Tuesday, 26 January 2010

My favorite character designs (so far)

Here are what i feel are well designed characters

Mike from monsters inc i think is amazing in design as he is so simple cause basically he's just an eyeball with arms and legs (and tiny horns). But he is so expressive and funny and it just proves that you don't need alot of detail to make a great character.

Eva again like Mike is so simple but really effective all they have to do is change her eye shape to show her different expressions. I think also that because she is so simple it draws your attention to her eyes.

And Wall-e this character shows emotions so well (even though hes a robot) and the audience instantly fall in love with him because he looks so cute and innocent, it makes you have to say "aww" when you look at him.

The beast who is a bit more complicated in design i think is great because he can look scary like in this image but he can also look kind and friendly. Even though he's a beast he has human emotions and the audience sympathises with him because of this.

Stitch again cute but is also dangerous. He's also doesn't look like your stereotypical alien (doesn't act like one either) which makes him even more interesting. Again the audience sympathise and laugh with this character because of his many emotions and insane personailty but he can also be very vulnerable.

All of these characters are not oveerly complicated in their design which is why i think they work so well.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Group Project

For our group project we were given promotional as our theme and i was given the job of the designer, which i assumed was to design the character, environments and the look of the animation. Honestly i wasn't sure how well i would do as designer as i wouldn't say my character/environment designs in the past are that strong. But i am very interested in the design aspect of animation and it was nice as a change from animating. However our group all worked together on different aspects of the animatic which i think worked well because then everyone could add ideas to improve it. We started off by making a brainstorm of all of our ideas and ended up choosing hansel and gretel as the fairytale and we wanted to make an nspcc advert but with a twist.

The fairytale hansel and gretel would work really well for this idea as in the fairytale hansel and gretel are first abandoned by their father, they are then abducted into the witch's gingerbread house, then when gretel is told to sweep and hansel is locked in a cage we thought that showed exploitation and then finally they escape. We thought that we could add at the end that hansel and gretel escaped but not every child can.

Once we had chosen our idea we then looked at images on the internet to find a look that suited our idea.

When we searched hansel and gretel this image came up. We thought that the rough look of the image would suit our idea and thought the collage effect worked as well. We liked the colour scheme as well because the yellow makes the child in the cage stand out against the sepia background.

We also liked the look of this image as it was very dark and gives a gloomy atmosphere which suits the mood that we wanted. Using silohettes for the trees makes the scene look a lot scarier as well.

We were also inspired by this animation by Karolina Glusiec and liked the rough cut out style of her characters.

After we looked at these images we then went on to designing characters, layouts and backgrounds. These are the character designs that i came up with. I really like the crosshatching on them as it makes them look rougher and gloomier in character. I do find it difficult getting the facial features of my characters looking right which i really want to improve. I had a difficulty trying to get the characters to look cute and innocent but not too much. I also kept them simple as i knew they were going to end up as cut out characters in the animatic.

I also designed some layout ideas for the backgrounds

The next day i helped put together the storyboard with matt. I added the characters and close up shots. After we presented the storyboard we were told that we needed to make some changes one being that we shouldn't show the witch being killed by gretel. This we understood as this action would make hansel and gretel lose their innocence and they would come over as more violent. So we decided to change it to just showing an over shoulder shot of gretel looking at the witch infront of the oven then cut to black and then see hansel and gretel outside the house. They also said that we needed to change our ending so we decided to keep the whole of the animation sad so instead of the bunch of kids looking happy infront of the castle at the end they would look sad.

We changed the characters and blending both mine and kat's designs as hers had better facial expressions but they were a bit too detailed and they wanted to keep my cross hatching so we ended up with hansel and gretel looking like this which i think looks a lot better.

I then had to draw out the different parts of the characters so that they were ready for animating.

The last day we had to put it all together i had to add anymore crosshatching and shading to the characters and then put the stills together for the animation. I love the image of hansel and gretel looking up at the house as i think it is a really emotional image.

This is what our animatic looked like at the end.

I was really happy with how it turned out and the voice and music that the writers found for us worked really well with the animation. I really enjoyed working with my group because everyone worked hard and there wasn't anyone that was left with nothing to do. I also think that everyone communicated well and we were pretty well organised. We also all understood what the look and feel of the animation was going to be so there was no confusion. I felt that everyone seemed to like and enjoy making the animatic and it wasn't just one persons idea it was a group idea. One of the things that didn't turn out as planned was the amount of time that we were left with to put the animatic together. I think this was because of the way we made the animatic and the amount of time we were given more than being disorgansied. Also the software we were using to put the animatic together caused some problems as well. Because of this unfortunately the smoky words that Pete made for "abandoned" "abduction" "exploitation" etc couldn't be added as there was not enough time. I think what went well with this animatic was the whole look of it, I really like the environments and characters and think it gives a sad gloomy atmosphere. I feel it makes the audience feel sorry for these characters which is what we wanted. I enjoyed working with the writers we had in our group as it was nice to have their point of view and ideas on the project and felt they did a great job with the voice over. Overall i enjoyed working on this project apart from the fact that it was stressful at times because of the time limit and i learned some points on character design from looking at kat's designs. I would like to work with the writers again as they knew alot more about storytelling than we did and again it was nice to have different views and ideas.