Pre-production: Script V1

Both Kinnaree and Hemaraj are an anatomical mixture of creatures. Making these hybrids work anatomically and getting them to move and walk will be the trickiest bit of this project. If the base skeleton has flaws the animation can result badly.
Firstly, the Kinnaree, a half bird half human creature. It is said to be a bird from the waist downwards with a beautiful pair of wings and tail. Although, in the descriptions the bird is more of a swan, in murals its feathers look more colourful than that of a swan.They resemble other birds' feather colours and structure like:Peacock, Australian lyrebird, Formosan magpie, Paradisaea Rudolphi, Birds of paradise, Pheasants. It's worth looking into other birds for reference and there is a huge variety to choose from.
Hemaraj is a more interesting creature. It belongs to the lion based  beings of the forest but appears to have the head of a Hong ( a bird creature resembling a swan) on murals. In other illustrations its head looks like a crocodile with a long snout and revealing teeth. There is a huge choice of experimentation with skin textures, skeletal mixtures and animal behaviours for Hemaraj.We chose this creature for its interesting mixture of animals, the fact that it looks humorous and its lion anatomy which is the closest to a dog one. We want Hem to act like a playful dog so a mammal like a lion's one will be a good base to work on.

Unsorted plan with working entries

Character names TBA:

Research the period setting to focus on production design more efficiently
Brain storm
Initial script
Completed ident with corporate jingle 
Film and animation research/ Spiritual iconography
Project Roles – Coalesce who’s going to be doing what
List of interactive items and props for animation (cont’d)
Final script
Kinnaree initial Alchemy silhouettes
Kinnaree final Alchemy silhouettes
Hem initial Alchemy silhouettes
Hem final Alchemy silhouettes
Hem initial body shapes
Hem final body shapes
Initial character concept art 
Initial story boards
Kinnaree initial character facial expressions
Kinnaree final character facial expressions 
Hem initial character facial expressions
Hem final character facial expressions
Kinnaree initial body shapes
Kinnaree final body shapes
Kinnaree resolved character design
Hem resolved character design
Kinnaree initial turnaround
Kinnaree resolved turnaround
Hem initial turnaround
Hem resolved turnaround
Kinnaree detailed concept
Hem detailed concept
Initial environment design
Final environment design
Initial mise-en-scène design
Final mise-en-scène design
Title tests
All of above to be refined
Initial animatic 
Final animatic 


Kinnaree Character modelling
Hem Character modelling
Refining script comedy-gags/ research situation gags in animations
Post-production – Marketing: 
Press-junket – conference inventory
Personal business cards
3D Matte Concepts
Soundtrack tests
Quadruple Additional/ Trotting/ Jumping Tests
Quadruple Walking Cycle Test 1 – 5 Dec 2012
Quadruped Animation Research
Art and Symbology
Social Networking to be completely synced up

Pre-production: Character Bios

Character Bios

Kinnaree/ Swan Lady

Known to be a strong woman, but also fragile at certain times. Much in the manner of appearance (hair and clothing), her character is tough but with a sweetness background of a celestial dancer. With a high sense of independence, and faced with the need to continue her “destiny”, she went on without relying on anyone. The woodland dance is an expression of her inner strength; gracefulness is released when she performs the dance. Sometimes she has attacks of spectacular laughter, completely contrasting with her usual personality.


Hem is a strange creature, believed to be complex and dynamic, though it has a cheerful soul with a strong determination hidden in the back of its chest. It is a denizen of the Himalayan forest and encounters Kinnaree as she sets off on her pilgrimage. With Kinnaree, Hem emulates the grace and elegance of the swan lady. It is an accompanying patron of dance and tries his best to be part of it, energetic and curious.

Pre-production: Three Act Structure

Three Act Structure

Act one:
Over a dark screen we see the caption (insert caption-to-be/ title name here). The opening begins with the camera swooping through the woods; it’s tall trees creating darkness, looming over the landscape. But there is a feeling of calmness about the forest, something profoundly Thai, dreamlike in its beauty. The camera dives deep inside to reveal the Kinnaree. She is sensuous and innocent. The Kinnaree is making passage into the forest and soon finds a shed of light. We see a vista of the forest chamber where the sun is seeping through the trees. Here she will perform her dance.

Act two:
The kinnaree wheels round to the sound in the bushes and gets scared. Out comes the Hem (quadruped creature); clumsy, driven by excitement and energy. It starts to play. Startled, kinnaree is irked by the animal’s novel behavior. She shoos the hem away. The hem mimics her. Kinnaree is elegantly defensive. She gives up and throws her hands in the air, returning to her dancing. Hem continues to mimic her, much to Kinnaree’s annoyance. 

Act three:
Anger and determination set in. Kinnaree begins to think, overlapping with the Hem’s amusements. She volts into the air and throws a stick into the distance. Hem runs to get it and kinnaree opens her wings to land softly, happy she's in peace. She prepares to resume her dance only to confront the (now onscreen) hem who has raced back, holding the stick. Kinnaree’s strained expression tells us she is struggling to keep her façade up. She lurches into a crouch, nostrils flaring. 

