Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Africa's First Full Length CGI Animated Feature..


"Character Matters has just finished working on Africa's 1st full length featured CGI animated feature, 'The Lion of Judah'. The movie, commissioned by Animated Family Films in the United States and produced by Sunrise Productions, is an 80-minute, 2K, cinema production with all the bells and whistles we have come to expect from the major studios."

Well, I'm really glad SA finally got something big going in terms of animation. Really I am. And I really take my hat off to those who had the courage and commitment to get this film made. It takes alot of guts and dedication, and I greatly respect that. Really I do. Also, this film is probably going to open up alot of doors for future animation projects.

On the down side, I have to ask the question: Couldn't the film's character design and story have been a little more.. what's the right word here.. appealing? Are these characters iconic and inventive? Will children go "Wow, that's great!" The characters seem a little dull. Or is it just me? Then again, what do I know.
Tip of the hat to the film-makers! Go check out the film's official website:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lion and Hyena Characters..

Yup, I'm having quite a bit of fun designing two new characters for a children's book (to be published - hopefully - by Fantasi Books). I've been learning a lot from Ed Benedict's approach to character design (of course my stuff isn't nearly as brilliant as Ed's designs.. duh!). Also, I'm just trying to have fun with it and follow my own design insticts. The last thing I want to do is copy someone like Ed Benedict's style. I try to search for character personality by means of drawing my characters with various facial expressions (usually I imagine my character reacting to something specific). At the same time I'm searching for design shapes that fit together. I'll post the more refined character designs later.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A new drawing..

Yes, that's right. A new drawing. Look. Guess what story it's from..

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Exploring Character..

I'm really starting to explore the possibilities with my two characters - trying to find a balance between good design, cartooniness, fun, and originality. And I have to tell you, once you let go of your intellectual preconceptions, it's really not that difficult. I'm having such fun. Lately I've been inspired by the creative thought processes and ideas of Ralph Bakshi, Tex Avery, Ed Benedict, Ward Kimball, Matt Groening, story artist Warren Foster, and, of course, John Kricfalusi. I've also been very inspired by the idea of creating something that doesn't suck as much as most modern "designy" cartoons, and bad 3D animation movies.

I would really urge anyone in the business of creating cartoons to read this great post by Ralph Bakshi:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Children's Book Drawings

Two illustrated children's books that I've done this year:

All images copyright © Gerhard Cruywagen 2008

Die Probleem Met Dinosourusse, Jaco Jacobs

Pasop Vir Die Feetjies, Jaco Jacobs

New Characters..

I started playing around with a couple of cartoon characters the other day. Not really sure what I want to do with them yet. Maybe a cartoon strip. Maybe I'll create an animated cartoon. I'll see.

All images copyright © Gerhard Cruywagen 2008

The one is a rhinoceros. The other is a chicken, i think - or at least some sort of big bird (which strikingly resembles a chicken). I started refining the designs and exploring their facial expressions. More to come soon..

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Let's give this a try..

Nothing interesting to say at the moment.. Although I do have a funny caveman drawing to show you.