Autodesk Maya || Jetpack Jones Tutorials Part 1: Head

Blocking in the head helps to provide foundation for details in later stages.

When modeling it is important to avoid 'tram lines'; where vertices are more tightly packed, it may form darker lines.

Vertices should be evenly distributed throughout the surface of the model to have accurate shading.

As features are completed it is a good idea to cleanup geometry as you go, to avoid having to do more work later.


Life Drawing || Silhouettes and Posing

Coloured pencils are useful for providing a mild study of figures, but it is difficult to produce anything feasibly good without simple hardship of labour, therefore it was important to apply artistic licenses where necessary in the sketches underneath. By sampling this in the early stages it helped to focus my mind on more important issues regarding style. 

Neon Sharpies (scented) really helped these models pop, in study of silhouettes and the avoidance of parallels in the body, the final result highlights a need for identifiable characteristics in animation. 


Character Design Workshop || Environment and Setting

To create this scene, based on the phrase 'It's alive!', I utilized a low angle shot with a tilted camera. The idea behind this kind of framing is to indicate an uneasy atmosphere involving playing with a lot of power, in this case lightning. 

By drawing in this fashion I learnt something about cameras in general; they are there to conjour a kind of presence within the story, and so therefore they should act in rhythm to the human eye, so when a camera tilts to either side, the head follows the eyes. If something is off the right hand side of the screen, the camera should tilt towards the subject.

It is also important not to mix up shots with each other, in my drawings, I had an extreme close up and a long shot in the same scene. It could result in a sort of sensory overload on part of the audience, so it is important to keep things focused on one thing at a time.


Party on! Kaiju || Character Development, Environment and Story

Expressions were applied to my character in a measured response to what I would assume would appear according to a story and the individual personalities, whilst also attempting to avoid the more common emotions that most people think of first. Exercising the face will also help me understand the geometry to a greater extent, or diagnose issues with design.

Judging from the current progress on my characters it would be advisable to work more on Gen's design, which needs to be more identifiable next to her counterpart. I was thinking of giving her a bigger head, as if to contrast her actual intelligence as a tortoise, a symbol of wisdom, with her real knowledge which is quite small on account of being a feral creature. It could also help balance the two in terms of cooperation since Bu (snake) is a deceiving creature that appears in the bible. 

In terms of story, I thought about themes, how these character make up for each others shortcomings, despite differences, they are soulmates. There is definity a sense of hidden potential with these two as well, since they are legendary creatures with an affinity with humanity, there are callbacks to Kaiju like Mothra, who, with her larvae, protected japan from Godzilla. I also thought about the nature of duos in media, Banjo and Kazooie come to mind, since they are quite plain it is easy to superimpose the game player onto them.

Recently I was thinking more about the environments of Tokyo and similar cities; a closed in, sprawling concrete jungle. The districts can be discerned from landmarks, akihabara, the giant crossing, Tokyo Tower. These are things I should be utilising in my thumbnails at some point, because its been mostly generic dead space typical of any city, so in the next attempt there will be more landmarks, Japanese tropes and neon signs.


Character Design Workshop || Props and Pirates

First exercises involved identifiable props that can be quickly associated with a character, so much so, that the object would look wrong in the hands of another character. Working from the image of Wreck It Ralph from the iconic movie Wreck It Ralph (2012), I developed several rudimentary, construction themed weapons that best suited his hillbilly like character.

The second exercise revolved around the idea of sidekicks in a pirate context, specifically those of the 17th century. I had the idea of fish pirates, marine life that has risen up from the depths to pillage the land. Although this idea was received, it was advisable to look more at the clothes pirates wore in order to make individuals more convincingly rugged.