Animated short pick of the week: “Trois Petits Points”

Last week we talked about GOBELINS, one of the most prestigious schools in the world when it comes to animation. Their graduates’ capability of storytelling is impressive despite the relatively short format. We want to showcase these talents by introducing you to some of the best animated shorts out there made by the graduates.

This week’s pick is “Trois Petits Points”, the graduation film realised by 6 students of the Character Animation and Animated Film Making programme (3rd year) of GOBELINS. It has received multiple international prizes and awards.

The atmosphere and character design of “Trois Petits Points” is simply perfection. The muted colours intersected with the lace-textured background set the flawless mood for the context of the story: a great contrast between the dark war and the light peaceful life. The character design is clean and straightforward, yet skillfully captures the expression and emotions of the characters, especially the seamstress and her husband.

The animation of “Trois Petits Points” is a great art by itself. Since the film is wordless, the story flow relies heavily on images and motions. And this is exactly how the animation shines. From the gleeful and quick jumps of the seamstress to the jaded and frustrated footsteps of her husband, every gesture and facial expression of the characters immerses the audience deeper into the haunting world of the film.

Behind the scene of “Trois Petits Points”:

This blog was first published on Kuvva blog.

Animated short pick of the week: “Trois Petits Points”

Shohei Otomo: genius illustrations connecting the east to the west


Shohei Otomo is an illustrator based in Tokyo. He specialised in oil painting at Tama Art University, but soon gained international recognition for his ballpoint pen illustration. Shohei first used pens because they were rather cheap, but they’ve morphed into his signature style.

“Once I decide what I want to draw, I start sketching out a rough draft with the body movements of the characters, along with wardrobe and prop ideas. I try to draw it out in as much detail as possible until I’m satisfied. I use printed materials, take pictures and even look in the mirror sometimes for reference. Then I take what I have sketched out in the previous stage, and trace it out on an illustration board with a pencil. I then imagine what the end product is going to look like, and start filling in the details with a ballpoint pen.” Shohei said. “When the details are in, I then take a black marker and fill in the blacks. Once the ink dries, I erase the pencil outline. If there are any imperfections or adjustments that need to be made, then I make those changes and I’m done. That’s my drawing process in a nutshell.”

It’s easy to recognise and admire Shohei’s mind-blowing illustrations. They all have an incredible level of attention to detail that depicts the medley of Japanese and Western cultural iconography.

Shohei plays with them all: from traditional Japanese icons like geisha and samurai to various archetypes in manga to the subcultures and issues in the contemporary Japanese and Western society. This fusion is often twisted with a sense of dark humour, violence and vulgarity.

With an unorthodox medium as ballpoint pens, Shohei meticulously works out each and every masterpiece line by line with countless swift hand movements. This kind of subtle and soft technique seems to contrast greatly to Shohei’s dramatic and bold content on the one hand, yet it seems to click with his thematic concoction of the spiritual, intuitive East and the logical, rational West on the other.

Besdies, Shohei is greatly inspired by both Yakuza and Western films. He often draws the characters after watching them. “But I don’t have any desire to draw perfect ‘Superman’ characters,” he said. “We’re just not as interesting without our flaws.”

Scroll down to discover the allusions within the visual world Shohei has masterfully created.

This blog was first published on Kuvva blog.

Shohei Otomo: genius illustrations connecting the east to the west

Ryo Takemasa does elegant illustrations with a retro twist

We have had our eyes on the work of the talented illustrator Ryo Takemasa for a while. His beautiful illustrations feature the crisp, simple shapes and distinctively subtle textures. Ryo’s mastery of treating minimalistic forms with paper-like texture gives a unique sense of tangibility and warmth in each and every illustration consistently. They vibrantly remind us of Japanese wood-block prints, but this time with a refreshing touch in perspective and composition. This fabulous combination seems to work wonder on everything, including mundane and annoying things like mosquitos.

Ryo was born in 1981. He’s based in Tokyo, Japan. He has been working as a freelance illustrator since 2010. His works are used for books, magazines, advertising and many more.

Take a look at some of our favourites from Ryo’s fantastic work!

Cover illustration




Personal work

This blog was first published on Kuvva blog.

Ryo Takemasa does elegant illustrations with a retro twist

“Monument Valley”‘s gorgeous expansion: “Forgotten Shores”

“Monument Valley” has been the hallmark of artistic game in our hearts. As you can imagine, we couldn’t be happier when ustwo released an expansion – “Forgotten Shores” – of the original game. The new chapters come as breathtaking as the first one: flawless visuals, intriguing puzzles, and a great sense of serenity. We have talked with David Fernández Huerta, “Monument Valley”‘s game artist, about the role of art in game design before. And now we want to talk to him again, about this great visual expansion of “Monument Valley”.

