E is for Esteban: A Closer Look at Spanish Safari’s Favorite Elephant

Every kid needs a friend. If they are lucky like Arturo el Mono, they have a few great friends; and there is no better friend than Esteban el Elefante. Esteban is the adorable sidekick in our Spanish Safari game. He pops in just in time to help Arturo teach about the letter E and he becomes one of Arturo’s most loyal pals.

Esteban was one of the easiest characters to come up with. Wanting to teach the vowels, we were looking for a character whose name could start with the letter E. Esteban was the first name our Lead Teacher, Keli, came up with (it just so happens to be her father’s middle name). Even better, the Spanish word for elephant, elefante, also starts with an E. From that simple play on letters, Esteban el Elefante was born.

Esteban was one of the first characters that our 3D modeler and consultant, Usaid, came up with. We wanted a cute and lovable guy who would exude friendliness and trustworthiness.

First draft of Spanish Safari's Esteban el Elefante. #learnsafari #spanishsafari

First draft of Spanish Safari’s Esteban el Elefante. #learnsafari #spanishsfafari

This little guy is beyond adorable! (Some of our staff members certainly thought so). However, he seemed a little too young. This baby elephant might make a great little brother to Esteban, but he just looks far too young to be Arturo’s best pal.

We decided to make him appear a bit older. We gave him a larger body size and head, smaller ears and we even tweaked the eyes a little bit. At one point, we even tried glasses!

Spanish Safari's Esteban el elephant with black glasses.

Spanish Safari’s Esteban el elephant with black glasses.

Although Esteban’s proportions were a lot better, the glasses just made him appear much older than he was. Even though elephant’s are not known for their keen vision, their sense of hearing, smell, and touch (facilitated by their trunk) more than make-up for any need of glasses he may have. In fact, his ears prevented the glasses from even fitting correctly.

 

The biggest challenge, however, was getting his size right in relation to the other animals of the safari. Check out some of the photos bellow to see our “Esteban Evolution.” Trust us, you won’t find the photos “irrelephant.” (Oh I know, terrible, but just give me a break!)

In the picture below, you can see Esteban after the changes mentioned above were applied. Esteban looks older, but he is too small when compared to the other animals.

A line up of some of Spanish Safari's main characters. Esteban looks older, but he is too small when compared to the other animals.

A line up of some of Spanish Safari’s main characters.

Once we decided to make Esteban bigger, we overshot it a little. Esteban even had a hard time fitting in his classroom! So we decided to make him 15% smaller.

The whole gang is once again assembled. This time, Esteban is just too big. We decided to make him 15 % smaller.

The whole gang is once again assembled. This time, Esteban is just too big.

Esteban is having a hard time fitting into his Spanish Safari Classroom.

Esteban is having a hard time fitting into his Spanish Safari Classroom.

This is our final version of Esteban. You can see him hanging out with his other savanna friends. His body was made a little less round and some nice textures were added to make him look more realistic.

The whole Spanish Safari Vowel gang! Esteban has been finalized.

The whole Spanish Safari Vowel gang! Esteban has been finalized.

Esteban’s character is a wonderful addition to the Spanish Safari game world. He is a loyal and talented friend, who loves art and his family.  Although he is known for being a bit of a “scaredy cat,” he reminds his more impetuous friends of the need to be cautious when facing dangerous situations and he never leaves his friends behind. Hope you and your children will enjoy this lovable friend!

-The Learn Safari Team

 

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