Magic Trixie- Background Redesign
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Magic Trixie- Background Redesign

Zachary Heiser
by zistheone on 31 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

This shows my process of redesigning a background from Alex Kirwan's animated short, Magic Trixie. While initially a class project, this ended up becoming a personal piece since I worked on revising several major flaws outside of class.

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Overview

Last year I worked redesigned one of the backgrounds from Alex Kirwan’s short, Magic Trixie, which was featured as part of Nickelodeon’s Oh Yeah! Cartoons in 1999. While this was originally a class project, I decided to revise it once the quarter was finished to make it a stronger piece for my portfolio.

Original Background

While I liked how the original background fits the tone Kirwan’s short, I wanted to push the colors, mood, and magic elements in my redesign to give the scene a feeling of suspense and mystery.

Thumbnails and Value Comps

My initial goal was to make the shop look as if it takes place in a dying town, with the front of the magic shop acting as the focal point. The concept was a homage to magic stores and pawn shops from 80s films such as the store from Gremlins

The style was influenced by UPA cartoons and vintage magic posters from the 1930s. 

Original Illustration-Process

The original design was meant to have skewed perspective. Not only would it make the viewer feel uneasy, but it would also give the impression that the street wrapped itself around the magic shop.

Feedback and General Notes

Unfortunately, my original illustration had several problems, though I knew I wanted to use this piece for my portfolio since it worked with my personal style. Once my class was over, I went back and took notes from everyone's feedback so I could figure out what to work on for my revision.

Revised Composition

Since my piece's biggest problem was the composition, I decided to make my revision a one-point perspective with everything curving around the magic shop. This way, I could still use the skewed perspective from my original design without making the illustration feel too uncanny as last time.

Color Studies

My original goal for this piece was to use a limited color palette that gave the feeling of a dying town. However, since my teacher mistook the color palette from my last illustration for a night scene, I worked on sever studies in order figure out color scheme I was looking for.

Value Studies

Since I wanted the piece to take place during the day, I tried using a backlight approach for the values. This way, I could have a spotlight coming from the magic shop without making the illustration look as if it were taking place at night.

Final Illustration- Process


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