Patata School's Complete Character Animation Course is here...and we've prepared a very special project to celebrate!
An animation series featuring a range of characters with different styles, actions, and colours. Each has their own personality and story and, best of all, we invite people to make their own characters to add to the collection by joining us for this course and more at Patata School.
The series of animations are each based on a real life setting from a California Road Trip; the coastal town of Santa Barbara, the redwoods along Big Sur, the many Gold Rush towns, and the famous Highway One.
Our characters' clothing style and the colours of each scene reflect their setting; we wanted to include the same variation in the series that we saw across the state, in the people, the nature, the architecture and style.
The characters take centre stage, being the only multi-coloured element in their scene. Every action is more visible against the single coloured backdrops and the characters are the protagonists walking through their respective worlds.
The Gold Rush character's traditional mining outfit has a Cabeza Patata charm with the handmade patterned shirt and the high trousers.
They walk through a setting of rustic objects, plants and signs indicative of the era. Many of the signs are from real places that exist or existed in these iconic Gold Rush towns.
The elements are all hand-modelled, based on real places and authentic objects and signs from them. In order to not crowd the scenes, and to create an interesting realistic yet surreal and magical world, we kept everything but the character in the same colour.
The Surfer runs through a reimagined Santa Barbara surrounded by palm trees and street signs indicating hidden messages like the 'Surf Club' or the 'Patata School' cinema.
As well as emitting a gentle glow and illuminating the scene in a subtle way, lights from the palm trees are iconic to the city. They light our surfer's path through town and to the beach.
Perhaps the most adventurous of our characters is the Big Sur theme scene. We wanted to express the enormity of the Redwood trees and the intrigue and mystique felt by walking among them. We only see the base of these giants, while knowing that our character is looking up at them with her binoculars.
Extra elements like the birds zipping through the trees, or the worms crawling through the scene, add extra movement and depth to the setting. We feel the forrest is alive and our character is just one part of it.
Finally this character depicts the iconic scene from any USA Roadtrip, with a nod to the aesthetics of Easy Rider and several recognisable elements to add a certain nostalgia.
While some street signs are real places, we also had some fun including the Patata Motel among the classics.
Before creating the animations, the character needs to be designed and rigged. This custom rig was made in Cinema 4D and allows for the exaggerated, cartoonish style we love in character animation.