Hem studies Kinnaree's sad optimism. She is crestfallen. The flowers are wilting in the distance. A breeze only serves to emphasise their temporary discomfort. Concerned by its apathy, Hem tries to bridge the gap and starts to replicate Kinnaree’s solo dance. She looks up with a cursory look at first, confused by the concept, and then accepts the fact that Hem won’t leave unless they dance together. She focuses on the dance and joins in. Kinnaree starts to move and begins to enjoy it, feeling the Hem’s grace and strength. Together, the two characters jitter in the blaze of the suns harmony.

As mentioned our animation is based on Thai Mythology and specifically focusing on the mythical creatures of the Himmapan Forest, a legendary forest which surrounds the base of Mount Meru in Hindu mythology. It is said it's located beneath the buddhist heavens on the top of he Himalayan Mountains. 

In terms of style, our animation will derive from traditional Thai Art which is primarily composed of Buddhist art. Thai Art is rich in colour, full of interesting shapes and patterns and pays extreme attention to detail. This detail can be seen in Paintings, Murals, Architecture, Sculpture, Clothing, Jewellery and even modern interpretations like Tattoo designs. It will be interesting to see what this distinctive art direction will turn into in combination with Modern CG software.

The is also a number of colours that appear to be dominant on Murals and paintings with gold standing out in almost every painting, sculpture or temple. Every colour is deeply connected with the Buddhist religion and beliefs. There is also an image representing the colour of Thai Art on the map, an outcome from the website The Color Of.
Our animation aims for two characters, both living in the Forest who will build a special relationship together. Our first character is the famous Kinnaree, a half human half bird creature which will perform a solo dance. It is meant to be a young woman of sublime beauty wearing an angel- like costume. Her wings on her lower body part enable her to travel between the human and mythical worlds. A lot of Artists tried to visualise the creature in their own way and came up with beautiful paintings and sculptures of it.
Our second character is a quadruped creature called Hemaraj- or Hem for short. It's a hybrid mix between a Hem (a sort of reptile creature) with a lion. A Hem is also represented as a Hong, meaning a swan. It will be exciting to mix all these animals together and create a humorous, clumsy character which will interact with the opposite serious and graceful looking Kinnaree.

Pre-production: Branding Development

Naming our studio was the first step we had to take for this project. We had no idea what the name could mean for us so we started combining different word groups together like food with planets, fruit with animals or weather conditions with objects. We decided to go for Mango Mercury. It sounds like a juicy explosion of ideas- a fresh start for this project. Other name ideas we found interesting were:

·Brushippo· Maple Mercury· Surreal Seal· Misty Flint· Maple Meteor· Lemon flint· Cubic apple· Grey Lemon· Lemon Splash· Apple White·Snowy Cherry· Jealous Lemon· Lemon Rain· Acute Zebra· Storm Zebra· Lemon Chaos· Lemon-pulse· Zebra-GO· Maple Triad· Chrono Lemon· Maple gate· Snowy Page· Pearl Zebra· Pebble Float

I sketched out some very quick logo ideas on paper. The main idea was to somehow show the explosion of mango juices with the planet. We liked the idea of colourful liquid orbiting the planet.

To avoid making our logo and header look like a Mango Juice Brand, we kept the orange colour limited. Dayle also made his own font with a soft gradient and light shadowing. This is our header design which shows our studio name and main logo - a mango planet collapsing with a meteorite and creating an explosion of juices. 

Next is our watermark, again similar to our header design but more minimalistic so it can be easily placed on our files like images or Word Documents.

Our blog  follows the idea of an simple design with some some nice touches like the brushstrokes on the post titles, our own font in some of the side links, the speech bubble for commenting and the decorative paintings around the page for nice framing. 
The blog will undergo some slight changes but that is the main idea of it. Stay tuned for more updates.

Welcome Post

Hello and welcome to Mango Mercury Studios. This blog will operate in the field of 3D modelling and animation with Autodesk Maya and Mudbox.

Here is the opportunity and the time to introduce ourselves. We are a student duo identity; Dayle Sanders and Andriana Laskari. I hope this blog will allow us to organise and share the best information that we have gained and sometimes elaborate in the development of our academic and professional minor project and events. We will be working online and offline, and maybe get more feedback from those who share our interests.

This blog travels in parallel with our main personal blogs. The posts published here are sometimes a simple translation or adaptation of the content of our main entrees to our personal blogs. Please feel free to follow them by selecting one of the side-bar navigational links. To receive real-time updates of this blog, follow us on Facebook, or bookmark this page where public. Links to other social media use and further info on my activities are available below (TBC).

To summarise, we live in south-east England and take a shine to universal stories and characters. Keep tuned - further updates are on their way. We will start to exhibit our early ideas on the transcribed, Thai mythology; the ‘Kinnaree’.