Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Character: Posing and Expressions

 Today's character session was a lot of fun. We were given a set of phrases and were tasked to pose them whilst we were drawn by the rest of the members of the group we were placed in.This was to help us better understand the structure of the "skeleton" that is created by the movement, as well as looking at how different shapes portray different emotions.


We were then asked to chose one of our favourite characters and alter their body language and facial expressions into the opposite of their normal personality. I chose Princess Zelda and depicted her as someone a bit more aggressive, rather than her usual calm and collected self.


Monday, 2 November 2015

Character: 'The Hero' Initial Ideas

For my character design project, I chose the three cards:

Stealth

Wildlife

Liquid

The idea so far is that the story behind the game that this character will be featured in goes like so; deep within the ocean, past many reefs and bundles of seaweed, there is a kingdom. This kingdom is habited by many fantastical ocean creatures, one of them being the king. The king lives within an extravagant palace, and deep in the heart of the palace lies the powerful force that protects and energises the kingdom; a precious pearl, almost as large as one's head, that breathes life into the kingdom.

But one day, an evil creature, once a member of the royal court but now banished, stole the pearl from the kingdom so that they may claim the power for themselves.

With the kingdom in danger, the king calls forward any brave soul to go and retrieve the pearl. A plucky young creature steps forward, in hopes of proving himself to the kingdom that he has the potential to become something more.

The plucky young creature will be the hero of this story, and I am in the process of designing him.


I have made a few variations of how he could appear, by depicting different body types, as well as pointing out certain features such as the difference between having a tail or feet, which will hopefully help me decide the direction to take in designing him.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Narrative: Environment Thumbnails

For the beginning of our group projects, we were asked to chose 3 cards to help us create our story. The cards my group chose were:

In a Laboratory

Tonal Montage

Jealousy

After weeks of brainstorming and refining plots and experimenting with the technique of tonal montage, we have finally come to an agreement of how the story for our animation will play out.

So far, the story will be based around two robots. A lonely scientist has spent many years of his life dedicated to creating a new generation of robot. Robots that are capable of feeling and experiencing human emotions. But this is no simple task, for it involved a lot of trial and error, resulting in copious amounts of unsuccessful experiments. The most recent model of robot is still functioning, until it discovers that there is a newer robot being created on the table next to it. The now old robot becomes jealous of this newer model, but due to the emotion of jealousy being so vast and indescribable, the old robot is unable to cope with such an emotion, and short circuits.

Here I have roughed out the possibilities of how the robotics lab could appear. We considered creating a somewhat dark and dank work area to emphasise the amount of time and effort that has gone into creating a robot capable of human emotions.


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Character: Designing Environments

This week's character session was about environments, and how important it is to create the right environment to aid the narrative of a story. For this exercise, we were given a character and were tasked with designing them an environment that we thought they would live in.


I was given this image above, and decided to chose the pirate character. Below are the sketches that I came up with. I was aiming for a sort of rough, shipwrecked sort of accomodation, because the character looks rather brutish, like he would be the leader of a group of outlaws. I decided to take on the idea of using a ship to build parts of his environment, and to set perhaps near the ocean, such as in a dock or near some cliffs. 




And then below is an example of our last task of the session. We were given two words and were then asked to consider this as an environment and how we would build it into a narrative. I was given the words, "eerie throne room", to which I then did a few bullet points of what came to mind and added in a couple of sketches.


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Character: Revenge of the B Movie - The Video Game!

For this week's character session, we were put into groups of 3 and were given a slip of paper with a setting for a video game. The slip that my group received reads:

"1950s America is suddenly invaded by a host of B-Movie creatures, as cinematic monstrosities escape from their celluloid worlds. Characters will be drawn from the archetypes of B-Movie films from the 1950s, either the plucky heroes, or the monstrous creations."

Each of us chose one character to design. I decided to go for the monstrous outer world creature. Looking into B-Movies of the 50s, I noticed that the creatures seemed to appear as what we would now consider "generic", so I decided to go for a typical design of tin foil space suits and big bulging eyes and heads.


Maya: Character Poses

For last week's Maya class, we were required to download a fully rigged character from the internet. With this character, we used it to recreate dynamic poses to better our understanding of how to effectively pose a character.







Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Character: Redefining an Existing Character and Creating Silhouettes (13.10.15)


So, as the title implies, last weeks character session consisted of us experimenting and learning more about how to create a character. The first task given to us was to choose an existing character and recreate them using one of the key words we chose for our Character project. My words were:

Wildlife

Stealth

Liquid

In the end I chose the word Liquid, and worked upon that. I tried to be ambitious with how I could portray the character, Link, from The Legend of Zelda game series. At first, I imagined him as a creature from the deep, i.e. a mermaid. I then thought about turning him into someone who can actually control water. And then, just for a bit of fun, I turned him into a fish with a sword and sheild, and even made him become water! This exercise was pretty fun, although it was a little difficult for me to come up with ideas at first.

The second exercise was for us to be given a key word, and then create definitive silhouettes based on that. I was given the word Witch, and so again I tried to be imaginative with my creations. I created the typical witch that you usually see on Halloween decorations, a good witch, a powerful and "scary" witch, a school girl witch, and an old witch.

