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Getting the Gang Together

I've been working on developing characters for my PETERoMeter Augmented Reality SEL children's book while I wait for my editor to review the manuscript. I'm using this time to think about the characters more fully, develop a backstory, and figure out how I might want to illustrate and animate each one. I put them all into this interactive genially. You can click on the interaction button to view their introduction video and read a short blurb.

It took me about a month so far to dream up, draw, and animate each of these characters. I think the process was slowed by so many decisions that needed to be made as I come up with strategies for making them move. I'm working in Procreate app on the iPad and trying to figure out the most efficient way to use the tools available.

Take a look at how complicated PETER is. He has separate animations for his eyes, steam, antenna, gauge, gears, eye brows, button panel, and springs. I demonstrate this here.

Next I'm going to rework PETER's parents, Alumi-mum and Do-Dad...

They are based on a painting I made for my niece for her wedding.

One thing I am considering is moving away from straight edges. I know robots have very geometric, machine-made lines, but when I draw freehand, I am able to add a bit more bounce, personality, and convey more feelings. I think the stiffness of straight lines may keep the viewer from connecting with the characters.

What do you think?

Please comment below.