And now, characters!  Below are some very rough pencil sketches because I'm not 100% certain about my story and the visual style I'd like to use.  I have at least two options:
1. Motion Graphics-style characters, which tend to have simpler designs. There is an emphasis on smooth lines, color, and clean basic shapes.  These characters are aesthetically pleasing but they don't necessarily steal your heart.
2. More traditional, feature-animation character styles. These characters pull you into the story, and typically I think of them as characters you just want to know more about.  So, in essence, they have to be interesting beyond aesthetics.

My story is meant heavily resemble a piece of folklore or a dark fairytale. I still want it to be a great portfolio piece with a career in motion graphics in mind, but if this is my chance to do something I love, I'll take it.  While designing the characters, there are a few key elements that I want to maintain:
- Visual contrast between design of human boy and tree people. Tall and short? Willowy and stocky? Hard edges and sweeping lines? I don't know yet.
- The tree people must have something in their design that will lend itself for a transformative scene when they actually turn into trees.  This might be a body formed by simple lines that extend upwards into branches.
- Adding onto the last point, I'd like to incorporate something in nature into the tree people's designs. Leaf shape? Roots? Leaves? We'll see. 
-  Finally, the story that I've written is so cut down it's rather lacking in the characterization department, so I hope to use storytelling to balance it out and make the viewer feel for these characters.

Here are the initial designs! I need to make more, including one for the adult boy, and of course the tree people.  The tree people are giving me issues.

Basic Expressions - Boy

Turnaround - Boy

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