It was really interesting to take this approach in creating a character, and I found it really helpful to understand shapes and poses a little better as well, so I shall put this technique into practise when creating my characters.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Maya: Pipeline 1 - Head Modelling Part 3

This tutorial was about refining the model and making sure that everything is positioned and ready for the modelling of the features. It took a little while, but I got there in the end!


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Maya: Animation 2 - Lip Syncing - Adding Phoneme's & Viseme's

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It was a bit of a lengthy process, completing this tutorial, but it's really worth putting in the time to get it all just right.

Character: Story and Game Ideas, Inventing a New Game and Playing More Games!

Our first Character session was on 06.10.15, and it was to get us into creating a mind set of how games work. Be it a board game, a card game, or a computer game, it's important to understand the mechanics and design features of each component. To get us started, Justin set us all a task where we were given a set of sticker images and tokens and we had to invent a game using these elements. This was actually quite fun to play with!


Justin also came to us individually to ask about our ideas for our Character projects. The assignment is to design a set of characters to go into a game, and to create an idea for this game, we chose a set of 3 cards at random to give us our concepts. Admittedly, I was a little stuck as to how I could go about the cards I had selected. I chose:

Stealth

Wildlife

Liquid

Initially, I thought of creating a game based underwater. This then ties in with the Liquid and Wildlife theme. I thought about making it a 3D  Stealth computer game, so now I need to tackle as to what the objective behind the game will be.

At the end of the day, our group then had a great evening playing a series of board and card games. My group played a few rounds of DiXit and Avalon, both of which were rather enjoyable!
 

Maya: Pipeline 1 - Head Modelling Part 1 & 2

So this was a rather interesting tutorial. Modelling seems like quite a lot of fun, even when you are trying to get each vertex point in the right position. There are a couple points that I need to go over and adjust, but I look forward to it.


Monday, 5 October 2015

Film Review: The Incredibles (2004) - The Hero's Journey Archetypes

Figure 1. 'The Incredibles Movie Poster'

From the world famous Disney Pixar Studios comes an all time family classic about a super family forced to conceal their super identities to keep the world normal and safe. But when an unexpected force threatens the norm, it’s up to The Incredibles (2004) to save the day.

Directed by Brad Bird, The Incredibles (2004) can be identified as a Hero’s Journey film, with examples of character archetypes that are associated with the Hero’s Journey concept.

We begin our journey with Bob Parr, also known as Mr Incredible. He had a career as a superhero in his glory days, but then is reduced to the mundane life of a “normal” man after the Superhero race was cast out of society and forced into hiding. Bob is one of the main protagonists of the story, therefore he is also, ironically, the Hero. We journey with him to experience his ups and downs and his steps on becoming once again, Mr Incredible. He could also, in a way, be considered as the Father archetype, in a literal sense.

Figure 2. 'The Parr Family'

We then have Helen Parr, Bob’s wife and formally known as the superhero Elastigirl. She is yet another protagonist, and can also be seen as the Hero, and also the Mother character, as well as an Ally. She helps Bob to save the city and is also the concerned and caring authority figure to not only her children, but to her husband as well.

We then have the Parr children, Violet, Dash, and Jack Jack. They represent the characteristics of the Child; innocent, curious, and unknown to the world of superhero’s, and normality.

Lucius Best, also known as Frozone, would be perceived as the Ally of the story, aiding the Parr family in saving the city from Syndrome’s manic robot.

Figure 3. 'Frozone and The Incredibles'

Now the character Buddy Pine, his super name being Syndrome, is an interesting example, for he could be considered quite easily as the Shadow, for he is the main villain of the story. His childhood hero, Mr Incredible, has shot him down time after time, and after the last straw, he becomes enraged, suppressing his anger and using it as a tool to build a name for himself, to beat his once loved “hero”. But due to his eccentric behaviour, he can also be perceived as the Trickster

Figure 4. 'Syndrome and Mirage

And then we have Mirage, Syndrome’s assistant. It could be considered that she is the Shapeshifter of the story. She assists Syndrome in tracking down and testing Mr Incredible on his powers and capabilities for the tasks thrown at him, but when Syndrome threatens and launches missiles against Mr Incredible’s family, she soon realises her allegiance to Syndrome was clouded over by his power, “a weakness of her’s”. 


The Incredibles is a wonderful and action packed experience for all ages to enjoy, and although each archetype may be viewed differently to what is stated above, it is certainly a feature to witness as an exciting piece of animation. 

Illustrations:

Figure 1. 'The Incredibles Movie Poster' (2004) [Movie Poster] At: http://www.movie-poster-artwork-finder.com/posters/the-incredibles-poster-artwork-craig-t-nelson-holly-hunter-samuel-l-jackson.jpg (Accessed on 05.10.15)

Figure 2. 'The Parr Family' (2004) [Movie Still] At: http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/11118/111183530/4436439-9962932067-28b02e.jpeg (Accessed on 05.10.15)

Figure 3. 'Frozone and The Incredibles' (2004) [Movie Still] At: http://rollingout.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/the-incredibles-with-frozone.jpg?769134 (Accessed on 05.10.15)

Figure 4. 'Syndrome and Mirage' (2004) [Movie Still] At: http://i.imgur.com/FJnoIxQ.jpg (Accessed on 05.10.15)

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Maya: Animation Part 2 - Lip Syncing - Jaw Bounce


Lip syncing was pretty fun to look into. The jaw bounce is like the main base that you can work on top of, but it's all about timing the bounce correctly. I look forward to working more into it!


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