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This is the sketch that started it all. I drew it in preparation for an assignment in a painting class. The topic of the assignment was "Juxtaposition". I figured that an eyeball next to just about anything made for interesting juxtaposition. The sketch took just a few seconds to draw, but once it was on paper, the whole film came to me. I just needed to meet the characters. You'll notice in the center of the sketch there is a small thumbnail. This is entirely unrelated to Alchemy except for the obvious resemblance of the figure on the right to the mad scientist.
This is the final painting made from the initial concept sketch. I originally meant for this to be used as a title screen, but in the end decided against it. Still, I think this painting was important to the film because it allowed me to play with the color pallet and the style of the characters. The medium is oil on stretched canvas.
Here we have the first and second sketches of Little Steamer, the steam-powered frankenduck. The voodoo doll on the right was initially going to be a second antagonist. I decided that within the scope of this project that Steamer was enough for Octofrog to deal with. In the lower right corner you'll see another early Octofrog concept. On the far left theres a concept sketch for some sort of bird-legged tadpole. He was just going to sit on the Mad Scientist's desk and watch the action unfold from his jar. I decided that it would be too much work to add another character who ultimately wouldn't have much affect on the story.
Another concept sketch of Little Steamer. Here I started refining some of his proportions and details on the steam engine. You'll notice that in the sketch he has fur. When I began working on Alchemy the static particle strand rendering had not been developed in Blender. Steamer didn't actually get his fur until much later into production when the strand rendering was developed for Elephants Dream. I started Alchemy about the same time as work began on Elephants Dream, and thus I benefited greatly from the software development activity associated with that project.
This sketch is where Octofrog really started to take shape. Other than the tail (which didn't fit with either the octopus or frog theme), this is very similar to the final Octofrog character. Interesting bit of trivia: I initially named Octofrog "Tentacle Frog" and in the storyboards he is referred to as "T.F."
Here is the final concept sketch for the Mad Scientist. I was going for a cross between a reptile and a vulture. In the end I think he just came out looking like a Muppet.
This is the only sketch I drew of the airship before modeling it. It is nearly identical to the final design save the large sail in the back. The name of ship is the Stargazer. It is a floating laboratory where the Mad Scientist can conduct his misunderstood experiments. You'll notice there is a large telescope on the bow of the main deck which is where the ship gets its name.
This image can hardly be called concept art, but since it didn't fit anywhere else its included here. This is an oil painting that was the basis for the environment that the airship flew through. This is one of a pair of paintings. The other depicts a similar environment at sunrise. The original storyboards had the adventure taking place over the course of the entire night, but that just didn't make sense for a five minute short. Big thanks to my friend Jimmy for photographing the painting for me with his fancy camera.