Wednesday, May 11, 2011

So I started off with this, simple little character. Depending on how things go I may go back to this simpler design. I tried to get something else though because I don't want to be too 'stop-motiony' if you get me? There's almost a certain look, or the feeling that maybe stop-motion has to be a bit...odd. It's a completely different aesthetic from 3D and 2D. But because I'm combining 3D and stop motion (well that's the plan) and I'm potentially modelling and rigging the face in 3D and mapping it onto the stop motion puppet, I thought I'd put a little more effort into the facial design.

This is looking ahead to the 3rd year film though, I shan't be modelling and rigging entire faces just yet.

So after a few doodles and flicking through books and google images I came up with this one that I kinda liked. I'm still debating over giving her pupils or leaving the eyes blank.

So this is a first rough look at how the puppet will work - I haven't drawn the joints in properly as I was more labeling things for my own sake. So there are several elements to it.

Things to be 3d modeled;
Her scarf
Possibly also her; Hair, entire face.

The puppet will be a clothed armature using a mix (depending on cost etc) of ball and socket joints (stronger but expensive and fiddly joints - these would be used on the ankles and knee) and twisted aluminium wire joints (because they're cheap they'd be used on all the other joints).

The hands and Head would be left as blank balsa wood.

So why go to the trouble of mixing the two, why not do it all in 3D?
Well a) because I don't want to and b) because you don't get the same type of animation from 3D or stop-motion and I personally prefer the feel of movement you get from a puppet.

For my negotiated brief however there may not be enough time to build the puppet and model the extra parts (since I'm a newbie in both). Due to this being an exploration in the technology techniques (ooh big words!) there's a possibility that I may be able to use ready made puppets with removable parts instead of making my own from scratch.

A few discussions are needed but I'm hopeful that my puppet is simple enough (and since I'd be doing a turnaround rather than animation it doesn't have to be perfect movement-wise) that I can make my own and still learn the 3D stuff.

Anyway it's all very exciting. I wish I could just press a button that said "learn" and get on with it.

In the meantime; next Friday the teaching starts! This is me and 2 others teaching some basics of animation to a group of kids aged 14-18 from a youth group in Truro run by a guy called John, the whole thing is organized by Olly West who's a sort of ambassador for the University. It's going to be cool hopefully, we have 4 hours to impart on them basic wisdom that will interest and inspire their minds.

In other news; I was browsing Amazon for anything cool out on the Xbox (the only thing that peaked my interest was Gears of War 3 but it's not out until September and even then it's £40 so I'll have to wait until after christmas when the price drops) and I found this thing, the game looks pretty lame and a rip off of beautiful katamari but they'd made a few animations that made me giggle.

I was thinking though why all the games these days suck balls, in my opinion. I suppose it's my own fault for not liking 1st person shooters because I can't deal with the view point because it both scares the crap out of me (my imagination runs wild and I convince myself I'm the person, which I guess is the point but I don't want to be shot at, and chased by zombies really) and I find looks rather silly because you only ever see a floating gun on your screen.

It's just a shame the game doesn't look like this little trailer other wise I might have bought it :(

But I've figured out what annoys me about most games, is that they just don't put the effort into the story, or the characters, or they put too much effort in and get so wrapped up with creating something that could be a cult that they forget all the basics, take for example this from Dragon Age Origins - possibly the dullest game I've ever had to endure.

If you managed to watch the full 4 minutes I'm impressed.
Compare that now to this extract from Gears of War 2 (mature language warning)

Dragon Age got so wrapped up in it's own lore and being so anal and becoming the next World of Warcraft (why you would want to do that is beyond me...except maybe the insane amount of money it gives Blizzard) that it's made a complete hash of it. I've read reviews were people said they found the story beautiful, okay fair enough, but how could you stand to see the incredibly poor lip sync and animation? That's what put me off. I don't care that Gears of War is a bunch of hyped up macho masculine bull-crap because it's fluid and well executed. It's actually quite an alright bit of animation with a bit of humour.

If I ever went in to gaming which I'm not sure I want to, I'd definitely be making stuff very opposite to these games which are so concerned with putting you in a "cinematic" experience that they've actually all become like each other; fairly pretty un-exciting, characterless, charmless drivil. In my humble opinion.

Anyway 'scuse the rant I was in game mode this evening and I really want to play something that isn't centered around blood splatter. I'm not violent, zombies scare me, I hate stuff that jumps out from corners and I fall asleep during Fantasy RPG's.
Which Is why I settled on a purchase of Lego Star Wars thank you very much :D

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