Posted by : Arcadio Bubs Garcia Mar 23, 2012

Behind the scenes / making of, look at the animation for Aiko Miyoko's characters of the Hapy Friends Shoppe. Animated with Anime Studio Pro.

How the project came to be?

My best friend recently set up her Hapy Friends Shoppe and had asked if she could hire me to do some graphics for her. Without hesitation I embarked on a grueling two weeks of hard non-stop work with no sleep to try and meet her demands. An image and an animation were to be made. 

Try and Try AND TRY again!...

Initially the idea was simple enough to execute. However, our visions were not in sync at all. This led me to go back to the drawing board a few times. UGH!!! LOL
Originally the characters of the Hapy Friends Shoppe were being created in vector from to give off a very clean cut look. However after starting on the forth character, a better understanding of the preferred art style was realized. Thus our first return to the drawing board.

Hapy Friends Shoppe Aiko Miyoko animation B4Astudios Anime Studio Pro

A newer less “computer generated” look was established.

Hapy Friends Shoppe Aiko Miyoko animation B4Astudios Anime Studio Pro

Now that the image was established, I had to grasp the idea which was given. Taking in what the Hapy Friends Shoppe was proved to be more of a challenge then initially assessed. The idea of Gothic and Cute mashed together in one sounded simple enough but gave me headaches when it came time to try and convey this on screen. -.- Many things were tried and all failed. Even the new “look” was wrong! >_< After hitting a wall and becoming depressed, my best friend explained to me how art touches her soul. Listening to this took me into a deep far away old place I hadn’t been to in so long…

Hapy Friends Shoppe Aiko Miyoko animation B4Astudios Anime Studio Pro

Hapy Friends Shoppe Aiko Miyoko animation B4Astudios Anime Studio Pro

I went on a trip to a time when I was deeply depressed and remembered all the different multimedia outlets I use to go to for ease of mind. Old horror movies, stories, and hardcore depressing materials filled my head. This set the mood that was portrayed in the banner. (minus the little cute smiles lol) With a new state of vision, inspiration, and drive, a new concept for the graphic materialized in my head.

Hapy Friends Shoppe Aiko Miyoko animation B4Astudios Anime Studio Pro
Success!!! Nailed exactly what was in the mind of the client. :D Giving a much needed boost in moral, drawing began immediately for the graphic. Still no easy task as the image was restarted 5 or so times before it was completed. Color choices and other elements were carefully discussed and implemented into what is now the finished version of the banner.

Hapy Friends Shoppe Aiko Miyoko animation B4Astudios Anime Studio Pro


Now that the “easy” part of this project was complete, it was time to move onto creating the animation. I was fairly confident in my own skills to pull this off but soon found out that I was out of the game for longer than I had thought. :/  Attempting to provide a quick example of what the animation would look like to the client proved to be challenging as I could not recall fundamental elements of my old skill set to animate! OH-NOZ WTF!!!

YUK! A crude animation was given regardless. Looking worse than what can be done in a presentation application, I began to question my own abilities.

Back to school… NAO!

Feeling the burn of a deadline which seemed impossible to meet, I quickly went to my archives and studied my old animations. Along with this, I hit the web and learned new techniques and tricks. And of course, I dove into the application, grabbed it by the horns, and wrestled it down so that I could tame it once again. A new test animation was created and a new completed set of “animation ready” graphics were prepared. The graphics were prepared based on the results of the animation tests.

Lights, Cameras, Action!

Now that many graphics were prepared and my skills were sharpened enough to be able to move forward, it was time to bite the bullet and start this animation short. :o  A marathon session of 24 hours almost exactly had been established. Many ideas and a few sketches were manifested. The original animation was suppose to be very cute with psychedelic colors and weird but funny scenarios. The whole idea was almost completely thrown out as it did not convey anything Gothic at all. This again was my inability of mashing Cute and Gothic together on screen. So back to the deep regions of my mind I went. This time Batman came to mind and really was the inspiration for most of the animation. Other pieces of inspiration were several anime series and even vampires.

Being a little too ambitious?

I was beating myself up over the simplistic ideas being incorporated into the animation. -.- Originally I wanted to portray the characters as super heroes fighting off some weird monster. This proved complicated because I was seeking to portray a story. The purpose of the animation was to simply introduce the main characters to the HapyFriends Shoppe. Sitting back to rethink the video, I had to be less ambitious and more straight forward. I relied on what I know I knew… CUTENESS! So I tried to make the animation as cute as I could with the gothic elements sprinkled around. Even when all that was done, scenes were still cut out and dumb down to meet the deadline. Even the floppy eared Nana-Chan in the end was almost cut! O_o Gladly she was squeezed in somehow! In the end the animation was met with a more than reassuring speechless reaction from Aiko. A great weight was lifted from my chest as she explained how much she loved it. One thing that was included in both pieces of this project was my heart. And it will be included with ALL of our B4A Studio productions. ;) <3

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