OGR 06/03/2014Hey Ruby,Thanks for being patient. Okay, so the idea of the fern cycle being 'hosted' by a cute snail seems like a winning formula to me, but there are a number of practical issues to think about. Is it your intention to have the snail 'narrating' the fern cycle - talking to the audience? If so, then that brings with it the issue of lip-synching, or at least creating the impression that the snail is talking. There is a technical challenge here - not impossible - but it needs thinking about at the very earliest stage. It might be, for example, that the snail is a 2d animation composited over the top of a CG animation. Animated a 2D talking mouth is going to be easier than creating CGI (but you could composite a 2d mouth onto a 3D model). Lip-synching is technically challenging - but the basics are explained here, known as phonemes:http://minyos.its.rmit.edu.au/aim/a_notes/mouth_shapes_01.htmlBut we're getting ahead of ourselves. The first thing I really want you to think about is style. The first thing you need to appreciate about the Pixar/Dreamworks worlds and characters that you like is that they derive originally from really strong concept art - striking, and original. Because of the toonier style, I'm going to suggest that you change-up your methodology for creating your thumbnails. I'd like to see you go for a more crisp, more bold concept art style in the first instance - and do so using Illustrator and the pen tool etc. - in other words, try and build your world out of flat shapes and strong forms and flat, bold colours; some examples of artists who do this follow to inspire you:http://ucarochester-cgartsandanimation.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/supplement-charley-harper.htmlEric Carle:http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/PenguinEMS2010/23LARGE._V192572384_.jpghttp://uk.mantralingua.com/sites/default/Big/BigT344.png?width=900px&;and just some other examples of stronger, cleaner design:http://images2.layoutsparks.com/1/250310/beautiful-flowers-design-pattern.gifhttp://www.damdesign.org.uk/assets/images/flowers.pnghttp://cdnimg.visualizeus.com/thumbs/b6/7e/b67e111fad3790a992416587dab0d79c_m.jpghttp://media.creativebloq.futurecdn.net/sites/creativebloq.com/files/images/2013/04/snail(1).jpghttp://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/jordanrusev/jordanrusev0907/jordanrusev090700017/5166388-snail-vector-graphic.jpgRight now, I think your more painterly, loose and rather too earthy thumbnails aren't going to give you that fresh, vibrant world you're looking to create. Personally, I think you should be much more 'out there' with your colours - more vibrant - and much more controlled in terms of shape and design. Try and create some of your components (the fern, the snail) not my drawing or painting them, but by using the tools in Illustrator - it will instantly give you a different way into your world and I think it will make some interesting stuff happen. Anyway, give it a whirl!