Saturday, 31 October 2015

Character - Villain Silhouettes & Influence Map

I started to work on the villain, I decided to use silhouettes again as they are quick and make it easier to see what shapes work well.

Here is my influence map for the villain as well, I see him being the opposite to the hero, so he needs to be tall and quite thin. This works quite well with him being an intelligent villain as apposed to a beefy brawler.

Character - Hero Thumbnails 28 - 44

I started to explore one of the silhouettes that I liked from the last page I did, I quite like the overall shape.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Pipeline 1 - Character Body Modelling Part 17

Today i did the arm tutorial, slowly getting through these.

Life Drawing - 28/10/2015

It was nice to be allowed back into life drawing, I felt pretty rusty so I am looking forward to getting a chance to practice some more.

Character - Session #4

In Justin's class this week we tackled environments, he set us a task of imagining a building that could go with a character that we got given. I got the siren from borderlands, a magically person so I wanted the building to represent that in height, also due to borderlands being post apocalyptic I decided to have the buildings slightly damaged.

Narrative - Male Character Thumbnails 19 - 39

We distributed the required elements between the group today, I will be working on the male character from concept to a fully resolved 3D model. Here is a page of thumbnails that I did tonight, still early stages but I quite like 23 and 37, I'm still playing with shapes and proportions.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Narrative - Environment Thumbnails

I did some environment thumbnails today, trying to create a big cluttered factory space.

Narrative - Character 1 Thumbnails

I started making some thumbnails for one of the characters today, I tried playing around with his shape and proportion while trying to make sure it still resembles a wooden toy.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes Film Review

Fig. 1. X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes.

X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963) is a science fiction/thriller film that is directed by Roger Corman who is known as a director that often creates low budget sci-fi/horror films in homage to the bigger budget ones. The film tells the story of a doctor that develops a unique eye drop that allows the user to have x-ray vision, but this great power has even greater consequences.

The purpose of this review is to discuss what makes this film a B-Movie and what is positive in the film still to this day. The plot for one is ridiculous; this is a well-known attribute of a B-Movie. The plot consists of a doctor creating eye drops that give the user x-ray vision, it involves him murdering a co-worker and exposing his powers (multiple times) which gets him in trouble. The plot has no clear goal, the eyes drops are already created when we start the film and there is no information on how they were invented and only a brief reason as to why he created them. The main character Dr. James Xavier is painful to watch as he goes through the story, just when you think he might be successful he decides to expose himself and ends up on a wild police chase. Even the ending is abrupt, it ends very quickly with no clear resolve to the story, in this sense it can be quite frustrating to watch.

Fig. 2. Dr. Xavier still.

The dialogue was often quite cheesy throughout the film; in one scene for example Dr. Xavier is talking with his colleague, his colleague says ‘My dear friend, only the gods see everything.’ To which Dr. Xavier replies ‘My dear doctor, I’m closing in on the gods.’ It is possible that the ridiculous plot generates the cheesy dialogue; they both go hand in hand to create a film that is easy to watch. The actors play their role pretty well; they are mostly convincing and make the film more enjoyable even though the dialogue is sometimes sickening. This is a pretty positive part of the film; the acting is quite convincing which makes it more enjoyable to watch.

The effects throughout the film are relatively good, although it is clear at some points that they had a smaller budget which is a known trait of B-Movies. The film uses some interesting techniques to show the effect of X-Ray vision, in one scene the main character looks through a building, the effect was created by recording a building being built in a time-lapse and then played in reverse. It seems that the effects overall are a positive feature of the film, especially for its time. It is also clear that the main focus of the film is the effects, which makes up for the lack of a strong plot.

Another positive feature could be the fact that the sci-fi film doesn’t resort to a monster story which means it isn’t trying to have a giant destructive creature as the driving point. It uses the eye drops and the power it grants as the focal point, which in a way gives the story a more relatable and slightly more realistic feel to it, this is also greatly achieved in the environment and costume design as it all feels authentic.

Overall the film was very easy to watch, it didn’t require much thought to get through and the effects were a strong positive. Although the film lacked in a solid plot, the film is still successful at portraying the concept of X-Ray vision in the life of a doctor, it is a very redeeming fact that the doctor didn’t suddenly become a hero because of his powers. Even with its small budget, the film is quite successful and it would be interesting for it to be made now with the use of CGI, perhaps with a slightly altered story.

