"Bartimaeus: Ptolemy's Gate" is the third book in the Bartimaeus Sequence, which is a story about a young man named Nathaniel who is navigating the political and social challenges of growing up in an alternate universe where magic and demons are everywhere and whose closest friend just happens to be a 5,000-year-old, sarcastic, cunning djinni named Bartimaeus. This short animated film and its teaser trailer were created as my final-year degree project at Weltec in 2010, with incredible assistance and support from the Bartimaeus fan community and the author of the books himself.
I began by storyboarding the prologue to see whether this was a viable project to conclude my studies with. Once approved by the staff at Weltec, I moved on to research and development, character design, 3D set building and 2D/3D animation. The set was built in Autodesk Maya. Ptolemy and the assassins were drawn in Illustrator in a range of poses with interchangable heads, hands, limbs and hair. The characters were animated in Adobe Flash and the final scenes were composited together in Adobe After Effects.
When the film was completed and posted online, fans of the books responded with very positive feedback across social media, on fan forums and on YouTube, where the original video currently has over 60,000 views. In 2018 in response to some deserved criticism of the Egyptian title character's pale skin colour, I re-edited and re-uploaded the video to darken his skin tone, which is the version currently available on my Vimeo channel.
Jonathan Stroud, the author of the book series, responded to my message on his website's fan forum praising the work I had done and posted a permanent link to the film on the book series' official website.