Here’s the two main shots I did of the Community Study Room for last night’s animated segments from History 101.
For those of you who didn’t “get” the reference this may seem a little confusing… or not.
Anyway, the “joke” here is that these animated segments are an homage to or mashup with the 80’s cartoon Muppet Babies. Therefore, we used similar colors and elements found in the main play room from that show but skewing it to fit the study room from community. Astute viewers with a keen mind will see quite a few nods to the design of the study room.
Well… if I did my job correctly that is.
The tie-in to Muppet Babies is also a big part of why some things perhaps look a little “bad” or “poorly designed/painted.” it is a purposeful decision in order to properly pay homage to the incredibly RAD 80’s source material we were riffing off of. It wouldn’t have felt “right” if we just made it look 100% beautiful and amazing ;) Kind of like how in the foosball animated bit… & how it looked like bad anime. It’s all part of the gag.
That being said… I think Alison, the director, character designer and lead animator did an AMAZING job and was a pleasure to work with. She is super talented and was a one woman wrecking machine on this project that had a WHOPPING crew of 3 people (including myself as the one man background design/paint department). check out her blog HERE to see a post where she shares some more insight and artwork of her own from this project.
One thing I added that wasn’t in the original boards or reference material is the idea to put Pierce inside a hamster cage. Originally it was just a normal, run of the mill playpen-which I thought was kinda boring. So… I changed it to a hamster cage thinking that Pierce is kind of like this weird outcast, an animal or class pet if you will that everyone kinda tolerates, tosses a few crackers at, but doesn’t have any real attachment to. Maybe I don’t “get it” or missed the mark on that one though? Regardless… I thought it was a funny idea.
The other thing that wasn’t in the original boards that I added was the stuffed animal version of the Greendale Human. Originally, I just drew a cute stuffed bear with the Greendale logo on its chest. But then I started thinking about if Greendale had a school mascot, and how I could tie that in. After a quick talk with our awesome producer, who is much more well-versed in Community than I… Stuffed Greendale Human was born. I kinda figured it was too weird/creepy at first, but the people at NBC seemed to like the idea, so it stayed in.
Another post with more details and some more of the background artwork coming up after these messages.