu and Robby fight over the fish Pingu was trying to catch, but make up by end of the episode.
  • Pingo is a friend of Pingu. He has a long beak, essentially flat at the bottom but slightly rounded on the top; also his head is wider & taller. He is a bit of a daredevil and often persuades Pingu to do wild and silly things with him.
  • Pingg is a friend of Pingu. He also has a long beak, but a shorter head than Pingo. In some episodes he is also with Pingo, except in the episodes "Pingu's Disadvantage" and "Green Eyed Pingu".
  • Pongi is a friend of Pingu who wears glasses and has a short round beak. He first appeared in the episode "Ice Hockey".
  • Punki is also one of Pingu's friends. He first appeared in the episode "Pingu Delivers The Mail". He has a tuft on his head and wears striped trousers. He only appeared in a few cartoons.
  • Bajoo is also one of Pingu's friends. He is revealed by HiT Entertainment as a "strange newcomer to the Antarctic in the appearance of an abominable snowman!" He is actually an abominable snowman who debuted back in 2005 with the year of 2006. He appeared on the last Pingu episode "Pingu & the Abominable Snowman". He also appeared in the music video and in "The Pingu Show", which is a broadcasting device and not an episode by itself.
  • The Schoolmaster is Pingu's teacher. He lives in a nearby school and rings the bell when it is time for school to begin or end. He first appeared in the episode "School Time" and he only appeared on episodes involving Pingu at school, however he appears as a minor character in some episodes.
  • Pingi is Pingu's love interest and Pinga's friend. She has thick, white eyelashes and a somewhat mushed beak. She first appeared in the episode "Pingu's Admirer". Pinga is sometimes jealous of Pingi because Pingu pays more attention to Pingi than to her.
  • Seagull is the mischievous seagull. It first appeared in the episode "Pingu and the Seagull" when it started to plagued Pingu even more. It catches every fish in the episode "Pingu and the Strangers". It steals Pingu's fish, then he helped feed its chicks in the episode "Pingu and the Mother Bird". It can sometimes annoy Pingu if it squawks on to him.
  • Pengy is Pingu's classmate that most notably appears in the episode "Pingu on the School Excursion", season 2. He also appears in other episodes involving Pingu at school. He doesn't actually have a given name, but Pengy is a name lots of fans tend to give him.
  • Inflatable Chair is Pingu's chair full of air that appears in "Pingu and the Barrel Orgain", "Pingu Finishes the Job", and "Pingu and the New Scooter". It has patches so that they can keep the chair inflated.
  • Giant Walrus/Leapord seal is the creature that tried to capture Pingu in Pingu's Dream. Several ways it tried were putting the igloo on and off, stretching and squashing Pingu and eating his mattress like a chocolate bar only having Pingu and his bed to run away. Pingu's Dream was banned due to the walrus/leapord seal because it had a frightening design, voice and moustache. Its only appearance is in Pingu's Dream.


  • 1987 Berlin Film Festival (Kleinan Baren)
  • 1989 International Children's Festival (Best short film)
  • 1991 Prix Jeunesse (Best children's show, Runner-up)
  • 1998 BMG Video International (Video sales +1 mil.)
  • 2005 Stinky Pingu at Indies (Best animation)
  • 2005 Pingu & the Band NY International Children's Film Festival (Audience Award)
  • 2005 Stinky Pingu Prix danube (Adult mention)
  • 2006 Stop-motion shows that rocked your world (Audience award)

CLASSIC Pingu episode- banned in several countries. I could not resist.

Musical act 'Eskimo Disco's' 7-11, which features the animated claymation sequence of Pingu characters- a great resource for the wide variety of movements possible with the clay characters- definitely a resource to return to in my own design practice.

The Pingu Intro (modern version)- good resource for simple walking effects which I will undoubtedly use in my title sequence for penguin characters, and perhaps in one of my short idents- also need to look at "tobogganing" and swimming movements for key frames.

Design Production for Digital//Penguin by Polly Dunbar.

'Penguin', a Walker Books publication children's book, is a story of a young boy, Ben, who gets given a toy penguin as a present- but, much to his dismay, Penguin doesn't want to join in his games, play along with him, sharing secrets and so on. 
A great example of a contemporary children's story, which follows a classic writing scheme, in a styalised iambic pentameter and rhythmic feel, with a distinct illustrative style that travels throughout the narrative of the story.
The style and story perhaps a little too young for my target audience- closer to the 5 years than the 11 (trying to target an my median of around 8 years for a basis of my visual communication and information that would be proposed for my programme... '10 Things You Need To Know About Penguins' (or similar).

Wednesday 28 December 2011

Design Production for Digital//Top 10...//How-To/Drawing Penguins.

Researching several sources and step-by-step tutorials for how to draw penguins (my subject matter for the 'Top 10' project brief)- a great source of inspiration for my own visual representations.

