Wednesday, 17 August 2016

@Alan - Point in the right direction?

During the summer I've not had my mind set on a single path when it came to initiating my third year. But that small but significant brainstorming session we attended threw me a new bone. I was asked what character design meant to me, where my place was in it. And honestly at the moment I'm sure that my actual ability to design a character proves a difficult challenge for me as my drawing skill's are not as adept as some others. Saying this it was pointed out to me by my friends and family that my modelling or my transition to modelling was a success in my last project, and I did tell them that I had tones of help from Alan with it. But they still think it was pretty good, and I enjoyed it for the most part. (Still want to punch Maya in the face.) Ah-em.

Honestly, if I was to place myself anywhere, I would put myself in a story-driven scenario, where the character created has a full background around them, a story that brings them to life. Then comes the design, as I can picture what I want them to look like in my head but that transition from mind to paper wouldn't necessarily be my job, then I would be the one to transcribe the character into a 3D life model of itself, with the ability to move - that's it the ability to bring a character to life through basic movement - the rigging, the slightly animation. It made me very happy to see my little Odd-Ball be able to move and move his jaw. (If I didn't break the original file I would do more with him now, like maybe do a walk cycle, but mistakes happened.)

It's been a busy few weeks since the brainstorming session but I must submit myself to the trails of bending over my laptop and tablet and get some ideas out. My mind works in weird ways, I tend to bring my designs out by imagining them as a story first, a few, and I mean a few passed through the story-processing part of my brain at the session, but one that stuck and I wanted to try and make something appear from happened just after the discussion about quadrupeds. And why do I have to only do four legs.... well I thought about it and I still want to do something creature-related. I've sketched something up: -

Was actually doodling a wolf when I came up with this, but this little guy appeared when I started to adapt forest type creatures, and some creep factor to him. I was looking at the weird and wonderful, like the star-nosed mole. He's kinda  a mish-mash of different creatures, frogs, spiders, rabbits, weasels, rats. But essentially he is supposed to be a creature that was buried deep underground, would awaken and enter the world that we know, greeted by other animals and shunned for his appearance. He tries to be friend the different factions, to determined where he actually fits, but he can't find one that works. A human child would come along and name him special and unique and he doesn't need to belong to other families, they need to belong to him. Then all the animals find him useful as he can do everything they can but all in one body. At least that is what I imagined for him. It wouldn't be a full animation, I would only want to make a turn around, to focus on his details. Get him just the right amount of creep, the right amount of cute and the right amount of childish friendliness that he needs.

It's just one idea. I could continue with Odd-ball and make his counter parts - develop his actual persona, but I'd need help to fix his files. Just really need some advice as to what direction I should take for this? Anyone else can comment on it too, be appreciated!


  1. Hi Julia

    Sorry but I'm going to put my cards on the table in this feedback and say no! Of course I'm not just saying no just to an idea but I'm saying no in relation to you and this idea - This combination will not do you justice as a year three project for the following reasons...

    1) Quadrupeds and Multipeds: "Was actually doodling a wolf when I came up with this" - We've spoken about this before and this is a wolf in disguise. Drop quadrupeds, you've just managed to make it over the first hurdle with a biped character (with help) you cannot jump to a much higher level in complexity (both design and Maya) that quickly. No quadrupeds!

    2) Degree level study: Simply put your idea has been 'plucked out of the air' and whilst I recognise you understand it in your mind at degree level there needs to be a much more solid foundation than that. It's a far too subjective start to a project.

    What I suggest you do is the go to the following links and watch previous students work...

    Try to x-ray what is happening in them on a fundamental level - What's the core idea? What's intellectually engaging about them? Why were they green-lit/ on the website? Why were they worth investing time in? Look beyond the technology and the surface. Give each of them some serious thought and move beyond being a consumer - look deeper.

    1. I was wondering about this actually, that's why I was looking at further developing Odd-ball and his palls as we were talking about before I didn't really develop his ''persona'' but I'd need to fix his files too.

  2. Regardless of 'Oddball' look at the links and previous students work. What I want you to do is look outside yourself and start dissecting the world around you. Yes 'Oddball' was the first step but it doesn't mean you should carry on with him or his friends too - look at the ideas in the projects and how they have been evolved through process.

    1. I'm not 100% certain I understand but I think on it and write something up.

  3. What I mean is that the two ideas so far haven't explored any new territories - One is a wolf and one is an extension of a previous project. So to simplify

    1) No Quadrupeds
    2) Find a new idea that doesn't extend your Adaptation project.
    3) Look at previous work by students.
    4) Watch online tutorials on character design - how to find characters, develop them, and draw them.
    5) Identify famous and successful animation characters in film and tv. What makes them successful? Who or what were they based upon?
    6) Observe the world...there are opportunities for character design all the time in what people say, do, and look like.

    Bottom line research and as I said before look deeper and beyond your immediate surroundings. Perhaps a better analogy would be to 'go outside and become an explorer instead of staying in your opens your mind and gives you opportunities, the other limits your potential.