D-CON 10/03/2011
 
On Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th of March a huge event was held at the Union. This event is called D-CON.

For the past three years, D-CON, which stands for Dundee Convention, has been held once during the summer or spring for everyone as well as students. There people can play video games, trading card games, buy merchandice, buy or sell artwork, watch cartoons and buy manga. 

It mainly centres around Anime/Manga or Japanese cartoons/comics, but there are other comics such as DC or Marvel. 

There was also a costum competition to see who has the best hand-made costum. 

The first two times it was orginized, I was unable to go, but this year I was determined to attend. There was also an after-party called Animania for anyone who was over 18, but it was mainly for students. Especially Animation students.

And it was awesome!    
 
 
As well as studying sword fights we also have to study traditional Spanish dancing as Sophia will be dancing in one scene.

We are mainly looking at pictures and videos of the traditional Spanish Flamenco dance.

This dance is famous for being both graceful and fast-paced with guitar music and women wearing long frilly dresses. 
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Went to see this movie as a birthday treat.

LOVED IT!

The film was based off a series of books and a great many things were changed, but it had me gripped from the start.

The storyline was very interesting and had you sitting at the edge of you're seat just dieing to see what would happen next. It was filled with action, adventure and heart.

Characters were also very interesting as each was different not only in personality, but also in colouring, size and species.

The animation was extremely well done. The owls looked very realistic, each with their own disstinct markings and facial experssions. The fight scences were incredible! It was done really well and it was interesting to see how creatures without hands could fight with weapons.

All in all I give it a 12 out of 11!
 
Fencing Studies 01/11/2010
 
When studying for this animation, Ashley and I did want to have sword fights in it and to do that we would have to study actual fights.

At first we just watched old Zorro movies/series, but then Wayne said we should look at fencing as well.

Just now we're looking at images and videos, but we're hoping to find places that practice fencing.
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While I was busy drawing storyboard panels, small animations or character designs, I also did a few small sketches or doodles of Mousetachio and his friends in different situations.

Below are just a few examples.
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Although most of his time was spent chasing crooks and thieves, I believe that Mousetachio would at least try to be a good role model to the children in the town.

He could prehaps teach them morals such as fairness and equality, and that you should never judge someone just because of they're background or that just because some mice are more fortunate than others doesn't nessarily make them better than them.

He may even allow them to wear his hat, pretending to be a hero like him (above).
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I believe that when he wasn't leading his double-life as Mousetachio, Diego would probably reflect on the challenges in his life, like most heroes tend to do.

Many times he would think about what had led him to his decision of being a hero and making changes, how to improve the goverments rule over his homeland and how he could never honestly admit his feelings for Sophia, and if he did how could he tell her that Diego de Richie was really El Mousetachio.
 
But mostly, he thought about his old friend, El Diablo. He would think about the many happy and innocent days they had spent together as children, how they had been pulled apart and how they met again, but leading two different paths.

And Diego forever wondered and questioned what had happened to his friend. How could the happy and fun-loving boy he had known as a child change into the ruthless and evil man that he knew now?
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Looking back at my old idea of Mousetachio having a steed, inspired me to do this sketch.

Knowing that almost every hero had a trusty steed, Mousetachio decided that he too wanted a partner to realiy on.

But instead of just buying himself a mongoose as Diego, he decided to be a smart-alck and catch a wild one as Mousetachio. Wandering out into the valley, he came across a lone mongoose in a meadow. 

It look big and strong with powerful legs. A worthy steed for a worthy hero. And he had absolutly no doubt that he could capture the beast. Why, he could rope a couple of pick-pockets blindfolded, surely capturing a mongoose would be no problem for El Mousetachio. 

Full of confidence, he jumped onto the creature's back and swiftly placed a brindle around the beast's jaws. Mousetachio sat atop his new steed's back and held his head high with pride.

The mongoose, however, was having none of this. It sped off and gave the cocky hero the wildest ride of his life. 

After that Mousetachio decided he prefered to work alone.    
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As we usually tend to see Zorro standing heroically infront of a rising or setting sun (I never can tell which) I decided to do the same with Mousetachio.

Weather at the beginning or end of the film, the tradition is that we usually see Zorro sitting atop Tornado's back, pointing his sword skywards as his steed rears up with a mighty neigh.

I had to think a little differently with Mousetachio since he doesn't have a steed. I still wanted him standing before a sunrise/sunset pointing his sword towards the sky. But instead of putting him on a steed, I had him standing on rooftop, seeing him as only a dark shouliette.

I don't think it's too bad, how about you?
 