Quick and easy steps- but the drawing is a bit too cartoony and garish for my liking- not very graphic, but a useful resource in terms of three-dimensional and spacial awareness nonetheless.

Again, a bit too gimicky and cartoony for my liking- the shading is a bit brash and too colourful- I intend to stick to a far more minimal colour palette which will be more appropriate for the informative side of the proposed programme- despite the fact it is for children (5-11 years), it can still be tastefully and maturely designed, with other elements such as the shapes in the vector illustration, type, soundtrack, and foley art providing an appropriate target-audience "twist".

Again, a little too "creepy childish" for my liking- eyes a little too bright and "kawaii" for my liking- not geometric/vector enough to suit both my design practice, and what I believe is appropriate for my design outcomes for this motion graphics work.

Undoubtedly my favourite design "how to guide" from all of my searching- a supplement for British newspaper, The Guardian, by renowned Illustrator Oliver Jeffers- beautifully simple, sweet and full of character- this go to guide will be my ultimate inspiration- time to start doodling!

Design Production for Digital//Top 10//Lost & Found.

Researching more inspiration for the visual representation of penguins- this time through Illustrator Oliver Jeffer's children's book (and later, an animated film adaption- see trailer above) 'Lost and Found'- a story about a boy's journey to return a penguin to his family after he, one day, gets a ring at the door.

A beautifully animated, and rather enchanting animation, with a rich, flowing use of soundtrack and foley art which accompanies Jeffer's charmingly simplistic and characteristic style so well- a definite favourite of mine- I would love to create a style like this for my own animation-the distinctive colouring and shape of the Emperor penguin character will definitely be taken further in my design process.

Design Production for Digital//Top 10//Appropriate "PENGUIN" typefaces.

Starting to research relevant typefaces which would suit my design outcomes. As with many people, as I have found throughout my research, when I think of penguins, one of the first visual associations is ice and the Antarctic. I went on to dafont to find ice/snow related typefaces, three of which I felt would work well with my design outcomes:

However, I have to remember that not all species of penguin are Antarctic-dwelling, and that I want my title sequence, in particular, to promote the diversity of penguins and the "Top 10 Things"/Facts about them- so need to keep my options open. However, I quite like the idea of creating my own working vector-based typeface (something I've never done before) which would fit the visual outcome- I'll work with illustrations first (which I feel is appropriate for my subject matter), and then work on the appropriate typeface- but good to start some idea generation, nonetheless.

Design Production for Digital//Silent Movie//Workshop Notes.

Notes from Tuesday 13th December's workshops (apologies for the delay...) discussing designed timelines and storyboards for our 'Silent Movie' outcomes- the pros and cons of working with our 60cm timelines for a 5 second duration in just 5 key frames, and how considering the length and spacing of our timelines is easier for designing our motion graphics pieces.

Working/brainstorming in  a group with:

Liam Rushfirth
Beth Yates
Alex Slippens
Chris Van Niekerk
Lisa Whitaker


- Considering pace: helps to realise time
- Helps you to become very organised- don't have difficult "back tracking" on software programme (Adobe After Effects, for this module)
- Helping to establish colour through visual communication
- Systematic and logical
- Helps to structure design, don't feel daunted when you put designs into software
- Allows you to be creative, not restricted- but open to existing and new software knowledge
- Allows you to consider external software and what is appropriate to use (Illustrator/Photoshop, etc)


- Hard to establish visual communication through only 5 frames
- Difficult to achieve perspective
- 1 second is a longer time than you may think...
- Not enough frames to establish key frames/movement (5)
- Slightly dull process repeating drawing frames- not as fluid as you may like/
create template of designs-vectors?

Design Production for Digital//Top 10//Visual Association.

Creating a montage of images of the varying species of penguins, I posted the collective image on my Facebook page, in attempts to gauge a reaction of certain visual factors to establish which species would be appropriate not only for my subject matter, but, more importantly, for the character of my motion graphics piece, and the target market it is intended for- asking people three questions from the series of images:

1. Which penguin is the most visually representative of a penguin?
2. Which penguin is the most visually interesting?
3. Which penguin is the "cutest" looking?

These are the responses I recevied-







Really great response and answers from people- Emperor a clearly distinctive choice for my designs, with automatic cultural and visual connotations and links- the interesting being clearly "taken" by the Rockhopper species for their unusual markings and crests, and the "cute" choice perhaps a little more surprising- with the African Penguin, though the matching number of "votes" (II) was chosen for the Little (Blue) species, which I would have naturally assumed to be recognised as the "cute" species for it's small height and stature. Of course, the images chosen would have had a large influence, but it's great to hear the points of views of others, and enables me to keep an open mind, (or, in the case of visually representative- a strong influence!) when designing my motion graphics piece.