Illustration List:
Corman, R. (1963). Figure 1. X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes poster.  (Accessed on 25/10/2015)

Pipeline 1 - Character Body Modelling Part 15

I started the legs today, the body is slowly getting there.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Character - Hero Silhouettes & Influence Map

I started to do some more silhouettes for the hero, I'm quite fond of 18 and 25. I also did a quite influence map for his overall shape.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Character - Session #3

Today in Justin's class we were given a bit of text and had to design characters based on it, we were split into groups of three and each had to design a character. I decided to design the steampunk adventurer that is going to explore Atlantis, in hopes of recovering a long lost artifact. It was a lot of fun and I had fun experimenting with the shape of the character.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Narrative - Meet the Robinsons Character Film Review

Fig. 1. Meet the Robinsons poster.

Meet the Robinsons (2007) created by Walt Disney Animation Studios and directed by Stephen J. Anderson, who has also worked on other animations such as Tarzan (as a writer) and Tangled (as a story artist) tells the story of Lewis, a young intelligent inventor orphan who is yearning for a family. Lewis is being tracked by a mysterious man from the future who wears a bowler hat, he intends to ruin Lewis’s life and claim Lewis’s invention as his own. Another stranger from the future intervenes and takes Lewis to the future, they then team up to fix the situation they are in.

The purpose of this review is to examine the breakdown of the two opposing characters in the story. The characters this review is going to focus on are Lewis, the main character and Bowler Hat Guy, who we later discover to be Michael ‘Goob’ Yagoobian who was Lewis’s orphanage roommate. These characters are very much opposites and have very different views on the world that they inhabit.

Fig. 2. Lewis still.

To start with we will analyse Lewis, the movie gives us a little bit of backstory about him in the first few minutes. We find out that his mother leaves him at the doors of an orphanage, so he is alone from the very beginning. We are then shown that he is a bright minded individual that attempts to create some interesting inventions, such as a peanut butter and jelly gun, to serve the perfect breakfast. His view of the world is that if he is intelligent and invents something impressive, he will get adopted and find a family that will love him. Lewis wants to be adopted at the beginning of the film, and then he wants to find his mother so she can take him back. His goal is to find a family and he believes that inventing will help him achieve that, another goal is that he wants to make the world a better place through his inventions. He ultimately needs to be loved and part of a family, being an orphan this comes as no surprise. Internally our character is intelligent and starts off determined; however after a few failures he starts to become nervous and doesn’t believe in himself anymore, he also is quite lonely due to being an orphan and the failure amplifies this as he worries he will never have a family. Externally he is mostly calm and smiling; he tries to look positive even though inside he is worried about failing. Lastly we will look at his flaws, Lewis’s main flaw is that after he fails he gets depressed and starts to believe that he will never succeed in life, this flaw is something that takes him awhile, but he eventually overcomes it.

Fig. 3. Michael still.

Next we will look at Michael’s character, his backstory is shown at the beginning of the movie as well, he is Lewis’s roommate and he is a baseball player. He is constantly kept awake at night by Lewis creating things and it slowly begins to affect how his life unfolds. He unfortunately misses the winning catch in a baseball game because he falls asleep on the field due to Lewis keeping him awake all night, he ultimately blames Lewis for ruining his life and begins to develop hatred. Michael’s view of the world is that Lewis ruined his chance to be adopted and have a happy life; he blames him for him becoming a failure and becomes bitter and twisted because of it. Michael wants to get revenge on Lewis, his goal is to sabotage Lewis’s life by stealing his first real invention and claiming it as his own, this will then destroy the life Lewis will have. Michael needs revenge and teams up with a bowler hat robot to achieve this, however we later discover that Michael is not really the villain in the story, he has a grudge but overall he is pretty harmless, the hat however is a different story. Internally Michael is a bit dim, he isn’t the most intellectual character and the movie makes jokes about this a few times by having minions that he controls say “I'm just not so sure how well this plan was thought through”. He is also full of hatred and despair due to a horrible life of failing. Externally he completely demonstrates that he isn’t very smart, how he moves, acts and talks are a complete reflection of his stupidity. A lot of the time he also looks quite nervous and overall quite sad, he is a character that you end up feeling sympathy for more than anything. To finish up we will look at his flaws, Michael’s main flaw is that he is pessimistic and blames all of his failures on one incident instead of moving forward, his stupidity also is a big flaw as he is used by the bowler hat and doesn’t realise it.

Over the course of the story both characters change, Lewis starts off being optimistic about being adopted and invents stuff in the hope that he will find a family, he then becomes less and less optimistic as he fails and he begins to gradually get less confident about his abilities. He over comes this by the end and becomes and happy and confident character that achieves everything he wants to. Michael however starts off being a happy baseball player, this changes when he misses the winning catch and he then develops hatred from Lewis, his hatred evolves but by the end of the story he lets go of his hate and leaves even though Lewis tries to welcome him in to his future family.

