Gugi & Arnold’s Production Blog

Welcome to Gugi and Arnold’s production blog!

Gugi and Arnold is a series of animated – muppet – sitcom – political satire skits, written and developed by Tal Hershkovich. Here you can follow the project’s development. A summary of the project is also available as a PDF file.
Feel free to drop me some feedback and if you would like to get on-board, please get in contact

First shot rendered: 

Right now I’m working on the first minute of the pilot and will try to pitch it in order to get funding and people to help me with my project.

Some details about the shot can be found on my blenderartists post.

Enterance room – current render progress

Draft render for shot 03

Storyboard is written both in Engish and German.
Here are just a few pages from the storyboard to get the taste of it.

and a few seconds from the Videoboard. The sound and everything is still a draft!

SYNOPSIS Gugi and Arnold, two puppets sharing a flat, can’t be more different from each other. Arnold, an Unemployed anarchist who lives from social-welfare money strives to change Gugi and the whole world with his anti-capitalist ideas and inventions. Gugi a working class hero, cares only about his comfort. He is satisfied with his fixed 8 hours working day, being lazy at home and getting lost in front of the TV.

But as different as the both characters are, They also complement each other. While Arnold has great ideas how to make this planet to be a better place, Gugi has the technical skills to realize his inventions.

When Arnold moves into Gugi’s flat they develop a relationship similar to a conventional married couple. While Gugi is pragmatic and doesn’t care anything other than his own comfort and peace, Arnold is very emotional, concerned about the world and  takes the active part in the household doing always the cooking and cleaning. In the microcosmos of the flat, the two get constantly into fights. Whether it’s a fight about food or sovereignty of the flat. And yet they always have to realize again that they would be screwed up without each other. They become depend on each other and and form a yin-yang relationship.

The themes for each episode of the series evolve around political ideals, technology, relationships, family values, and how the characters deal with those issues and with each other.

So far I wrote screenplays for 5 skits, with the following titles:
1. Movin in (Pilot), 2. The 3D Printer, 3. Unemployment, 4. Alienation and 5. Disconnected

Testing Arnold’s backpack rig combined with physics on the coffee’s finjan, and “jiggle Armature” addon on Arnold’s backpack

Research & Development – ANIMATION TEST
Testing the rigs and the style of animation.
Sound was taken from sesame street only for testing purposes (can you recognize the voices?)

Some drafts and bits from different storyboards

SOME WORDS ABOUT GUGI: Doesn’t care about what he eats, likes Fast food and Meat. Fast food saves his valuable time of doing nothing.
Works 8 to 5 in Assemblies and Logistics Factory. Spends his spare time in front of the TV.
Believes only in what he can see (on TV).
Likes to spend his money on gadgets, junk food, beer and just being Lazy.
Has ‘working hands’ – technical knowledge to build and fix stuff, he also has his super toolbox.

SOME WORDS ABOUT ARNOLD: Vegan Philosophy and social science student, reads a lot –lifetimee student artist – painting abstracts so Gugi can never really understands his paintings.
Doesn’t work, gets social money (also part of his ideology).
can handle bureaucracy, and “fuck the system” with it (knows the law/rules).
Tries all the New Age lifestyle Buddhist and Rasta, Punk and Hippie – Meditation, always in the search for identity, changes customs.
Lefty in ideology.
A Hacker and a Maker, or at least he think he is.
Drinks coffee, eats Tofu and raw food nervous and hyperactive, manic depressive sometimes smokes a joint to calm down smart, manipulator, emotional and clumsy.

Character Influences: Cookie monster and Kermit, Ernie and Bert, Ren and Stimpy, Pinky and the brain – and every cartoon with contrasting couples.

TECHNOLOGY I`m currently using only open source tools for the project. Mainly blender, but also Krita and Gimp for the textures. Kolja Lubitz and Benjamin Walther-Franks connected Arnold’s rig to the leap motion hands controller using the BlenderNUI addon .
I was really excited when I could control Arnold with my hand, I thought it would be great to capture the hand movement with leapmotion and to use it as a base sketch for the animation, to get the timing for animation and the feeling of the hand puppet. Unfortunately, the capturing was still not precise enough and very jittery when I tested it. It might work better now since leap motion released their last SDK, which seems to have much better results.

I also was thinking of gamifying the shorts, to add some interactivity to it. The idea right now is to add a puzzle in the end of each chapter that will show some conflict between the characters, and the player, for example, would need to select a character and solve it (which might also mean 2 different endings for each chapter). This adds much more work to the project, but eventually, games and interactivity work better when it comes to crowdfunding. For example for the pilot chapter there could be a puzzle in the end which needs to move Arnold from the TV screen, somehow in a similiar way to the old PC game “The Incredible Machine”

Feel free to contact me