Character Design, Animation, UI Animation, Apps
By using a flat design style and simple facial expressions, we had to create a set of digital illustrations and animations to capture Rosie’s personality, show its form and features and convey simple emotions with its facial expressions.
We also had to illustrate a fun and atmospheric kids bedroom where Rosie navigates around a number of obstacles. By matching Rosie’s flat design style it also had to capture the warm colors and friendly atmosphere of a modern kids bedroom.
We needed to give Rosie personality and charisma to clearly communicate simple emotion and feeling so we took a lot of inspiration from famous robots like Wall-E, Short Circuit and the Curiosity Rover built by Nasa.
The robot needed to be perceived to have human emotions and interactions, however, anytime you put human features on an inanimate object you have all kinds of challenges that are mainly about likeability and believability.
We also needed to include and respect certain key features like having a screen as a face (with the same dimensions as a typical smartphone), letting the screen switch between Rosie facial expression and Rosie sensor data, adding modular accessories, giving it arms so it would enable Rosie to perform basic movements such as pushing and pulling objects, and having a whole metallic body construction.
Using only After Effects, we had to make sure that Rosie could walk, run, jump, push and pull objects so that developers could use these animations whenever they needed it. From a technical perspective, these challenges were addressed by creating a flexible character rigging using only shape layers within After Effects, this would allow us to get a pixel-perfect result for every situation maintaining creative freedom for body movement and facial expressions.
Besides working on Rosie’s basic movements, we needed to do a set of cutscenes in order to guide our audience through the experience. These scenes had a non-interactive purpose, instead, they were thought to create emotional connections between Rosie and the users.
It’s always exciting to work on projects with an educational purpose, and Rosie was not exception. After many processes and tight deadlines we managed to be part of an experience that brought many insights to the Rosie Reality team, allowing them to experiment and tell a story that could be fun, engaging and inspiring for future projects.