Thursday, 28 January 2010

My Character Design Process

Part of my blog has gone missing for some unknown reason so I'll try my best to re-write it here.

My original plans for my final major have somewhat changed!
I intend to find a narrative that gives me the most visual influence and create my own character's setting and animate them which should be 2mins approx.

After going through lots of poems I decided that from Tim Burton's
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy's

Roy the Toxic Boy was the one that gave me the most imagery.

This is just a rough sketch of how Roy the Toxic Boy came to me after reading the narrative. This my first impression of how I may want him to look.

I've had pointed out a good web page for Character Design

and another

I decided more work was needed on how I wanted to make toxic boy look so I started by just drawing squiggles and random different shapes for heads and turning those squiggles into faces.
Below are some of the design sketches of Toxic Box using this technique:

I worked on a design I'd come up with and developed it a little to give me a a character I was happy with.

These are a few images playing with different head and face shapes, along with how I'd like the final character to look using a mans shirt as a lab coat:

It included experimenting with different Face colours and gas masks.

A better picture of the character design with out gas mask.

A design of a gas mask drawn in different angles.
I am thinking that this design would detract from the characters look.
I'm wanting something that's a little less realistic and more of the toon end of the spectrum.

Just a couple of action shots and one cleaned up

I'm getting close with the characters final look but I need to know what the characters body shape should be:

This is my final characters design wearing a gas mask.
The final version will vary a little as I work my way through modeling him!

this is a big dislike for me I think the eyes are what say everything about a character and need to build a better looking eye

after just looking up how a real eye is built up I came up with this pretty good representation
using a cluster and a set driven key to control the dilation

Prior to this project I had very little knowledge of UV Mapping so I carried out a tutorial
with a tree frog that teaches you UV Mapping Bump mapping and spec mapping

after the tutorial this is what I had to show

For the Rigging I'm going to be working with James Dunford a fellow College student
Click on his picture to be linked to his blog

for the garage sequence it was advised that I should get plenty of images from inside garages and what could be found in them!

I set myself a limit on how long to give myself to model
I built a lot of it but hat to source some models from Turbosquid to pad it out a bit

this looked more like everything was covered in snow it was just a test render to see how environmental fog would look?

after running short of time I've had to get rid of the environmental fog and a few other unneeded assests to cut down on rendering times the average image was taking up to 3 hours on an 8 core P.C. and a £1,000 graphics card needs must!

something I am concerned about is with a lot of my work being 3D based by the time the models were done it was ready for hand in so I'm quite in experienced in animation side of things,

I got hold of a great book called the Animators survival kit.
It shows you key frames of lots of different poses and actions great when your trying to work out where the feet are suposed to be in a walk sequence to think about walking is something we do without even thinking when it comes to working it out for an animation you'll fine it a totally different experience!

I'm not afraid to say that I'm Dyslexic after trying to navigate through this book
most of the information is illustrative so helped a lot

but there is also a 16 DVD set out on the Animators Survival Kit
I was able to see a copy of those and found them equally as helpful I found they helped me more with getting into the mind set of animating and usually had them playing in the background as I worked

Now that it has come to animating it we have run into some major issues
the weights painting is causing the geometry to collapse in on it's self this makes the NCloth behave very erratically and make animating very hard!

I've tried my best with the final version and since time is almost up I'll have to leave it there!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Character Designs

I've found someone's blog with a wide array of character designs:

Please click the link

I know I want to give my character a strange but not scary appearance. I'm about 90% sure I want him In an old gas mask, something that shelters him from the fresh air.... but something that he could have found in a skip...

these are just a random bunch of gas masks i've found that have the genral feeling of how I want Toxic Boys Mask to look

Research Looking at Short 3D Films

As suggested to me, I've started to look at Supinfocom's shorts:

This short is about a little girl that gets drawn into her bowl of letter soup and finds herself wandering a desolate land with the spaghetti which once floated in her soup now floating around her head. She stumbles across a boy stuck in the ground she tries to help but he's swallowed up by the ground, she looks around and notices that the whole floor is covered with the faces of small children. The eyes and mouths of these children glow and as the little girl tries to make a hasty escape she finds herself in the same situation as all the other faces in the floor, but she she manages to escape and return to her real world.

This one starts as a little girl scavenging for food. She finds a small window that catches her interest but finds the window flips and falls a long way down, only to land amongst some giant tomatoes. She discovers that the tomatoes belong to a giant singing chef that eats small miniature children to which she fits the category. There's a small chase scene and she dresses up a chili to make it look like her, the chef eats it thinking he is eating her but as it is really a chili he drinks as much wine as he can find to cool his mouth. This leaves him like a beached whale in the middle of his floor - then It's the miniature little girl that has the last laugh.

This is a good one called Hemlock. I really like his style and anticipation and it has a good narrative with excellent animation.

I've watched this over and over the style and animation work very well together this is the kind of look I'd love to be able to achieve!
For more information on the video and the Making of please visit
and If you haven't watched It do so you wont be disappointed!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Final Major Project

My original Idea for my Final Major has been canned not happy about it but there you go!
at the moment I haven't got a clue what I'm going to do now but I know I have to come up with something ASAP!!!!....

For now the idea is to create a character of my own from scratch and show my full workings out from start which may even just be a scribble to a rigged textured and UV Mapped 3D model and a short animation.

Matt Clark advised me to look at some animations from a French company called Sudinfocom,
very dark is the only way to describe them but here are links to the videos I found on Youtube

Please Click the Youtube Logo to see some of there videos: