Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes – Backgrounds

After he came up with the main idea for the series, Mitko (Dimitar Petrov) started developing the visual style for the show. First, he gathered a lot of visual research materials on different styles of drawing and painting, including styles in architecture, design, art movements and other visual media.

The style of the backgrounds was developed gradually with the story and the style of the characters. Some of the first paintings of the show were quite different from what we have now, as this very early painting with one of the Kuker characters in it shows:


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Research trip – Meeting some real Kuker

During the Christmas holidays part of our Art team got together and made a research trip to the Kovachevtsi village to meet some real Kuker. We wanted to see how the masks and costumes are made, and to get some inspiration for the characters and artwork in The Golden Apple.

A lovely family hosted us and showed us a variety of bells, chans, hlopki, various masks and costumes. Even the cold day didn’t stop us – the temperature outside was -10 degrees, but we knew we were on a mission :-)

Part of our Art team - research trip

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Behind the Scenes – Making Vihra run (animation test)

So how does animation actually work? How does it happen?

The animation process is roughly the third major stage of production. The first two are the writing the script and creating the storyboard.

After the storyboard is done, a layout is created. The layout is a guide drawing, used to coordinate and establish the scale of the characters, the size of the background and any camera movements or other major changes in the camera angle. This layout is then sent to the animators and background artists so they can get to work.

In Vihra’s animation test, the layout for the animator was an almost finished background drawing and pose. Layouts are usually a lot more sketchy. :-)


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Behind the Scenes – Costumes

This is part of a series of blog updates where we’re taking you through the early stages of character design and visual development for The Golden Apple animated series. Read on if you want to see what inspired the various costumes in the show :-)

Like in the real world, each area in the world of “The Golden Apple” has its unique costumes, colours and style. We designed them even before finalising our main characters, so that they would match their community and be in the style worn in their homes.

Our main idea was that the viewer should be able to tell which character comes from which area of the world of “The Golden Apple” just by looking at their costume. This took quite some time, as traditional Balkan costumes are very diverse, rich in ornaments and extremely colourful.

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Behind the Scenes – Vihra early sketches

This is the first from a series of blog updates where we’ll take you through the early stages of character design and visual development for The Golden Apple animated series. Read on if you want to see what Vihra looked like in the beginning :-)

The following sketches are from the first few months of development, the so called “blue sky” stage where various different ideas were considered. At this point Vihra was a bit older and the style of the show was yet to be determined.

Vihra sketches (Antonia Doncheva)

Antonia Doncheva’s sketches were among several early designs we considered for Vihra.

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