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Chad the Camel by Flapjackrabbit Chad the Camel by Flapjackrabbit
This was something I did a while ago for my first animated short at college... a story involving a camel and a boy racer nomad, inspired by my memories of boy racer types in Jeddah - Saudi Arabia where I spent a few family holidays in my early teens.
The camel design started as an ordinary camel, but I filtered it via a diplodocus and I liked the results. The hump was meant to reflect the shape of the dunes behind him. I like adding elements of other animals to the ones I'm working with, it's sometimes the quickest route to interesting silhuettes, and rewarding when it works.
Chad was also inspired by Max... an ex-circus camel I knew bought by a local stable owner from my hometown of Chichester. Max was fantastic... he would run around his paddock freaking out the horses like the hunchback of Notre-Dame and groaning. He once gatecrashed a neighbour's garden party by craning his neck through the dividing hedge and chewing a small girl's hair down to a rough crew-cut before being pulled off by angry parents.
Regretably, as is often the way with things that stand out in a crowd, his watertrough got poisoned one night by local yobs and that was the last of him. I still miss having a camel down the road who I can draw and have groaning competitions with!
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:iconmad-mill:
Mad-Mill Featured By Owner May 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, this is hilarious :D
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:iconproverbialcheese:
proverbialcheese Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2010
Cool! I like the fact that he doesn't try to get kids hooked on cigarettes.
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:iconfalkor44:
falkor44 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2010
love his expression.
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:iconmamourian:
Mamourian Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
he is cute...:)
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:iconhammertheshark:
hammertheshark Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you should have named him "achmed"
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:iconflapjackrabbit:
Flapjackrabbit Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2008  Professional Filmographer
Hmmm, this may come as a total surprise to you but there's more than one name avaliable for naming a camel in the Sahara!
I chose Chad for a reason, the reason is it's an area to the left of Sudan in north Africa, and it's pithy (i.e. the opposite of clunky) as they say in advertising circles! Plus I like it, and it's my camel, so there!
Hope that explains things... ;)
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:iconhammertheshark:
hammertheshark Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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:iconflapjackrabbit:
Flapjackrabbit Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2008  Professional Filmographer
That's another reason I couldn't use it... you've used it already!
PS have you considered calling your camel Chad!
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:iconhammertheshark:
hammertheshark Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
no. he WAS gonna be a koala named jimmy. but I cant draw koalas^^;
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:iconsproing:
Sproing Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2008
Your camel is adorable! His shapes/proportions are great and so is his expression :)
Also, very cool advice.
The biggest problem I've had so far in working in this industry is still feeling creative enough when I come home from the studio to do any decent art for myself ;) It's been forever since I've finished any non-work-related art that isn't completely rushed and sketchy.
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:iconflapjackrabbit:
Flapjackrabbit Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2008  Professional Filmographer
Thanx Jen...
Glad to know I'm not the only one that has difficulty getting motivated in the evenings... I know how it is, you get home and you've exhausted all your creative energy at work and now you just want to flake out and flick channels but there's that project you keep telling yourself you're gonna do (which someday they'll carve on your gravestone - I can see it now: "INTENDED TO CREATE A MASTERPIECE"). I think maybe timeplanners are the answer, but I have difficulty staying focused. If you can set aside 2 hours of work and then give yourself the rest of the evening off, assuming you're not "in the zone" by that point, that's the best of both worlds.
If you're inspired enough, the work will come naturally... you just have to leave your comfort zone when the going gets tough. And not clean the house 10 times over like I do ;)
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:iconangelcrusher:
AngelCrusher Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2007  Professional Filmographer
you did the saudi racing on the camel? The pic thats in the 2D room? This is awesome man, never realised you did the course before. This sculpt is amazing!
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:iconflapjackrabbit:
Flapjackrabbit Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2007  Professional Filmographer
Uh huh! That would be me... Thanks for the kind words...I miss the stop mo/ 2d side of stuff now I'm beating my head against a computer interface with controls and hierachy lists coming out the wazoo, but as I said, it comes down to job security. I think the turning point was when I found myself signing on again and they suggested a job earning minimum wage as a checkout assistant at Kwiksave. Sadists.
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:iconangelcrusher:
AngelCrusher Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2007  Professional Filmographer
really? Fuck. We're often told how hard it is to get a job. Thats why it baffles me why the course doesnt just teach animation and equip in everything ready for industry. I cant afford to sit another 2-3 years and do CG animation. Bummer. :(
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:iconflapjackrabbit:
Flapjackrabbit Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2007  Professional Filmographer
OK At the risk of coming across like a patronising bastard, I'll give you a few pointers I wish someone had given me when I graduated the first time. You know that film "battle royale" where 40 Japanese schoolkids are abducted and sent to an island and then equipt with deadly weapons and told if there's more than one of them standing in 3 days they all get decapitated with those metal dogcollars. The industry's a bit like that, but more so!
Especially in 2D and stop mo you need a hard mix of tenacity, commitment, networking skills, animation skills, nepotism and more to get to the top of the heap, and believe me when I say the top of the heap are the only ones in steady employment. When I first joined at Glamorgan there were 20 colleges nationwide churning out 15 animation grads a year on average. By the time I graduated there were 150 courses in the UK alone churning out 20 grads a year for the 8 permanent jobs that come up annually. So in short you have to be better than 2982 graduates from this year, the remainder of last year's grads that didn't get permanent work, plus any number of professionals from all over the world that look for work in the UK just to get a look in. Otherwise you end up in freelancer's hell for the rest of your natural life!