Let’s say we didn’t played it. What should we expect from “Forgotten Shores”?

“Monument Valley: Forgotten Shores” is a collection of 8 new chapters set between the last two levels of the original game. It contains lots of fresh new ideas and ways to play with architecture, as well as some concepts we didn’t have the time to explore in the original game but we always wanted to. The expansion is almost as long as the original game, with bigger and more complex levels, but keeping the same level of challenge as the original.

Players can expect new ways to interact with the environment, more intense optical illusions and the return of everyone’s favourite character, the Totem. The new levels include locations as varied as a massive waterfall, a frozen tower, a city over the clouds and even a volcano!

What have you worked in these new chapters as an illustrator?

For this new chapters I’ve worked both as an artist and as a level designer. This has allowed me approach the art of the game in a different way, from the roots. Being able to decide and develop the idea of the levels instead of just getting an already playable one from a level designer makes a massive difference.

We also had the opportunity to explore new visual treatments, with natural elements like rocks and water being more present throughout the game. I love cinema and literature, so I have used this opportunity to pay homage to some films and books I love, form Jules Verne to “The Thief of Bagdad”. We’ve also experimented with new colour schemes, and even have a level completely in black and white!

Could we expect more sequels coming?

Right now, and for a limited time only (from November 24th to December 7th), we have released a completely new chapter in partnership with Product Red, and we will donate all the proceeds to fight for an AIDS free generation.

This is our final level for “Monument Valley”, and we don’t have any more plans for new content. That being said, “always in motion the future is”.

Apart from that, we see the game’s prints are available here. That makes the crazy goal “every screen worthy of being framed and hung on a wall” a reality. What do you think about it? Do the “Monument Valley” visuals fit there? Or are they better in a game with sounds, animation and a storyline behind?

Of course, a game is always at its best when being played, and we made a huge effort to ensure that every screen of “Monument Valley” looked as good as we possibly could. Motion and interaction are a major part of the experience, but seeing some of the levels printed out on a large format is just really, really nice. Maybe these prints will be less significant to those who haven’t played the game, but for the people who have the connection is even stronger. For them is not just about beautiful art, is about remembering a meaningful moment in their life.

Thank you David!

Scroll down to see the impressive game design of “Monument Valley: The Forgotten Shores”!

This blog was first published on Kuvva blog.

“Monument Valley”‘s gorgeous expansion: “Forgotten Shores”

Adore the visual feast by Álvaro del Castillo

The soft and sweet colour palette of Álvaro del Castillo‘s illustration wins us over at first sight. We can’t stop being drawn into the inner world of the illustration, where a bunch of nice, delightful, little details are layered carefully to be unfolded one by one. It’s no wonder Álvaro considers himself a lover of both quality and colour.

You probably drew a lot as a child, but how did you start doing illustration professionally?

I love to illustrate while traveling, like keeping a holiday diary. I draw situations, routines, thoughts and ideas since I can remember. One day I got paid for that and I became a professional illustrator.

Could you share some insights into your current illustration style? 

I love color and simplicity. I look for a clean final result although I care about details and include many of them. I realize that a work is finished when the illustration expresses different emotions. It is quite interesting, because after using other styles for years, I discover that my current style is similar to the one that I used during my childhood. I feel free and comfortable, like I’m playing with myself.

Could you describe your illustrating process?

I start with an idea. I like cubes and rectangles. I imagine a scene full of geometric figures. Then, as if it is a game, I create rules and patterns that I never break along the illustration work. Finally, I let the illustration go and it drives me to the end.

How do you think being featured on Kuvva platform will help you?

I am very happy to be part of this small group of illustrators. I know some of them, I have followed their work. I think Kuvva is the right platform to launch myself and be known to both illustrators and illustration lovers.

And last but not least: do you have any future project in mind?

I am developing several design products, an iOS game and finishing my startup design called EmotionalWorld.

Thanks Álvaro! 

Greetings from Colombia and thank you!

Scroll down to see the amazing work Álvaro has for sale on Kuvva!

“Hidden In The Balcony”

“Emotional World”

“Family Ride”

“Isetta Summer”

“Nice To Meet You”

“My Ghost”

“Raining In The Jungle”

“Full Speed Trip”

“Shoes On Wire”

This blog was first published on Kuvva blog.

Adore the visual feast by Álvaro del Castillo