Friday, October 15, 2010

Legend of the Boneknapper on DVD Today!

How to Train Your Dragon is out on DVD today!!! Along with the movie you can get a second short called "The Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon". It was directed and written by my good friend John Puglisi, and features some amazing hand drawn animation by Ken Duncan's studio. I got to design the characters for the 2D sequences and story board on a couple scenes as well.

When John asked for me to design a shark for Gobber to take on I pleaded with him to let it be a HammerHead. The Great White seemed overdone and I always thought HammerHeads were cooler. It was fun to try and make him as fierce looking as the dragons in the film.



I made this model sheet of the HammerHead shark based from boards done by Dave Pimentel.



These were some concepts for different appendages that Gobber could use for his arm. I was sad the "sheep on a leash" didn't make it but I'm glad the guitar got in.



I had to create Gobber as 4 different ages. Originally he was going to loose an appendage each time we went back to him, but due to the short running time of the film that story line got scrapped. I guess he must loose his leg sometime after the last encounter with the Boneknapper.



These were based from some of John's boards.



Based off of Dave's boards.



Once again based off of Dave's boards.



Based off of John's boards



There wasn't much time to create a style for this short, but I tried to push elements wherever I could. There's some really cool hand animation in the last flashback sequence of Gobber playing his guitar. Sorry I don't know who animated it.



These were some Frozen Vikings trapped in a glacier from the first flashback. I referenced some of Nico Marlet's original designs from the feature to come up with these guys.



The guy on the right is Gobber's dad. I was thinking of James Hetfield of Metallica when I designed him. The other guys didn't make it in the final cut but the middle one was going to be a young Stoic.



UPDATE: You can check out some of Matt Williames amazing pencil tests for the 2d sequences at his blog:

  • Hand Drawn Nomad
  • 42 Comments:

    At 5:00 PM, Blogger Bill Robinson said...

    Awesome designs, Ben! Love the way you handled them. I also appreciate how three dimensional your drawings are, even though they have rather graphic silhouettes. Can't wait to see the short...

     
    At 10:16 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

    These are brilliant. Loved the short, but I love these more!

     
    At 12:30 AM, Blogger SteveLambe said...

    Just watched this tonight and knew it was your handiwork right away. Incredible work as always, Ben.

    Is the Boneknapper dragon your design as well?

     
    At 9:08 AM, Blogger Rosemary Travale said...

    These are so fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing them. I just saw the short and really enjoyed it

     
    At 11:54 AM, Blogger Lucas Ferreyra said...

    AMAZING WORK, AS ALLWAYS!

     
    At 12:59 PM, Blogger tokyobanana said...

    Your different drawings are really great !!! bravo

     
    At 3:47 PM, Blogger Tatevik Avakyan said...

    These designs are amazing! Great work!

     
    At 8:50 AM, Blogger Ben Dale said...

    As soon as I saw the short I saw your style. I really hope the animated series they are making is in this style. That would rule. Great stuff as always.

     
    At 8:59 AM, Blogger Justin Rodrigues said...

    Fantastic stuff Ben! Thanks for posting these. very inspiring!

     
    At 9:47 AM, Blogger OV! said...

    these awe so awesome man. im so glad they let you design it.

    but, the finished short doesnt look as good as your drawings.

     
    At 11:48 AM, Blogger Josh 'Hat' Lieberman said...

    Holy crap Ben, this stuff is brilliant. Thanks so much for posting all of it!

     
    At 12:05 PM, Blogger Brion Salazar said...

    Just watched this last night with the kids. I loved the classic 2D stuff. Awesome job.

     
    At 12:12 PM, Blogger Randall Sly said...

    I am having trouble seeing some of the pictures, some of them are not showing up, Ben, is there any way you could re-post them? Thanks Ben... Once I saw that short I had a good guess that you helped design the characters. It was great!!!

     
    At 4:07 PM, Blogger Megan Nicole Dong said...

    These are amazing! I love all of these designs. And hammerheads were a good choice (in shark, whale and yak form). Great stuff!

     
    At 5:33 PM, Blogger Alina Chau said...

    THese design are wicked AWESOME!

     
    At 8:03 AM, Blogger Giuseppe Bianco said...

    You are an amazing character designer.

     
    At 11:56 AM, Blogger Jenny Lerew said...

    These are really genius. I also get a kick seeing the styles of John and Dave incorporated into your drawings here...that's a treat. But all of these are eye candy and tasty food for study. Wow.

     
    At 6:02 AM, Blogger Owen Williams said...

    man, I loved the short and I love these drawings...lotta love right now

     
    At 6:41 PM, Blogger Michael J. Ruocco said...

    These are wonderful! Those 2D sequences were amazing, and your designs are what made it for me! Thanks for sharing!

     
    At 8:09 PM, Blogger Howard Shum said...

    Amazing designs!

     
    At 5:39 PM, Blogger Tapan Gandhi said...

    finally got the DVD today and was pleasantly surprised to see that you had done the designs.. along with some others here, i noticed it was you right away :)

    inspirational as always! can't wait to see an animated SEAWEED sometime soon ;)

     
    At 10:24 PM, Blogger Rich T. said...

    My family and I (all HTTYD fans) loved the short film. The 2D animation was a terrific, wonderful surprise, and your character designs are delightful! Would love to see you interpret more of Berk and its people for future films!

    The hand animation on the guitar was, indeed, awesome.

    Thanks for posting the frozen vikings drawing! Now I can stop freeze framing the DVD to try to get a good look at them all!

     
    At 6:51 PM, Blogger Tooninator said...

    thanks for sharing these. They're amazing!!

     
    At 9:17 AM, Blogger Kendra Melton said...

    Keep trying to think of something to encompass all the amazing-ness in this post and have decided it can't be summed up. All around awesome job sir! :]

     
    At 4:09 PM, Blogger Richard Gaines said...

    My word! Love your work on Gobber! Makes me want to go out and do more character sheets!

     
    At 11:50 PM, Blogger Matt Williames said...

    Wow, thanks for the plug Ben! Any 2D animator knows that his days can be painful when he has to draw poorly realized designs... ALL, DAY, LOOOONG. I know we were all so thankful to be able to have had your awesome designs to work with, you made our days A LOT of fun! Thanks again man, your work was inspiring!

     
    At 1:06 PM, Blogger sakiteriyaki said...

    amazing

     
    At 3:55 PM, Blogger Mike Jones said...

    This post was so good, and full of awesomeness, I had to change my short twice. Thanks a lot, now I'm at a coffee shop with no pants on.

    seriously though, awesome drawings

     
    At 6:34 PM, Blogger Erik D. Martin said...

    Man these are so amazing!

     
    At 11:29 AM, Blogger shannon said...

    Yeah, there were several awesome "Benny B" touches.

    Congrats to everyone on a great short!

     
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    Hey were you working with Lorenzo Martinez on this? Really dig the expression

     
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    all of these are eye candy and tasty food for study.
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