Don't assume you can coast the job once you get it either, because if you can't give it 120% the producer can walk outside the building, chuck a brick and hit 20 desperate animators all after your job. (In fact most studio bosses have started using bullets rather than bricks as they can cull enough of them to get to their parking spot in the morning that way)
I exaggurate only slightly. The companies that hire for 2D and Stop mo have all the folks they could possibly need and also books full of people they can call for sick-cover, the odd week or so when things get busy etc. And those people are so starved of steady work they would clean the floor with their tongues if it meant they got the gig. That's your only shot at getting your foot in the door and often one chance is all you get. Be ready to hit the ground running...ask what edge you have on the competition and most importantly -
if you haven't started networking already DO IT NOW!!!!
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:iconangelcrusher:
AngelCrusher Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2007  Professional Filmographer
fuck.
i'm doomed.
Wheres the suicide pills...

Yeh, we're told by Nick that its a tough place. Thats why the animation masters degree course seems so interesting, because there are links to industry attached to the course, and there arent many places on there. I guess that could be my main source of potentially being able to apply for a job, yet alone get one.
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:iconflapjackrabbit:
Flapjackrabbit Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2007  Professional Filmographer
Ok, don't reach for the suicide pills just yet. The first thing to ask is "What do companies want to see on your showreel?" and the second question is "How can I do that better than everyone else?"
The first is easy... Contact those companies and ask them, then pour all your energy into making those things happen. Showreels need only be a minute long. Don't give them an epic on a budget, cause it won't show them you at your best.
The second is slightly more tricky because it involves researching a unique selling point that picks you out from the crowd, while bearing in mind what they want to see anyhow.
As for the masters degree... be wary. If it's just an academic-heavy course involving 20 essays and dissertations with an hour a week set aside for animating, you're still no closer to that perfect showreel than a guy that taught himself from books in his own time in the garage. Dissertations mean jack-shit to prospective employers as they're not employing you to write. The only thing that dissertations give you is a good grade to put on your CV, but if the showreel's solid, they won't give a stuff about that anyway. That's why Escape studios is one of the top rated CG courses in the country as they don't do any dissertations, they just focus on what you need on your reel and pound that home relentlessly.
Good luck. And perhaps it's time i took my own advice ;)
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:iconangelcrusher:
AngelCrusher Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2007  Professional Filmographer
cheer man. but yeh, the masters degree is no essays, just do what you want for a year. it can be flash animation for a term, cg animation for the next term and storyboards for the final term. you work closely with local animation studios, as they have told the course what they want from graduates so the course can concentrate on teaching those things.
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:iconmonstara:
monstara Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2007
that's so friggin' cool!
very cartoony
what material did you use?
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:iconflapjackrabbit:
Flapjackrabbit Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2007  Professional Filmographer
Hi Monstara... I used plasticine (or is it called modeling clay these days) for the main part, an MDF base (which I understand is unavailiable in the states due to the toxic preservatives in it) and a coathanger wire armature drilled into the base wadded out with polystyrene to prevent it collapsing under its own weight.
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:iconhappymasksalesman:
happymasksalesman Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2007
Great style! really nice work on the proportions!
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:iconflapjackrabbit:
Flapjackrabbit Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2007  Professional Filmographer
Thanks. Like I say, I found adding a suitable dinosaur to the genetic code helps with the originality!
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:iconhappymasksalesman:
happymasksalesman Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2007
:D indeed it really helps! should be done more often.
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:iconzaulia:
zaulia Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2007
liked the story very much (poor, poor camel...)
and this one is absolutely adorable :D
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:iconflapjackrabbit:
Flapjackrabbit Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2007  Professional Filmographer
Many thanks! I just like camels... they have personality to spare.
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:iconkat-nicholson:
Kat-Nicholson Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2007  Professional General Artist
I'm quite certain I saw something of this guy at GCADT once! :D he's great!
it's a shame to hear about Chad :( poor camel!
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:iconflapjackrabbit:
Flapjackrabbit Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2007  Professional Filmographer
Aww you're makin' me blush now. Yes, you may have seen this camel on the shelves in stop-mo land at GCADT. I should point out that the real ex-circus camel he was inspired by was actually called "Max", the character was called "Chad" after a region in the Sahara Desert. Yep, it was a shame about Max, but I guess a grassy field off the A27 Chichester bypass isn't a natural habitat for a dromidary, so he could never really blend in.
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:iconkat-nicholson:
Kat-Nicholson Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2007  Professional General Artist
sorry about mixing up the names dude.. I did read the description, I just slipped up! \:] - you knew what I meant tho! :)
:hug:
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:iconnutthead:
Nutthead Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2007
haha waay cool-awesome concept :)
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:iconflapjackrabbit:
Flapjackrabbit Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2007  Professional Filmographer
Cheers! I must make more animals, that one was fun.
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:iconseapolyp:
seapolyp Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2007  Student Filmographer
I love the long neck!
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:iconflapjackrabbit:
Flapjackrabbit Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2007  Professional Filmographer
Thanks! Like I say, just add a random dinosaur profile to any creature for interesting results!
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:iconseapolyp:
seapolyp Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2007  Student Filmographer
XD
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