After having the flash concept work deadline sneak up on me like a panther in a pool of tar on a cloudy night, I have been doing little else recently. I started by perusing the clips made available for our usage and settled on D which contains a suitably comic awkward silence which I thought would make good comedic challenge.

The debate starts with the students discussing the merits of handwritten versus typing methods of working. This led me to represent the argument very literally in the way only animation can. This meant a cast consisting of a pc, monitor, bag and ink pot. I started sketching these and had a pretty clear idea of where I was going with each character. The hardware is based on the comuters we had at my college: old, nasty and beige; the bag is based on the rucksack I used for years on end all through primary school; and the ink pot I struggled with. I wanted a character who would represent the arty and opinionated character. I thought of a watercolour or paint pot but they didn't feel right or weren't functional in attributing facial features to them.
Then I went about recreating them in flash and found that using the paint brush tool with smoothing turned down and pen pressure affecting brush stroke width I could get a style I liked that stayed true to my usually wobbling line drawing style.

Then I went back and began designing mouths for each of the characters making sure they were consistant with the materials each was made of (though there are obligatory teeth and tongues). This is why I chose a pixelated mouth for the monitor and a zippy/sewn mouth for the rucksack.

I still need to work on mouths for the ink bottle and apply a lot more detail to the background as its just a bare desk at the moment. I look forward to continuing this project as the amount of life imbued into this characters through speech alone is very satisfying.

Group Shot: