Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Narrative Character: Jock

Over the last two days i have been designing the basic Jock character for our animation. So far i have designed the basic body structure and costume which the jock will wear, but still need to design  variations of different jock heads and facial expressions. I have also put together a quick art style influence map which will help guide the art style for our animation. I am taking inspiration from 'Monsters vs Aliens' within the overall shape style for the animation, 'The Gruffalo' for its simple use of textures and shapes/backdrops, 'Salesmen Pete' for its quirky edge, and 'Team Fortress 2' for its great use of painted textures.

The Jock character developed into an interesting character quite instantaneously due to extensive research, and a now better understanding of the overall art style of the animation. I think it matches our animations simple cartoon style quite well and will blend in with the style of environments which Sam has been working on.


Monday, 29 November 2010

The End of Character Design

A project with its positives and negatives. Starting with the positive outcomes for this project, i have learnt allot about how to design/create/draw a character, it was an eye opening experience in terms of project management, and i created three resolved characters based on a project which was driven with little inspiration. As all projects there are some negatives, the negatives for this project, the lack of enthusiasm towards the themes given to me at briefing, the struggle of working on multiple projects (a part of work flow which i will need to improve on), and the fact that i did not get to finish the character bible to a standard which i would be most pleased with.

Throughout the 10 weeks of this project, everyday spent working on character design i learnt something new, not only during all 9 workshops with Justin, but also whilst working out side of the lessons on our actual projects. It was interesting to learn the process in which someone must undergo to design a character, as well as all the techniques used to create a recognisable character which fits the description in the brief. Even though i may have not achieved this in the view of other people, but to myself i believe i created characters which fit the description of the Hero, Villain, and Sidekick based on the two themes 'Secret Agent' and 'Dinosaur'.

It was eye opening in terms of project management and dedication to the course and the brief itself. I can safely say that for this project, as well as projects before this, my project as well as myself have suffered due too poor project management. But it is only now that i have realised that this poor management needs to change quite drastically in order to achieve a high level of work which is set out for. As negative as this may sound in some ways it is a blessing, this project has shown me that to achieve a high level of work, a high level of project management is needed to allow it to happen.

I believe my final three characters 'Agent I' the hero, 'Dr.Aptor' the villain, and 'Tyron' the sidekick matched the idea which was somewhere in my mind on paper quite well. They could have been better portrayed, for example an actual colour painting of each of them as well as some action poses(an outcome which would have been different if there was better project man0agement and more inspiration). But relating them to the brief and the two themes 'Secret Agent' and 'Dinosaur' i don't think i was too far off from achieving 100% satisfaction. I believe they matched well in comparison to each other, relation to the dinosaurs i based them on, and relation to the style of secret agent characters which i was going for, in this case a more James bond style of characters.

For the character project i found myself falling drastically behind in keeping up to date on posting development on the blog, a process which looking back on should have been changed as the project went on, even if i posted up each sketch page as they were being packed full of sketches. So to recap the full project, here it is...

These are the influence maps used to help develop my characters. In my opinion each of the characters i created matched there influences quite well.

Here's some development sketches which were produced whilst trying to work out exactly what i wanted my hero to look like. The idea stayed the same throughout as i new early on what i wanted the hero to look like, but through out  his development there where some changes in detailing on the characters. When i eventually worked out how i wanted combine the secret agent dinosaurs with the dinosaur as well as the more human form, at first it was going to be a human body with dinosaur features such as a dinosaur head, hands, feet and tail. But as time went on i decided that the final out come should be more influenced by the human form, so i settled by giving the character an overall humanoid body, with a dinosaur head, no tail, human feet and a mixture between dinosaur and human cartoon hands.

Here's the final outcome of the hero character, the turnarounds and facial expressions.

Here's some development sketches which were produced whilst creating the villain for the project. In a way the villain ended up being the hardest to design but in the end proved to be the easiest. At first i wanted the villain of the project to be a T-Rex, due to this being the most recognizable villain within the dinosaur world. But taking the shape and size of the T-Rex into account it proved difficult to match it with all the lessons we learnt in the character workshops, for example the classic villain would be slim, elongated, and would feature triangular forms. So taking this into account, as well as key influences such as Dr.No and Blofeld from James Bond, i realised i needed to change the Dinosaur and base my villain on the Velociraptor, a more sly evil looking dinosaur.

Here's the final outcome of the villain character, the turnarounds and facial expressions. As you can see i focused the villain character on more slim/small in size character constructed using triangular forms which helped bring across the idea that this character will be the villain.

