Monday, 19 October 2009

Iterm Crit'

Last Monday was the Iterm Critical Anlaysis, what this means is that along with the other memebers of the class I have to put up a presentation of what we plan to animate under the guide lines of the given brief. What I had to present was a character design sheet, showing how a character would work in three dimensions, a story board and an animatic outlining the key frames of the animation.
I came up with a rough idea using a character I'm currently developing for a personal project (top secret as of now).

(click to enlarge)

I tried to think about a good way to translate my character visually to my audience so I drew to shots, front and side adding annotations. I even included a rough guide to the types of shapes that make up the character as a whole. I mainly use triangles when creating the character and although it is very geometrical I try to create a loose look to the pencil work. When presenting this the character was generally well recieved but the tutor made several key points about the design that I had not thought of. All related to animating the character within the computer program Maya.

The first was the hood, would it be animated as one item? Would it have moving parts? Second was the legs, I originally got the concept of the legs from the animated show "Invader Zim" as the characters have a kicking type of walk. From this the tutor suggested that I look at two other animated shows to study the way the animators have handled the way characters walk, these shows were "Pocoyo" (narrated by the delightful Stephen Fry) and "Looney Tunes" cartoons featuring Marvin The Martian. Next was emoting the character, it wears a mask I would have to show emotion by animating the mask through layers applied to the object that would be the virtual render of the character. Finally was the shapes involved in creating the character as animating in Maya I would have to find a way to present in three-dimensional, it's design is a collection of distorted shapes so it'd be quite diffcult for a beginner. I began to feel a little less confident about my idea but I decided that I would make amendments once I have a grasp of Maya and my skills with it.

(click to enlarge)

Above is the storyboard I drew up to illustrate the short narrative. What happens is the camera starts on the character's feet and pans out until the character is completely visible, the camera stays fixed as my character goes through a walk cycle. In the foreground is a bowl but it will be out of focus, the chacacter will walk by and suddenly realise, turn head back and investigate the bowl and we find out it's his favourite food. As with the character design the basic concept was well recieved and after a short back and forth with the tutor it was decided that I should work on the story board to felsh it out with new camera angles such as one that will allow the audience to see what is in the bowl. So I will definetly be working on the story board to try make it stand out a little more. Below is the animatic of the storyboard (again you tube has slightly cut the end off).

The animatic runs at roughly the same speed I would like the final animation to run at. Overall I'm pleased with how the presentation as a whole turned out, I have learnt that my concept may be a little ambitious for my first time with Maya but before I start to make any changes I want to try my hand at it first to see how difficult it is to grasp. If I do keep up with this idea I feel it may still be a challenge hopefully with the tutor's help I can try my best.

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