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Wizards Vs. Aliens - The Devolution of Stickly by Kaduflyer Wizards Vs. Aliens - The Devolution of Stickly by Kaduflyer
I consider myself to be a very easy going, patient kinda guy, lucky enough to be doing a job he absolutely loves…but sometimes…just occasionally…it tests even my thick skin!!

The show once again is Wizards Vs. Aliens and I’ve been asked to design a new character called Stickly, he’s a Hobbidyhoy, a good guy on the side of the wizards…small and cute...talks in rhyme…a typical kids TV character.

(left to right)
My usual practice is to present the clients with pencil roughs to get a quick feel for what they’re after. The feedback is positive and the vote apparently is unanimous, they all like number 5, so I start roughing up a more detailed rendering.

I now do a full body rough, adding clothes and a staff. The sketch is sent to the clients to make sure they like the additions….they do, but ask: “why have you put that head on it?” Cross referencing e-mails to make sure I’ve made no mistake I reply “er?....because that’s the one you asked for…”
Clients: “oh…sorry…we meant number 3”

I’m used to changes, it’s their money, they get what they want. But time’s pressing (this is TV and time’s always at a premium) so I decide to go straight into a Z-Brush 3D design…the client can now see their character in 3 dimensions negating any further misconceptions.

Taking my original drawing and adding a Z-Brush head I also present them with a full colour rendering. Everyone is very happy, I’m told to start sculpting and a costume designer is brought on board to make his robes, staff, shoes etc.

So I start the sculpt and send off progress shots with measurements for the clients, who respond with: “He’s very big isn’t he?”
So I explain: The sculpt is quite big since we plan to use real hands in fury gloves for the little guy. He will be basically a glove puppet, with one puppeteer operating the head, mouth and the hand holding the staff, a second puppeteer will be the other hand and gross body moves and a third will operate eyes, brows and smile animatronics via radio control.
Clients: ‘We can’t have three puppeteers…lets lose the arms”
Me: “eh??.....er??...ok”

So to the head you see here I added a sort of peanut shaped body and two feet…it’s bizarre but it sort of works. Unfortunately I have no pictures of this stage...it was brief and I had no time.
Clients: “Yeah…he’s got to fit in a small cage…lets lose the body completely”
Me: “completely??”
Clients: “Yup…just a head with some feet!”
Me: “O…….K”

The result of this was truly awful and thankfully the client came back with: “It’s still too big!!”

So I started sculpting from scratch the much smaller version you see here and that’s what appeared in the show…I really don’t like it as I think it looks exactly what it is: a whole series of compromises and bad ideas.

Like I said at the start…I love my job…but sometimes in can make me go: AAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmrnorth:
MrNorth Featured By Owner May 4, 2014
I like the eye lids.
Reply
:iconseeker11299:
Seeker11299 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013
He's a great character

wizardsvsaliens.wikia.com/wiki…
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:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Thankyou….his genesis was quite painful but the end result was a lot of fun I have to admit.
Reply
:iconseeker11299:
Seeker11299 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
Yeah it's always funny when he's in it. Great design!
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:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Thank you!
:)
Reply
:icondragonholder411:
dragonholder411 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ohman, does that sort of thing with the clients happen often? Or is that just a once-in-a-while sort of situation that occurs?
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Professional Filmographer
It's quite a common occurrence really....it's rare to do a design and have the client go "Yup....that's the one!". To have such awful decisions made is rarer, most of the time I can get my head around WHY the client wants what they want and can deliver something that satisfies us both.