Here's some development sketches which were produced whilst creating the sidekick for the project. I didn't spend as much time developing this character, which is a shame because i feel as though hes about 80% there, and the finishing 20% would really help to sell this character as a sidekick. At first this character was going to be a more classic sidekick, i.e quite small in size with a great personality to match its role. But as time went on the character changed to be what he is now, a henchman for the villain. The sidekick was always going to be on the villains side but would be more of a lap cat for him, similar to that in Blofeld and Dr.Evil, of course this was before when the villain would feature as a T-Rex. So now with the sidekick being a henchman, it only seemed appropriate that i gave the character the form of the T-Rex, a large predator looking creature playing on the idea that he had a small brain.
Here's the final outcome of the sidekick character, the turnarounds and facial expressions.

So finally here's the final outcome of the project, the character bible. Overall i would say that i have enjoyed this project very much, but perhaps with some more invested time instead of working on it like a back burner project under the narrative one, then my final outcome would have been to a higher standard and would have enjoyed the project more.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Character Workshop 07 - Creature Design

For character workshop number 7 we learnt some of the basic information needed for character design. Some key notes of information taught to us was that to create an effective creature you must first have some basic knowledge of the human/animal anatomy, secondly use reference images as much as possible, and thirdly use various different parts of different animals to create a new creature. I got given the word 'Jungle', a word which i then took into account, researched and created a creature out of a fusion of animals found in the jungle. At first i went for the more obvious animal choice, of course the Gorilla. After some further thought i then moved onto create a creature based on a monkey, with some key influences from the bat.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Car Update #02

Not too much of an update, i have added in a basic roof shape, tweaked the rear end panel to make it look more simple and sporty, and have started some of the detailing, i.e the headlights and the trim around the front end grill. I now need to work on further detailing the roof by adding in the rear window and some tweaks to allow for good mesh flow, and also tweak the connection between the roof and rear end. Then finish up by adding in the remaining details such as all the cars trim, the tail lights, wing mirrors etc.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Car Update #01

Here's a quick update on the car for our opening scene in the Narrative project. I am basing the model on a Chevelle SS but am not modeling to accuracy due to the style of our animation. It a sort of mash-up of muscle cars which would represent a Jocks car. I have now added in the basic shape for the rear end of the car and its rear bumper. Some more work is needed around the overall shape of the car before adding the roof and detailing, but overall i would say that i am quite pleased with the progress made so far.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Narrative Production Started

I'm happy to say that CreatureStudios has started production and are well under way in modelling our first scene, the make out point. We have all taken some aspects of modelling, i have taken the role of modelling the car needed, Sam is working on environment objects and Matt is working on the terrain. Although our production is still being over shadowed by various different parts of pre-proudcuction which still need to be completed. Looking on a more positive side of production, i have started to model the car we will be needing which i have based on a 1967 Chevelle SS. I am not working to the blueprints 100% due to a mix mash of different car types and the overall cartoon stylization of our project. Comments and criticism?

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Studio Blog

Since the begginning of our Narrative project i took the role of creating the studio blog and any admin work which follows behind it, for example Facebook pages, YouTube channels etc. I have recently changed our blog again by adding in the new banner, adjusted the information which falls down the right side and added in some pages which include; Development, Pre-Production, Production, Post Production, About, and Discussion. (The Pre-Production, Production, and Post Production pages have a strong chance of changing). All of which bring a more proessional edge to our blog which was specified within the brief. In the About page, as you can see below, i added some pofiles images with linked information, more of which will be needed to create a fact file on each team member. I have also added a Discussion page, which is a simple way of the group all being able to speak to each other to discuss problems, deadlines, queries etc. This allows for a more solid form of communication as apossed to instant messaging conversations.

Banner Re-work

As our project moved further and further out of pre production and into production, it was clear to me that our stories theme/feel had some what taken many drastic changes. I think this is the 3rd or 4th time i have re-worked the banner, but i believe that each time i have done it, i have produced something of better quality, but also something which represents our animation better. This new banner now links our story back to its SciFi/horror roots which were some how lost along the journey of pre production.

Narrative Influence Maps

Here's a selection of influence maps for my Narrative project, i took it upon myself to research into existing films for there high school environments, take print screens, and apply these images to my influence maps. Quite a long process, but it was worth it for the clarification it has given me in understanding various environments/vehicles/characters further more.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Cheerleaders Character Development

Previous to this project i have had no experience what so ever on drawing the female anatomy as well as stylised human characters, so it has taken me a while to create but below is a near enough complete drawing of what the basic cheerleader will look like. Some minor changes which might be changed as i feel as though some of the style has been lost in the turn around, these changes include; making her waist/ribs more slim, making her thighs wider and shorter. Due the the cheerleaders being the main characters in our animation i thought it was only right to spend some time creating the character as correct in my mind as possible. I feel as though this has been quite the triumph as i can now draw a stylised female figure.