Journey to the West -西遊記 (WIP)
Updated: Jul 21, 2022
I have never thought this project would be an on going project for me. Remember years ago, a artist friend invited me to join him and other friends for a Monkey King project. I was so blunt and rejected him right away. My reasoning was "Why everyone is doing Monkey King? Boring...". Years later, I get older and has more interested in Chinese literature. I starts to read and Wikipedia more. The interested of it grow on me.
It all started from a sketch and then more sketches, more color renderings and animations. I find the story has a lot of fantasy characters for me to explore and many of the the characters have distinct personalities. These elements are fun to design and to train my acting skill in animation. You name it: Dragon, horse, spider, pig, fish, shrimp, monkey, girl, skull...etc. Therefore, this will be a long personal research and project....lol.
At the beginning, the plan was mixing Western and Eastern elements together. Example is to have the setting in a western cowboy theme with guns, similar to Rango where there are all kind of creatures.
Exploration was my favorite part, it allows me not to be logical. The only pressure I had was to make it stands out comparing to other artists' approaches.
However, later I got rid of the thought of comparing with other artists works.
I want it to be animatable and reflect the classic Chinese animation, Havoc in Heaven, produced in the 1961.
Just like Havoc in Heaven, I want to incorporate Chinese opera elements into my design such as mask on face.
More refined sketches
Sun Wukong (孫悟空)
Blender grease pencil previs test
2d animation test, one of Monkey King's magics is to extend his weapon really long and tall, so he can climb on top and see things miles away.
The scale and my passion for the project just forced me to work on many different things and helped me to be a better artist.