Production Blog

Hello and welcome to the production blog of “Gugi and Arnold”.
The series is an animated – muppet – sitcom – political satire show, written and developed by Tal Hershkovich.
Most of the settings take place at the flat, so the series focuses mostly on the animation and story.

This blog page shows most of the collected material, so that it`s easier to follow the project’s development.
Summary of the project is also available on a PDF file.
If you feel like dropping any feedback or would like to get on-board, then feel free to drop me a comment

Download the pilot’s storyboard – “Moving in” – 4MB on PDF English versionpage01_withtitle

Storyboard – “WG-Gesucht” auf Deutsch herunterladen

Contact me for a higher resolution

First draft for the pilot’s videoboard/ animatic. Everything is of course still just a sketch to get a general idea of the chapter’s story, framing, sound and timing. The voices will be replaced with real actors

First shot rendered 

Some details about it can be found on my blenderartists post

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?)

SYNOPSIS Arnold and Gugi, two different contrasting characters, live together in a flat. Arnold, an anarchist who lives from social-welfare money strives to change Gugi and the world with his anti-capitalist ideas and inventions.
Gugi a working class hero, cares only about his comfort. He is convenient with his fixed 8-17 work, being lazy and getting wasted infront of the TV. With his technical abilities only he can realize Arnold’s ideas and inventions.

The 2 characters have some kind of a conservative husband-wife relationship. While Gugi is the working man, Arnold is the emotional person that always cooks and cleans.
In the microcosmos of the flat, the two get into fights constantly. Whether it’s a fight about food or sovereignty of the flat. And yet they always get to realize that even with all their differences, they would be screwed up without each other. They become depend on each other and form a yin yang relationship.
The topics of each episode of the series involve around politics, economy,
technology, relationships/family values, and how the characters deal with those
topics and with each other.

Download  SCREENPLAYS as pdf – Some need more refining, especially the dialogues, but the stories are there. I also added the logline for each chapter

Movin in – Pilot – Introduction episode of the characters. Arnold wants to move into Gugi’s flat. Gugi is sceptical about a hippie bumm moving in, eventually they form a deal and Gugi doesn’t want to let him go out anymore.

3Dprinter – Arnold wants to build a 3D printer, as part of his idea to destroy capitalism, but he is too clumsy to do it. While he is in the toilet, Gugi builds the 3D printers. Gugi is printing everything, as well as more printers, and it becomes an ecological disaster. Arnold freaks out, and wants to get rid of it. Gugi sells everything and becomes rich.

Unemployment – Gugi’s job is being outsourced, and he loses his job. He wants to apply for Hartz4 and asks Arnold to help him with that. Arnold gives him different papers, and sends him to work in china. Arnold freaks out from being alone at home, he hacks into the stock market, bankrupts the company and brings Gugi back.

Alienation – Gugi is having a robot who does all the household work for him. After a while Arnold feels useless around the house. Gugi misses Arnold and is becoming jealous of Arnold’s and the bot relatioship.

Disconnected – The flat is being disconnected from electricty. Arnold freaks out from not having internet connection, Gugi has the solutions, but is not willing to share it with Arnold.

Some sketches and bits from different storyboards

SOME WORDS ABOUT GUGI: Doesn’t care about what he eats, likes Fast food and Meat. Fastfood 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 – life time 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 beurocracy, and “fuck the system” with it (knows the law/rules).
Tries all the Newage 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, Mania 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 conncted arnold`s rig to the leapmotion hands controller using the BlenderNUI addon .
I was really excited when I could control arnold with my hand, I thought it would be grate to caputre the hand movement with leapmotion and to use it as 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 leapmotion released their last SDK, which seems to have much better results. On another note I`m currently (February 2015) also doing some digital puppet work for a client with a different controller, it also seems to have similar issues to leapmotion when it comes to precision, but might be also something worth looking at.

Recently I started 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. so that show 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 works better when it comes to crowd funding.
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