The making of ARIPI. Characters

How are characters made? How many personas does an astronaut have? What age is the most dreamy? How does rhinoplasty enhance charisma? Which space suits are in fashion right now? How we got the knack of the script and killed off the dog?


Hi again.  In the part 1,  we told you about the universe of “ARIPI”, and now we will tell you about the characters who  managed to get spotted (or not!) in our cartoon.

So, attentive viewers noticed only one hero in our cartoon – the astronaut. But attentive animators are like psychoanalysts who can see all the characters right through. Therefore, the animators should note that there are actually several characters in the cartoon. Let’s just say, because of the long stay in orbit, the astronaut’s personality slipped from this very orbit and started to multiply: here he goes in his leisure wear, here he is wearing a space suit without a helmet (this is important!), and here he is as a little boy. Billy Milligan’s Moldovan astronaut’s multiple personalities.

And now let’s take them one by one:

Personality №1. The Boy.

Freud used to say that we all come from childhood. Our astronaut is no exception. The boy is the source of all our hero’s dreams. At this age, he decides that someday in his life he will certainly fly! Nothing is impossible for this child!

How did we make him? That’s the way it was. At first, we wanted to make him look like the adult hero: just as brown and dark, with a tum (joking). But then we realized that he should be completely different – both as character and in appearance.

And we searched on…

Then we figured out his age. We decided to deduce the average age for a dreamer and interviewed our employees when exactly they remember dreaming the most. But since we could not make a 25-year-old boy, we thought that 7 would be a wonderful age for the little one.

The little boy turned out to be full of mischief, and so that he listened to us, we gave him a real tanker’s helmet and a pair of aviator glasses! So cheerful he was, and he immediately decided that it was time for him to reach for the sky, and so he started to make something from cardboard …

Personality №2. The Astronaut

In childhood, all dreams are achievable, it is worth only a little more to want.  And our boy really wanted to fly. Therefore, when the cardboard wings became small, the already grown-up boy flies to school, and from there to the flight school, grasping all the secrets of the flying skills on the fly.

Well, after all training flights and take-offs, and jumps with or without a parachute the boy realized that he wanted more, because his dream had not yet come true.   Next there was space, the space station, zero gravity and irregular working hours.

Now it’s history. Let’s turn this page. Let’s go back to the present time. Our hero is about 45 years old, he is a little tired of the gray cosmic everyday life, his childhood dreams have come true in some completely different way and he is hardly ever pleased. He even had his own dog and a flower in space, but the director took them away from him.

This kind of man, what is he supposed to look like? Here’s the way we figured him out: slightly puffy silhouette and obvious beer belly (but shhhh…don’t tell anyone!). hat our hero is a very tender person (inside and outside).

“Moral injuries have left permanent wrinkles on his face and a small belly on his body ” (с) the Artistic Director. Let’s just say, nothing was too smooth in the life of our hero, – neither life itself, nor his face.

As we were working on the appearance of our astronaut, everything changed save for his sharp nose. This form gave his whole appearance some unpleasant color. We wanted the audience to immediately fall in love with the character, thus he was supposed to produce an extremely positive impression. Although he was very charismatic, something went wrong.

When we understood what the matter was, we asked for the artistic surgeon’s help. After a small rhinoplasty, the astronaut was ready to conquer not only outer space, but also the spectators’ hearts. Awww …

As we have said before, our astronaut has several “personalities”, each of them representing a distinct character (in terms of drawing and animation). However, the first character to appear in our story is the astronaut in his pajamas.

Here he is:

Since there is a comfortable temperature inside the space station (they are not allowed to ventilate till it gets slightly chill!), there’s no need to put too many clothes on. The astronaut sleeps in his comfy pajama. We have made so many variants of this pajamas the “Bolshevichka” factory had never even dreamt of that.

By the way, no element in the cartoon appears for no reason in particular. Everything has its own logic and all details have a special reason. For example, the cap.

But of course, there is no wind blowing there, and there is no such fade in outer space. This cap appeared in the 3-piece space suit because we could not hide the treacherous hair that was showing from under his helmet.

Personality №3. The Astronaut in a space suit

We naturally viewed the entire Spring-Summer collection presented by NASA, but we chose the offer of our Moldovan model agency and made a slightly untraditional space suit for our astronaut.

That is, it is the same volume and all that, but we have added a national flavor. There are jokes about us, as about any other nation: they say that in Moldova, wine flows from the tap, and Moldovans are all born builders. We have a good sense of self-irony, therefore there was a place for stereotypes in the cartoon. One of such clichés was placed on top of the suit and became its main decorative element – the coveralls.

By the way, there is one interesting feature: the fact is that the silhouette in pajamas (a la naturelle) and the silhouette in a spacesuit differ from each other. The space suit makes him look tauter. No, this is not because he’s wearing slimming underwear. This mostly comes from psychological features. We intended to make him look more active in his “working” uniform.

As a result, we got a builder first – because of the abundance of tools, the great mission of our compatriot was lost. And only after getting rid of the tools, we got a beautiful space suit and a gorgeous astronaut in it.

The astronaut is ready. Tools are customized. The ship is flying. The team is ready to give a start to the cartoon, so we’re having a close-up and Gagarin’s phrase “Poyekhali!” (Russian for “Let’s go!”)

Bonus. “Go away, you bad Dog!!”

For those who think that the rule “a dog is a man’s best friend” applies only within the framework of gravity, we would like to inform you that our astronaut also has a friend. Well, not quite … He had one.

Looking ahead, we should say that the dog is absolutely ok.

We’re having a huge greed attack when we think of the work that we did but which, again, did not get into the cartoon. Therefore, now we will tell you about (and show you) the character that remained behind the scenes. We are talking about our Dog.  A handsome dog, a Jackabee (a mix between Jack Russell Terrier and Beagle) Cheerful, playful, potty trained in zero-gravity conditions.

Even in history classes they talk about it – dogs (and other animals) were the first in space, and only then the man got there.

We decided we would stay true to tradition and we sent the cute Jackabee along with our astronaut. The mongrel even had his own mission in space, his own bowl for space dog food, and even his own space suit.

We picked up the dog for this team very carefully – we needed both a guard and a companion. And we have picked up one, and have actually sent one there.

But what happened next is something that normally happens – we decided to shorten things up. Then, due to budget and scenario debates, we had to abandon the character.

Bye, doggie! And you, dear reader, not yet farewell. Because  in the part 3  we will tell you about VR, how important the ears are for VR and more…

Mentioned projects:
Aripi Simpals Studio
How "Aripi" was made.The history and the universe of “The Wings”

How "Aripi" was made.The history and the universe of “The Wings”

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