Friday, May 27, 2011

"Adventure Episode" Design Concepts Part 1

The Adventure Episode; One of my favorites!
Christian's brilliant script called for Muno to discover an underground passage leading to an ancient Mesoamerican-esque temple where he discovers a golden statue resembling an ear of corn. This is no doubt paying homage to our favorite adventure movies of the 80's.

Brandon Minton sent over this early computer sketch to show where we needed to start. We had to build a miniature model as well as a full scale set for the top of the temple.

I started clicking my mouse too and brought to the table the concept below. I heard that DEVO's energy-dome hats were actually inspired by Mayan temples, so I thought it would be fun with art-imitating-life imitating art again and tried a DEVO inspired temple shape.
It didn't really work and we went back to the traditional block shape.

Then I put down the mouse down and picked up the colored pencils. More sloppy = more fun!
The colors here were important to me. I didn't want warm rock colors. I wanted something cool & stony but still Yo Gabba bright. I went for blues, greens and purples; a meager nod to Eyvind Earle's genius castle interiors from one of my favorite movies, Sleeping Beauty.

I felt that bright green moss everywhere would really make the the background pop in certain areas.
I'm often throwing in concept ideas that just don't work budget or script-wise but are fun. Why not have a puppet snake in the background? Oh..yeah, that's why.
Also notice the popcorn motif on the altar. It's a tiny reveal to the forthcoming popcorn payoff at the end of the script.
Later I thought it might be fun if the carved faces in the background were more character specific to the show, so I made them random smiling Goobles instead of generic tiki-hieroglyphs. I confess, I try to sneak Gooble in as much as possible.

The script also called for a pillar or post for Muno to lasso and climb up on, as showed here in Julia Vickerman's storyboard.

So I was asked to design a pillar. BO-RING. I figured if we were going to make our guys sculpt and paint something, it might as well be fun looking, right? I felt it was another oppurtunity to work in some more YGG characters. Naturally, I first thought of another chance to work in Gooble, but maybe too much...

... We are telling the story of an ancient ruin, not my fascination with a crying ghost, so I drew inspiration from these gargoyles representing the great Quetzelcoatl, or "feathered serpent"

I thought that our own little cat-dragon Toodee would pull this look off really well, so there's your pillar design for you.

Also, I had this idea of having the top of the temple to resemble a Pizza Hut. Wouldn't you think that's funny? I guess it was just me. Bryan Anderton pointed out that with Muno being almost 7 feet tall, it would be difficult to even fit that roof into frame. You win some, you lose some.
And now, here's how it turned out! (Click to enlarge)

Hooray for corn!