Tidy Town is a 2D animated graduation film made by Thirza van der Zee and me at the University of the Arts, Utrecht (HKU) – which I directed, wrote, and produced. The film is about a raccoon cub named Joy, she has a plan to get rid of the plastic trash that has overwhelmed her island.
During visual development, I oversaw and worked on the overall art style of the film, concept art of the characters and the environment, the storyboard, and the colour board. I wanted the visuals to be cute, with a hint of realism. Reminiscent of animations I loved when I was little. Simultaneously, I added the visual details Thirza and me came up with into the plot and story, and rewrote the script several times as I received feedback from industry professionals. My ultimate goal was simplifying the plot to counter our tight deadline: graduation.
During storyboarding, I focused on amplifying Thirza’s strengths – axing unnecessary shots whilst adding relevant ones.
After readjusting the planning as covid-19 hit the Netherlands, I painted the backgrounds based on layouts created by Thirza van der Zee, Charlotte Lemmers, Cecil Eijgendaal, and myself.
I created a workflow for using Ebsynth to incorporate a painterly style. First, we (the team) finished all character shots with flat colors. Then, I painted most of the key poses to render in Ebsynth. Finally, I cleaned up all the shots in Tvpaint as sampled below.
During production of animation, I worked on both visual effects and character animation for Joy and Wolf. I also adjusted some final shots of Joy for the sake of consistency, as we had three animators working on her, with too little time to get 100% comfortable with her design.
Selections & Awards