Friday, 29 November 2013

CG Artists Toolkit: Skinning- Building the Ribbon Spine

This is a fairly quick tutorial. And there are most definitely endless possibilities with rigging this type of spine. Squash and stretch etc. Of course, having created this, I will now go about implanting it into the rig of my Lucy character for the Narrative project.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Character Design- Design sheets, Research and general character bio's

So I have been meaning to complete these character influence sheets for a while but there are still a few gaps in the plan. Names are not that important at the moment, but things such as their goals flaws and weapons are still a bit wishy-washy in places. However these characters are really beginning to evolve in my mind. 

First and foremost this villain. He is the one thats the most clear in my head, although I am still pondering the idea of combining his turtle/tortoise-ness with other reptilians, say for example a croc or an alligator. However his personality and behaviour are really starting to come through. I feel he would be a lot like the evil tortoise character that features in the film 'Rango'. Controlling, scheming and feigning to be the perfect leader to the people (well... hybrids) over whom he presides. He'll be old, indicating and really pushing his 'so-called' wisdom. Although, my villain, over the generations he has lived has re-written history painting himself to be a better hybrid, someone others can trust and rely on. A leader. but one with the means to destroy anyone who crosses him...

Below is a random attempt at a rather gnarly and grumpy Tortoise hybrid.... I expect my villain to still attempt to dress smartly. Shirts and blazers and the like although they will be a little dishevelled what with it being post apocalyptic. I need to start attempting facial expressions but with animal faces and bone structures it's going to be a challenge. Although this blog post on anthropomorphism and case Study of 'Robin Hood' may prove extraordinarily useful!

Below we have a slightly sparse look into my Hero character. He/she is beginning to take shape but a few key components are missing, gender is one of them, but also the prop or weapon. Being a thief there are most likely tools of the trade. But I want to create something interesting. Something unique to the character that will very likely be handmade from found materials. Something to either help escape dangerous situations, lock picking devices, perhaps a sensor of some description. Maybe weapons such as a net gun or a dart gun.... I have yet to figure it out.

If there is one intriguing feature in this character its the age. Although I have written 'late teens' I want to stress the idea that my Hero's genetics mean that actually his/her lifespan is not all that long. If a dogs average lifespan is eleven years and a hare is five, the combination of sixteen years for an entire life is positively minuscule (by human terms at least). So to be of adolescence in my characters shoes would make them possibly only five years old in human terms.... Either way this starts to turn into a very confusing and interesting spin on my character. But this give my character another dimension and a reason to live on the edge, time is against them and I quite like that feature. Also it really hammers home their wants and needs- to live not just survive. And a genetic modification might just be able to do that.

My sidekick is on the way as well, gender also eludes me on this one. My little gecko/chimp could go either way. A rather young, smart little critter, that simply wishes for acceptance amongst higher level hybrids. Finding friendship in my hero character although is wonderful can be quite saddening for my sidekick. The lifespan of a chimp is around fifty years and a Gecko is anything between fifteen and twenty years, meaning the sidekick could far outlive my Hero. The Hero character is the only friend my sidekick has ever known. The only other hybrid to treat him/her as a higher level being. Losing such a friend would be devastating... So anything a friend can do to help is exactly what this sidekick intends to do. Other than exposing the villain for what he is, stealing a genetic modification from that villain for the hero is also on the agenda- whilst making a stamp on the world as a significant being of course.

Character Design- Posers!

We spent this session looking into the stick figure to gain an understanding of where the weight is when someone strikes a pose. Its a balance of curved and straight lines depending on where the tension is in the body. I definitely need a lot more practise with this figuring out the angle of the spine and adding enough energy but keeping the accuracy of the lines proves to be rather difficult at times.

For the second half of the session we also looked into expressions. Taking a cartoon character and adjusting their various facial expressions. My character being Harley Quinn I believe her to have a range of extreme expressions rather than subtle ones. My favourite is the wince...

Monday, 4 November 2013

Character Design: Character noodling

Taking inspiration from nature I started to have a little play on photoshop as to the body shapes for my Hero and Villain. Completely rough and ready and most definitely awaiting development. I feel they need to be further cartoonised. They're lacking any real emotion or character...

Tortoise Villain

Dog/Hare Hero

Autodesk Maya: Nose, Ear, Neck, Throat

So, below we have the progression of the head modelling for the nose of the character through to the throat. However I need to evidence that properly with a cutaway of the face. I completely forgot to change the angle of the face I was busy trying to adjust the general facial structure. I will re-upload it with my next blog post when the head is complete and the body is under-construction!





Character Design: Character Props

In trying to figure out the kinds of things my characters might have a gave a vague attempt at designing them  as well. Nothing is solid yet per say but I do want my sidekick to be a four legged friend rather than a biped. Now his props were inspired by the idea that he would be back up support and mischief maker. Diverting unwanted attention from my hero character as he goes about his thieving. Although I liked the concept of little bracelet weapons and the like the whole idea does not fit with the kind of era or theme of post apocalypse. i need to think in terms of found objects hashed together. So these bracer ideas have been thrown out of the window for the time being.

Now in contrast I feel the designing of the villain and his weaponry is definitely heading in the right direction! The concept being that my villain is old. really old, due to the genetics of a tortoise being grafted into him. And therefore he has grown shell like plating to protect himself as well. He plays on his physical appearances and uses them to his advantage. Able to feign being the doddery old tortoise with a staff for support he can turn at a whim and strike someone down. And it is very difficult to attack him when he has protective armour. A staff is very easy to create from found objects even a modified weapon such as his one. I quite like this idea its very plausible for such a world and such a character.

I have yet to come to a satisfactory theme with my hero design and also prop or weapon. It may be that as his exact role evolves I suddenly find the items that describe him/her.

Character Design: Anthropomorphism and Character Shapes

So over the last couple of sessions (I have indeed forgotten to post previous exercises) we have gone on to try adding character to inanimate objects. Below are my attempts to turn HarleyQuin into a hair grip. It sort of worked. I was helped a lot by the vacuum shapes in the grip matching Harley's eye shapes. Having completed that exercise I was assigned a gym as a place in which to crate animated objects. this I found much tougher not being very familiar with Gym equipment or quite how to give them a sort of anthropomorphism. I gave it a shot.

The next session was completely focused on shapes. Looking into characters to see how they were built and breaking hem down. Here I have Philoctes from hercules. A creature derived entirely of circles! My first attempt to break him down wasn't quite right but was corrected a little by the second attempt. the third attempt was to change his gender! But adding curves to a curvy figure was next to impossible!

We were then challenged to make our characters fat. Again with Philoctes that was practically impossible. So I grabbed a skinny character Roger Rabbit and managed something a fairly successful. Finally having watched a tutorial on the ageing process in character shapes and so forth, I created a random dog like character with an oldish face and proceeded to try and recreate him with different shapes (I also dabbled with a couple of different types of dog with again more shapes)