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Character Redesign


Update the existing (and beloved) children's programming mascot, Read-a-roo, to give her a more modern, polished look and enable her to be more fluidly animated.

Read-a-roo Sketches

The first step was to draw a lot of sketches. I knew we would want some printable activities, so I started from there to get a feel for the many sides of Read-a-roo. After countless revisions (especially to her ears), we reached a final look. Her proportions are adjust to be more child-like and anthropomorphic, representing an equal to our young audience. Her fur is a warmer, browner color more in line with the fur of a kangaroo. Her shirt remains red, but a darker hue more in line with her darker complexion.

Next came polishing all of the illustrations as well as the final vector files. You can download the final coloring and activity sheets here. The ears required the most revisions, fluctuating between various stages that too-closely resembled a fox or a rabbit, among other creatures.

Read-a-roo Coloring Sheets

Animating her was an equally daunting process. I began by dissecting each of three views: front, side, and angled. I wanted to be thorough to streamline the process further down the line. I used a combination of null objects, sliders, and the puppet pin tool to engineer a structure in After Effects with well-defined ranges of motion.

Calculating Equations

Programming the sliders required a lot of algebraic equations, so stop telling your math teachers you'll never use algebra.

The Rootle Up! music video was her debut, and I continued to make adjustments to her main project as I added her to additional promotions.

She dances a lot in the music video. If you look closely, you might recognize the dance (in addition to choreographed dance during the Rootle Up Dance scene). To help polish her movements I animated her doing the dance from Thriller. (How could I resist?)

Roo Dancing

I tried to get Roo her own Thriller promo, but the right opportunity never surfaced.