This is why I paint pictures for myself...no one can tell me what to do, how to do it, I can do things exactly as I see fit!
:)
Reply
:iconcreaturegirl:
CreatureGirl Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013
Ughhhh, I know what you mean. You try to give a client quality and they keep having you dumb it down so they can save money, or time, until it becomes a horrible, thing. It doesn't happen too often but sometimes I get a project that ends up like that as well but I think your example wins out on any of mine.
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:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Lol...well it's not a competition I enjoyed winning!!
Reply
:iconbelpetr:
BelPetr Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013
Wow! Fantastic work. Like it.
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Thank you
Reply
:iconsmokey-doodle:
Smokey-Doodle Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013  Student General Artist
I liked you original concept art better... but I guess thats a duh.
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I've yet to meet anyone who didn't.
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:iconsmokey-doodle:
Smokey-Doodle Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Student General Artist
Well, directors are still artists of types, but the design and detail the concept artists put into their work just seems to outshine that 'Ooh let's put him in a cage!' thing that directors can do.
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Professional Filmographer
But our job is to facilitate the directors vision....so we remain philosophical about it and cash the cheques!
:)
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:iconsmokey-doodle:
Smokey-Doodle Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Student General Artist
Yes, well at least you have your original art documented~
That way we still get to see what it could have been. :)
Reply
:iconmoray-eel:
moray-eel Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
you sir, are a saint.
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:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Lol...not really....I just have a very pragmatic approach to my work....and I've grown a very thick skin over the years!
:)
Reply
:iconmoray-eel:
moray-eel Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013
:)
Reply
:iconms-seven0:
Ms-Seven0 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
Aw... i really feel bad for you man. That first concept was quite adorable. I don't even understand why they went for head nmb 3... 5 was by far the cutest!
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Yeah, 5 got the workshop vote as well...so when we thought they'd picked it I was like "oh yeah...onto a winner!"....lol...how wrong I was!
Reply
:iconandyfairhurst:
AndyFairhurst Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Good stuff Dave. Love your sketches
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Thanks dude...it's often the most fun part of any job...just doodling in pencil...old school!
Reply
:iconlisagorska:
LisaGorska Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
clients....
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
...lucky they got money eh??
Reply
:iconwinggal:
Winggal Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Student Filmographer
The story is hilarious!
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
You have to learn to laugh at these things...else you'd be crying all the time!
:)
Reply
:iconcrhackenbruch:
CRHackenbruch Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013
I'm sorry. I feel bad for saying this, but a lot of the time, there's reasons clients aren't artists...
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
This is very true...and I have no problem with that...it's when they THINK they are that the problems REALLY start!!
Reply
:iconnecromammoth:
Necromammoth Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hear you(( Looks like customers have some kind of a common feature to choose poorest of variants because of some stupid ideas that cheaper is better or sthng like that. Sometimes I wanna shout at my producers and hit them with a brick)))
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
The problem is when you start hitting them with bricks they tend to stop hiring you....I've just got used to this sort of thing happening and whilst it's frustrating at the time I can quickly put it behind me and move on to the next project with a smile.
:)
Reply
:iconrandyhand:
RandyHand Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013
The final result just doesn't work. So sorry you had such a great idea/concept go down the shitter.
It would have been so cool the way you wanted to do it.
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
It doesn't work..the real frustration is that I could've MADE it work if they'd allowed me time to do a complete redesign....never mind eh?...on to the next one!!
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:iconrandyhand:
RandyHand Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013
Yeah, that's gotta be a tough one...having to just let something go.
You have a good attitude!
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Time and experience is a great adjuster of attitude.
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:iconrandyhand:
RandyHand Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013
Isn't that the truth?
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:iconbaucreeep:
BauCreeep Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
well that is a funny creature
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:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
It certainly is very odd.
:)
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:iconbaucreeep:
BauCreeep Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
yup:D--------------------------
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:iconsteelmantis:
Steelmantis Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
shame, the design looked great, the head on feet final .. no so much
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:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I haven't shown these to anyone who disagreed....except the clients....lol
Reply
:iconsteelmantis:
Steelmantis Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:)

Could they not have done the hands as rod puppet? and then maybe one other for the radio controls?
I know you said they had budget constraint to deal with.. If this character is a continuous major player
my thinking would have gone the lines of enlarge the cage and work with camera angles
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Professional Filmographer
The way the show works is that each story line runs 2 episodes, all within the framework of the continuous story of alien invaders being thwarted by modern wizards. So Stickly features in 2 episodes as a major character and then for subsequent episodes will be a secondary character in a cage. I was only involved on set during the first series so wasn't around when this guy got shot and the episodes have yet to air so I can't say more than that for now.

Rod hands would still involve that 3rd puppeteer unless you made one hand fixed. The problem we faced was that in the first series there had featured a creature on the aliens side that was basically a mouth with legs. I had done the original designs for them as well (and yes they did have arms when I drew them!) but had not been involved further. The designs got changed and the little alien beasties proved quite popular....so the producers (as they always do) thought that if it had worked once it would work again...and they might yet be right! If the show airs and the kids take to Stickly then I'll have to change my tune!!!.....weirder things have happened!!
Reply
:iconsteelmantis:
Steelmantis Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
ah I see
so in a way they are try to stick to a "style continuity"
as you say.. may or may not work! is always a roll of the dice with this stuff
I've seen shows that I thought are great and got canceled right off the starting block
and shows that are in my personal taste.. rubbish.. go on to last longer the I could've imagined
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Professional Filmographer
It was less a 'style continuity' than a 'save money continuity'. One of the original briefs on the job was to keep the two factions (aliens and wizards) stylistically very distinct...one direction we went was to make the aliens very colourful, with bright primary colours and the wizards and the fantasy creatures on the wizards side all Earth tones in browns and greens. So having each side have characters that were just heads with feet makes no sense at all as it starts to harmonise the previously diverse styling.

As for a shows popularity?.....it's impossible to say what will become a hit and what will fail...the public's taste can never be predicted, if it could every show would be a mammoth success.
Reply
:iconsteelmantis:
Steelmantis Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Bottom line is always the buck!
the earth tones verses the bright colors is a common theme
and makes sense.
Would have to agree with you on the harmonizing aspect
if they are to similar it would hard to tell who's who and make the show boring.
hopefully it turn out to be a success and the kids love it.
Reply
:iconkaduflyer:
Kaduflyer Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Professional Filmographer
It's already a success and they've commissioned two more seasons...I ain't complaining!!!
:)
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(1 Reply)
:iconmamanekosama:
MamaNekoSama Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013
Thaaaaaaat.... sounds really frustrating O____O
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