Thursday, 30 October 2014

Character Designing-Phase 2: The Crow

This is the character that needs the most work. Mainly because she's not humanoid! Trying to work out how the shapes will move together when imagining the crow in flight or hopping about on the floor makes for difficult grasping. So I've tried to create designs with her wings outspread this time and using the continuing knot shape throughout the entire body. I can see myself playing about with this for a while, these particular designs look a little too complicated at the moment.

I favour the wings of 6 and something about the midsection of 5. Once I've got the knot shapes, like the previous characters I'll have a play with body shapes, but I'll also try to continue the lifework around the body from another point of view. Such as the side view, but also with the wings folded.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Character Designing- Phase 2: Morrigan and the Warrior

Here are developments into Morrigan and her Warrior. Here I'm trying to incorporate the mantra 'top to bottom' with regards to the celtic knot patterns running from head to toe on these guys. You may notice repeats, the upper level mirroring the bottom. There are minute changes on the lower levels of each character, where I tried to alter body shapes ever so slightly to create some variation. It was much more of a challenge for the warrior and he is definitely in need of further development.

I feel the warriors 8-14 are moving in the right direction, as the descendants of 1-7. particularly in regard to the change in arm and hand shapes. I like the continuing lines and crossovers on 8, 11, 13 and 14.

Again, same as the warriors the upper level of Morrigan designs are the ancestors to the lower. However there appear to be vast differences mainly because I was toying with the body shape. The Upper body was shrunk and pulled about quite a bit, hips made larger and the like. My favourites I believe are 7, 8 and 10. Although with regards to 7 and 8 , I feel I should remove that belt, its a little too much.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Re-Imagined Character Design- Part4

 I more recently moved onto the crow aspect of Morrigan's transformation. In profile the crow has proved to be a challenge. I think I may have to revisit these and use a larger variety of shapes.. But I will conclude this once I have achieved a series of designs with the wings outstretched.

Finally here is a mini selection of the various warriors. There needs to be two sides to this battle. And in order to make sure the main Warrior appears to be one of a team, these designs bare remarkable resemblance. But in a bid to ensure he doesn't blend in completely, I have made their head shapes vastly different to his. The enemies being the triangular evil bunch and his fellow fighters being the squarer set.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Re-Imagined Character Design- Part3

Here we have some impressions of Morrigan in her young mortal like state. I was initially rather drawn to version 1 but she bore a little too much of the pointy villain about her (I'm thinking Ysma, from 'The Emperors New Groove') I liked incorporating one large knot shape for version 3, but I think my firm favourite design is version 8.

Wanting to fill the gap I incorporated a little scale model of the human characters side by side to confirm their heights. The warrior stands around 7 heads tall, young Morrigan 6 heads and finally the hag at a teensy 3 and a 1/2 heads tall. (Its all in that hunchback)

Re-Imagined Character Design- Part 2

In continuation to yesterday here are some of the initial Hag designs. She looks a bit harmless and in some cases nun-like and in all honesty I am not sure if I like that or not. Though she is one of Morrigan's three forms, the hag is the one who ends up becoming the death omen (although it is unintentional). I'm not sure if I could play with her features to perhaps make her a little more sinister. At the moment I'm rather drawn to the dishevelled hair and slumped shouldered version 6. Or the slightly ripped cloaked version 2.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Re-imagined Character Design

Not in any way happy with my approach to character designing previously a short discussion gave me a new path to character creation. Looking at the littler shapes in Celtic knots, patterns and jewellery and utilising negative and positive space has really helped me pull something interesting together. So far I've only completed another selection of the warrior using Adobe illustrator, (which I am learning as I go), I'm hoping to post up variations of the old hag soon.

Morrigan Full Storyboard

So here it is, after all this time a full storyboard. I've tried to bare in mind the idea of the space being like a stage. with repeated elements (as the space on a stage is limited and creative use of props and scenery is sometimes called for) Next is a rethink of those earlier character designs and also the environment design which will probably be quite different form the storyboard.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Character Designing: The Warrior Silhouettes

The main theme when creating my characters is that I want to base them on the shapes of celtic knots and patterns. So far I'm finding this really quite hard to create with. But I'm hoping with some inspiration from 'The Secret of Kells', looks into the old scriptures of the real book of Kells and more patterns, things might start to jump out at me with regards to how I design the characters.

So far I think my personal favourite is the body of 11, but also perhaps 6 and 7.

Storyboarding So far...

There's still a way to go yet. Im n the middle of Act3 part 2 (out of 8 and even then those parts can, and probably will, multiplay into many more drawings.)
In creating these scenes and with stage theatre concept still in mind, also combined with paper theatre, diorama's and pop-up books, I am formulating ways in which to animate various scenes; in particular scenes 13-15. Here I see the opportunity to create a mass of layers one on top of the other like a pop up book, or diorama. So that Morrigan can see the light of the campfire in the far distance. After spotting the fire, the entire scene could flip 180 degrees, so that the same scene can be viewed from the opposite side, the Warrior and his campfires point of view. Meanwhile Morrigan ventures through the darkness of the woods to investigate the light of the fire, appearing in the background.

It is all a work in progress. I hope I can communicate my intentions through use of a 'proof-of-concept' scene as well as an animatic of this storyboard.

CG Artists Toolkit: Active and Passive Rigid Bodies

The video's linked below are a series of examples of using Rigid Bodies in Autodesk Maya and how they affect the weight of objects and collide with one another when in motion.

The above ball and chain animation went quite well I think. Although I do wonder if I should have made the weight a little 'heavier' (more mass or something) to really hammer home the jarring weight of the ball on the chain.

The catapult is definitely in need of some further tweaking, I settled with this version mainly because this was the only time the entire wall fell apart, despite the fact it wasn't exactly a direct hit. The only other nitpick I have is that I should have incorporated the walls as rigid bodies as some of the bricks and canon-ball glitch through towards the end and fall off the floor plane.
I can see the potential for this particular animation technique. Equal and opposite reactions will really add a sense of realism to a short animation.

Above is a rigid bodies test using Newtons Cradle. I had to dial back the power slightly when forcing the first weight up ready for the fall, for some reason it shot over almost 180 degrees. The end result is satisfactory although I'm not sure if the motion was slowly decaying or not. In any case the principle is there.

Finally active and passive rigid bodies helped to create authentic swinging motion in the earring, but also collisions against the face. Without it the earring would slip straight through the side of the jaw. I had a few issues with this one. fortunately working out my mistake I reapplied gravity and when I really couldn't understand what was happening a restart of Maya seemed to solve it!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Scripting and Working the Story

I've been working on this a short while now. Trying to create my own spin on the myth of Morrigan and her shape-shifting abilities, amidst a tragic love story. Below I've worked the story into a broken down synopsis of what I'd like to achieve, the aesthetics I am aiming for, a three act structure and a logline of what takes place within each act. Finally, via scribd, I have a link to the original first draft script.

There are already some major changes needed in the script. After a short discussion, a major help to my approach was to look into theatre and stage directions, especially as the animation style I am leaning towards is slightly 'paper-theatre', with my 'camera' in a fixed position and elements sliding in and out of view. Characters appearing and disappearing from behind these elements and so on.

I'm currently working on the storyboard to accompany this story, eventually turning it into an animatic. I also intend to create a trial run of the transitioning effects I'd like to achieve with the entire animation. This will help my eventual goal to contact a musician and compose a piece of music specified to my story. I'd like the music to be as much of a storytelling feature as my visuals, so I need to give them as much information about the piece as possible before they can create anything. I'm hoping the story break down will help! Onwards!