The client was an online library and the book in question was Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece – Alice in Wonderland. Studio Giggle’s visual artist, Iina Kuula, dived into experimenting with moving mixed-media imagery to bring the classic characters to life. Mixing stop motion and puppetry, painting and animation along with written narrative proved challenging but incredibly fun to do.
Most of the characters were first created as real puppets, similar to how Aardman work on their stop motion films. Each character was first sketched on paper, then sculpted and built with clay and a wire skeleton allowing the puppet to be posed. Some additional characters, like the sea creatures that feature in chapter three, were painted and then animated in After Effects to create 2D figures. This was because making all of them as puppets wasn’t realistic or necessary in the time frame.
All the backgrounds in these illustrations are hand-painted. Photoshop and a digital tablet were used to create the environments and side characters which were then taken to After Effects for further work and effects.
Layering the artwork allowed Iina control over different elements separately, like moving the leaves in the wind or making Cheshire cat appear from nowhere. Painting everything digitally in Photoshop meant for greater flexibility.
Our favourite character to make was The Mad Hatter, because he had so many fun details to work with. He can express his emotion with a simple wiggle of his moustache or tapping the teacup nervously with his long articulated fingers.