In finding these guys, I find there is a whole new niche in which an info graphic on ugly animals would be perfect. It is true that in the most case with conservation charities, the poster worthy are only ever the cute and cuddly endangered critters and rarely any that are lacking the pizzazz of what is considered beautiful. With this in mind my search into the narrower field of ugly but also endangered creatures and found the shortlist below.
The Blobfish, The proboscis Monkey (I think they're still quite sweet personally), the Aye Aye (Again, rather cute in my eyes), the Tasmanian Devil, The Californian Condor, the Great White Shark and the Axolotl. (Images sourced from National Geographic, but also Discovery news)
Each of these creatures is, in the least, considered vulnerable, but mostly endangered and they make interesting characters to present facts about.
During discussion, the possibilities of art styles arose. I was originally thinking long the lines of 2D drawings, line drawings, scratchy pen and rough watercolour fills, work not too dissimilar to the style of Quentin Blake, but also Simon Tofield (Simon's Cat) It was then suggested to me, to simplify the shapes of my chosen creatures further, aided by the inspiration of 'Fuzzy Felts' Simple shapes cut out of sheets of felt are used in children's games and stories to illustrate or just encourage creativity. But they are often bright bold colours and simple in their design.
It was highlighted to me that a great feature about creating them with simple shapes that they provide a way to transition during the info graphic video. Shapes assembling to form one creature and their deconstruction/ falling apart ready to morph into the next scene and also create a metaphor for the fact these species are endangered. One moment they are there, they exist, but if they're not saved they may just disappear. With this metaphor now firmly implanted in my head I am running with the simple shapes and tested out some shapes in photoshop.
Now I just need to figure out technically how I would like to achieve this info graphic video…
- Maya- where there are great textures to be taken advantage of. Or to take another angle, basic 3D shapes could offer a new dimension (pun intended)
- Stop Motion- I could literally animate with fuzzy felt's or similar materials frame by frame
- Flash- Animate the simple coloured shapes.
First things first, time to get my facts straight...