TWOTS revisions

26 01 2009

Incase the earlier posts hadn’t given it away, the victorian era theme has been dropped in favour of world war 2 London, during the height of the blitz. 

This setting opens up more opportunities to tie the character to the world more successfully;

– The Pigeon King is now a soldier of ww1 retired through injury. To do his bit for the war effort, he trains carrier/homing pigeons for the British Army

– Although a “hermit” through choice he is typically patriotic and loves his country. 

This gives the character more humanity, and a motive to progress. It also makes the keeping of pigeons more relevant and important to the world of the story, and justifies their use as “soldiers”


The Behemoth Video’s

26 01 2009

Here are a load of videos of Behemoth artist Dan Paladin Constructing level designs. It’s not of too much use right now, but come the ma phase it’s going to be a good resource, so I’m, sticking up this ink for future reference.

Also, Dan Paladin’s blog

Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines

26 01 2009

Intro video from the old Hanna-Barbera Productions cartoon “Dastardly and Muttley In Their Flying Machines”  (not “catch the pigeon” as the youtube user suggests, although it is a common misconception)


The show is rich in wartime visual styles (albeit WW1 era stuff). It’s a modern take on the clothing and machines from that era. Everyone seems to be wearing a flight cap and/or googles too, even the pigeon;


Army Pigeons

26 01 2009

This article contains a lot of information about Pigeons in the war. The “Dickin Medal” is particularly interesting.

“During the D-Day invasion of World War II, many soldiers were sent with a pigeon beneath their coats. This was a period of radio silence, so the use of pigeons for relaying messages was optimal. The pigeons were able to send back information on German gun positions on the Normandy beaches. Thirty-two pigeons were awarded the prestigious Dickin medal, Britiain’s highest award for animal valor. Recipients included a bird named “G.I. Joe,” who flew 20 miles in 20 minutes with a message that stopped U.S. planes from bombing an Italian town that was occupied by British forces.”

Giving medals to animals for bravery seems really odd. But it’s actually REALLY important, it shows that the animals were treat as individuals, friends even. This makes it a lot easier to add character and life to them.


Here’s  another link, this time to the BBC about pigeons and what we as a country actually owe to them. This particular quote actually highlights how important they were in saving lives during WW2.;

“So important was their contribution, ferrying vital messages to troops and secret agents alike, Hitler ordered all Britain-bound birds to be fired upon. “

A lot of this research makes you wonder why people hate them so much. Perhaps people just HATE to share their habitat. It’s easy to say they leave droppings everywhere – but I’d take a bit of pigeon poop over all the crap they eat off our streets for us still lingering around.

Demographics of a Pigeon Fancier and Pigeon Works

26 01 2009

Something about researching the demographic about pigeon keepers in the UK.

Mostly useful for this excerpt that helps to nail a character stereotype for pigeon keepers:

“When the age-old sport of pigeon racing is mentioned the image that most easily pops into mind is the pigeon fancier. A fifty-year-old, 5 foot 5, pot bellied, individual, holding a pint of bitter in one hand a pigeon in the other hand, with a flat cap on his head.”

National Archive – The Art of War

26 01 2009

Plenty of reference material here for British WW2 imagery and styles.

A short posing demo from Larry Lauria, animator/instructor from Animation FUNdamentals.

26 01 2009

Particularly interesting is the last minute or so where Larry is discussing how these techniques can be used to increase appeal in characters. Certainly worth bearing in mind when producing character sketches.