Animation test for Spirit House

Spirit House is the working title of a video game demo that's currently being developed by myself and my game dev partner. The game will be a 'Point and Click' adventure/puzzle game featuring a mixed media approach to the art style and animation.
In the game, you encounter spirits in the house you are exploring. To make these characters look otherworldly and interesting we to want create them using traditional media to contrast the digitally illustrated environment. For our demo, we're focusing on one character, Kerry, who is hand painted with gouache paints.

Idle animation for Kerry

Hand-painted components that make up the character, plus a reference sketch of the end result

For Kerry's idle animation, I wanted to keep the character looking animated even at rest, so I painted each body part 4 times. By cycling through these slight variations, it created a nice wobbly effect, amplifying that hand-painted look.

By separating out the individual body parts, I plan to save time on future character poses and positions, as each element can be rotated and shifted to accommodate changes in posture. The eyes and arms are created digitally for maximum flexibility on future expressions and gestures.

Digital animation made in photoshop

Hand-painted frames, based on the digital animation

For Kerry's entrance animation, I wanted to hand paint each frame of his transformation. I started by animating the sequence digitally in photoshop, which allowed for faster previews of the animation. Once I was happy with this, I used it as a reference for painting each frame with gouache. By adding a black background to my paintings, it made it easier to later cut them out in photoshop, as the black contrasts better with the bright yellow/pink edges of the spirit.
Finally, by scanning in and repositioning all of my frames back into place, using the digital sketch as a guide, the sequence was complete!

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