5 Hospital Characters (2015)

In 2014 I have developed five characters, starting from a concept by Tinker Imagineers. They have been incorporated into the themed wallpaper and play objects within the Juliana Kinderziekenhuis in The Hague. They are also present in several projected animations, and in an animation that is played on iPads in the recovery room. I designed, modelled, shaded, rigged and animated all five characters all through 2014 and 2015.

Starting from the client briefing, my first task was to design the look & feel of the five characters. I sketched many, many versions, from which we chose the final one to convert to 3D. “Blij” (Happy) was the most straightforward, as it had to be humanoid and remind you of an 8 year old child. C-Bot on the other hand, could be anything, as long as it was a robot-thingy, possibly with an animal part of parts. And transformable, like a… erm… Transformer.

The five characters were conceived for different goals: Blij (“Happy”), an orange clay figure, is the easiest to identify with for children. Knuf (“Cuddle”) is the most cuddly, with a bearlike appearance, and soft fur. He is the one to go to when you need comfort. C-Bot looks a bit like a medical machine, if it would turn into a robot. He makes medical machines less scary. Vouw (“Fold”) is an origami being, transforming from bird to boat and more, at will. He represents creativity, freedom, development, and change. Lastly, Vizzel (“Fishel?”) is not one individual, but a school of fish, reacting as one. They make you feel strong, if you’re together with others.

Most of the renders were meant to be used by Tinker into the wallpaper all over the hospital. Their Photoshop-sketches were the template for my 3D renders, which they then incorporated into the final design. Everything apart from the characters is 2D material produced by Tinker. The wallpaper is very durable, and of course washable. The size is incredible, with lots of fun details from floor to ceiling. Kids really love it, so the ends were met.
The new Juliana Children’s Hospital was opened by our Queen Máxima, seen here enjoying the projections in one of the treatment rooms. These animations were tailor made to fit the specific wallpaper and projector setup in the room, so the characters and other animations fit the lines in the wallpaper. They appear to interact with the 2D landscape, and disappear into it.