 
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These were my first attempts at drawing Mousetachio in order to see if I could draw in the style Ashley wanted. I pictured him as a silver mouse with a red nose, somehow it just seemed to fit him. 

When Ashley and I were disscusing about his secret identy, I decided that we could follow the Zorro tradition and make in the son of a wealhty landowner. I decided to name him Diego de Richie. Diego is Zorro's original name, but the de Richie part I just made up. However, the name seemed to fit him.   
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Although Ashley liked my idea of El Mousetachio being a silver mouse with a red nose, she said she wanted him to have an undertone. I began experimenting with the three main characters, El Mousetachio, Sophia Marina Maggaretta and El Diablo.

Finally, I decided that our hero should be a silver mouse with purple undertone, have a black mousetache, a big red nose and bright green eyes. Sophia, being the most beautiful mouse in the town and our hero's love interest, is a white mouse with a light creamy undertone, black hair, a pink nose and bright blue eyes. As for our villain, El Diablo, he has dark brown fur with a red undertone, a light brown mousetache, a black nose and blood-red eyes.

Both Ashley and I agreed that this is what our characters would look like. 
  
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Somewhere along the lines, I got the crazy idea that Mousetachio should have a steed since Zorro always has his horse, Tornado.

The only problem was trying to think what it could be. It certainly couldn't be a horse since Mousetachio is a mouse so it had to be something that was close enough to Mousetachio's size, but still big enough for him to ride.

I finally decided that he could perhaps ride a ferret or mongoose. I even tried to think up names for him:
Mango
Tacho
Nacho
Rico
Manwel
Chiko
Fluffy
Cuddles
Buttons
Chedder

However, the idea was quickly disguarded as neither of us were sure how to animate the hero riding his steed.
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Studying the clothing of this perticular time in Spanish Californian history, I came up with the designs of the characters clothes. 

I also looked it up on pervious Zorro films and cartoons such as The Legend of Zorro film, Disney's Zorro television series and Kaiketsu Zorro, a Japanese anime of Zorro. Frilly shirts and dresses with lots of buttons seemed to be a very popular style back then.   
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Whilst Ashley worked on perfecting the main characters style, it was my job to come up with designs for the side characters.

These are a few of my earliest sketches. I hadn't really researched the clothing at that time, but I assumed it was something close to the Victorian age so I basically just thought of old fashioned clothes.

Since Mousetachio is somewhat naked, I thought that the mice didn't nessarily have to be fully clothed. Some could just have a shirt on or a pair of pants. Rich mice would have colourful fancy clothes whereas poor mice would have downy clothes with patches.

Inspired by Disney's Doug television series, I thought that the mice would not only have different fur and eye colours, but nose colours as well.
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After finally deciding on what the three main side characters would look like I had to do a Size Chart. This was my first attempt.

The Little Boy Mouse and Little Girl Mouse are roughly the same height whereas the Tax Collector is quite possibly the largest mouse in the cartoon. Insparation for him came from the Sherrif of Nottingham from Disney's Robin Hood and Sargent Gonzallis from Zorro, both being big, fat and clumsy men.
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My second attempt at a Size Chart for the Side Characters.

Not much has changed as the Boy and Girl are still the same height (although the Boy's hair makes him look a little taller) and the Tax Collector is still large, if a little less fat.
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Drawing Layouts is never a really fun job, but it is essential.

Looking up Spanish Californian houses (or ones that looked like them) I did these two sketches which will be put into our animation.
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Thinking about how Mousetachio and El Diablo came to have such a fierce rivalry, Ashley and I thought up ways that the two could have met.

I suggested that they could've known each other as children, being friends who walked down different paths. I imagined that the two of them were best friends that were separated by the rules of society, Diego being from a high class family while Diablo's was lower class.
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Separated from each other as children because of society, Diego and Diablo grew up in two very different worlds.

For Diego, everything came to him relativly easy as he came from a wealthy family. Diablo, however, had to fight for the things he wanted and some things he wanted, he couldn't get because he came from a poor family.

While Diego became a well-educated gentleman and future heir to the De Richie family fortune, Diablo, fed up with struggling through life, turned to a life of crime.
 
Years later the two were reunited, but as enemies.
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I believe that Mousetachio courted the beautiful Sophia more than once.

Even a noble hero must stop to bow to a lovely lady. And Sophia, like all the female mice, can't help but blush and act humble around such a handsome and fearless hero.
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Even though we don't actually see this scene in the animation (or we might do in the future) I could help but draw these two sharing a romantic moment.