IP Incubator! - SCHIRKOA



UPDATE : Here is the trailer

  SCHIRKOA is the story (an IP maybe) I will be trying to develop in coming years. 

Here is the official site : www.schirkoa.com

At the moment I am aiming at an animated Short Film. Followed by a graphic novel. And then let’s see what else can come out.

Team for Short film:
Me - I will be handling all the aspects (writing/directing/CGI/marketing etc.)
Yiming - Rigging/Animation/Simulations

  Big thanks to to RobertoOrtiz and all the contributors for starting the IP Incubator Club thread.
  Here you go! :


The short film actually started about 2 years back as a one man project. Since then I have changed the story quite a bit. I mean I have expanded the story more than I can handle. Hence, I have decided to just make a short film taking out some of the important moments from the story. And then expand the universe at my ease in the form of graphic novels.

To start off things, I am posting some of the old stuff first. Here are some of the old storyboards. None of them will be used anymore, but they have made a solid base for upcoming graphic novel.


So far I have tried a few render styles. Some are not realistic to finish (given the time and resources) others are not too pretty.

I had left working on this for a while for last CG Challenge. Later in march when I looked at the WIP on my short film with fresh eyes, I realized I can do away with those renders.

So now I am exploring different rendering styles. The ones that can be rendered faster and without hassle. Still maintaining the look I am aiming for. This way I feel i can focus more on the story rather than fighting with physically correct shaders.

This is one of the renders from previous look of Schirkoa :


This is one of the very first renders for the character lineup. Again, it’s old and many things have changed. New characters have taken over, others have been discontinued. The ‘horns’ being significant to the story remain though.


Right now, I am working on the overall look of the film. My inspirations are the video games - Borderlands & Dishonored. The primary reason is definitely the resources. Photo-realistic renders require way too much work and resources, without adding a whole lot to the film in terms of story. Second reason is to achieve seamless look between the graphic novel & the short film. It can’t be 100% but I will try.

Here is a quick render test.



Family portrait of 197A. There will be more character sheets in the coming weeks for different families in Schirkoa. The render below also defines the style of the graphic novel.


Caught up with a lot of things lately. I already have a few characters and rigs done. But I am redoing retouching them to get the look I am aiming for. Here is a glimpse of what I am working on.


I am working on the outlines. No textures/lighting yet, just the outlines. Here is a quick test with different types of lines I can probably work with.



Alright the official short synopsis is out:

" In the city of Schirkoa, A whore recollects her short lived affair with a level (A) baghead - 197A. And how an unusual turn of events brought 197A closer to another mysterious woman. With the elections at door 197A has to make one of the toughest choices of his lifetime "


Other updates:

-A music composer has come on board. And I was actually able to talk one on one with him. Which I feel was very important. The discussion was awesome and he is now composing “Schirkoa Theme”.

-We have completely revamped the style of characters. And now characters are much more stylized than before. Partial reason for this is the time constraint that we have. So we are trying to get one simple and stylized master rig for all characters.

-A very talented voice actor has also come on board and she will be recording the voice very soon.

-I have finally locked the script.:wink:



  • The voice over has been recorded.

    • I have finished the 3d animatics for Act1. Which stands at around 4 mins. Yiming (my animator teammate) has started animation.
    • I am working on Act 2 animatics right now.

    *I can’t post the full animatics, but here is the wall of my room showcasing all 51 shots from Act 1 :slight_smile:


Here is a very important character of the film : LW

And here is a still from ACT 1.


This environment comes in the beginning of the film. There will be some retro, futuristic nuances here and there in every environment. It could be props, music, sound, ambiance or architecture. At the moment, I would say above image is more or less there. The more subtle stuff only can be seen in a rendered sequence. Wiggly outlines have a lot to contribute when it comes to animated objects. And then there are television screens, posters, touch panels etc. As for the render itself, I would say non photo-realistic looking textures is where all the time went.


Very interesting to me, Ishan. Are you very experimental in your render pass/mixing, or do you have a methodical workflow for each shot you do? Per rendering, the last shot is cool (non-photo real) as well as the alarm clock, (graphic style).



I basically spend quite some time in my textures. Starting with photo real textures and then mix filters and hand made strokes to get a non photo real look. Then I just apply lights and play with different passes,toon shaders & filters. When all done I apply an outline to everything. Environment fog is also playing an important role here. :wink:


Another environment from Act 1. BAGHEAD197A will be walking past this alley. It will also be used for some shots in Act 3. Still got to touch up a little. Probably it needs some signboards and better lighting inside the houses. There is also a train crossing the bridge but it’s hardly visible right now. Will be more evident when it’s animated.


I will be uploading a short clip in the coming week. It will include a few shots from Act 1. Mostly from 197A’s apartment. Here are some details from that environment. Yiming and Nico are close to finishing up the primary animation for Act 1. They will move to Secondary characters after that. As for myself, I am hoping to finish a major chunk of lighting and texturing for Act 1 by December.


I have updated the character page with 2 of the main protagnists. More to follow. (http://www.schirkoa.com/p/characters.html)


Here is a small clip from the beginning. Some shots are okay, others far from finished. But I think the edit kind of conveys the overall feel.



This is looking very nice, I really like the camera shots in the last video you have up. The cartoon like rendering is also great.


Thanks a lot! Yes after many tests and tries I think I have reached a point where I like my simplistic renders. But again, I am still going to nudge them a little bit here and there. More soon :wink:


Im sure I’ve mentioned before, I absolutely love the style. I’m glad you have a good portion of it in motion! Its coming out great :slight_smile: