Angels & Ghosts - Creating a family

The film focuses around three siblings, the protagonist Amber and her two brothers, Bobby and Josh. As the story is dramatic and emotive Graham approached the design of these characters differently to his usual playful naive approach.  Firstly we decided to create the characters as 3D rigs in Maya, a first for Graham's work.  To help retain his style Graham supplied the modellers with textures he would normally use in his prints, which were in turn mapped to the 3D meshes to give them a illustrative feel. Where possible we kept things simple to be in keeping with the aesthetic; but the eyes, head shapes and mouths were rigged so that a high level of detail was possible in the animation.

Graham's signature 'hammerhead' shape to the characters heads could have been perceived as too ‘cartoony’ so the body was elongated to balance their proportions and 'mature' them.  This process was reversed to define the same characters as children in one scene.

Whilst designing the characters Graham thought it would be useful to have a particular feature that would gel the family together visually and give them a unique quality, this became a pivotal motif for the film.  So it was decided to give the hair a paper- like quality styled individually yet embodying the same properties.

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