Lastly we will look at the scene in which Lewis gets the time machine working and how the characters change during this scene. Lewis starts this scene feeling unconfident and quite scared of the situation; he is then attacked by bowler hate minions and is forced to fix the time machine. He manages to stop Michael from claiming his invention and stops the evil bowler hat, Lewis leaves this scene feeling confident, fulfilled and he now knows he can achieve what he wants if he “Keeps moving forward”. Michael enters this scene feeling confident, he has successfully ruined Lewis’s life; however after all of the events he realises that he was wrong and he feels sorry for attempting to destroy his old roommate’s success.

To conclude, Meet the Robinsons is a fun movie with some unexpected plot twists and interesting characters. It had a nice overall message about the importance of moving forward and not dwelling on mistakes. Both characters contribute to the story in interesting ways and they change each other drastically by the end and they are very clear opposites.

Illustration List:
Anderson, S. (2007). Figure 1. Meet the Robinsons poster. (Accessed on 19/10/2015)

Anderson, S. (2007). Figure 3. Michael still. (Accessed on 19/10/2015)

Monday, 19 October 2015

Character - Initial Hero Silhouettes

I did some silhouettes for the hero today, I looked at a lot of Nintendo characters for the friendly shapes and squashed proportions. I quite like the overall shape of number 6 but I think I can keep creating more to come up with some more interesting figures.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Character - Story Idea Refined & Initial Character Ideas

Here is my idea for the character project so far:

The universe is made up of different genres; they are linked by a giant film reel in space that has doors (frames) to all the different worlds. These worlds are locked and the keys are disturbed to the different heroes in each world. Each world goes through a cycle (plot/full film), the game begins at the start of a new cycle, which means the hero and villain are fresh in their roles.

Our hero is from an adventure/comedy genre and notices that there is a character that is stuck and tries to help them. Once the hero saves the character he gets immobilized by a trap and sees the character he saved morph into the villain of the world. The villain steals the world key from the hero and rushes off to escape the genre. He enters the film reel that is linked to all the different worlds and he tampers with the device responsible for keeping the worlds in order. The reel begins to spin at ridiculous speeds, the hero finally catches up to the villain and stops the device. This causes the worlds to get messed up as the sudden stop jolts all the doors; it also breaks the locks making all of the genres accessible. The villain escapes into a random world and morphs himself to fit in, the hero follows. When in world the hero notices that everything has been muddled up, elements and characters from other worlds are now mixed in. The hero takes it upon himself to fix the worlds as he is partly responsible for them being messed up.

I sketched down some of the elements for the "world map", the idea is to have a film reel that the player is inside of, the different frames would be different worlds and the central device is what the villain uses to mess everything up.

The objective of the game is to fix the worlds by removing the elements that aren’t meant to be there and escorting the incorrect main character back to their world. The villain sets traps to try to stop you from fixing the worlds; he also convinces the characters in each world that you are the reason for all of the destruction, so they become obstacles and enemies that you have to deal with.


Name: (Working on the name)
Age: 16
Sex: Male
Wants (Goals): To fix the worlds and bring the villain back to the correct world (beat the villain)
Needs: To fix his own mess caused by his lack of experience
Internal Traits: Simple minded, Determined, Optimistic
External Traits:  Friendly, Clumsy, Panics when unexpected things happen
Flaws: Naive, Trusts people too easily, Inexperienced, Got lazy due to the comfort of repetitive cycles
Personal History:  Our hero is the son of a successful hero that always defeated the villain and kept the world safe, the father passed on the key and title of hero to the son a little while before our story begins. The hero gets too comfortable in the world as the villain has always been defeated in each cycle, so he decides not to practice using his abilities.


Name: (Working on the name)
Age: 17
Sex: Male
Wants (Goals): To escape from the never ending cycle of his world and to break the cycle for all of the worlds.
Needs: To be free from the circumstances he is trapped in, to rebel against the system
Internal Traits: Intelligent, Rebellious,
External Traits: Proud, Know-it-all teen,
Flaws: Selfish, Doesn’t think about consequences, Reckless, Stubborn

Personal History: Son of a villain that always failed, our villain doesn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps. Instead the villain wants to rebel against the cycle and stop them permanently. He studies and plans how he can achieve this task, so he can please his rebellious nature. He selfishly decides that all of the worlds need the cycles to stop and plans to escape his predetermined destiny. 

I had a look at some games for ideas about how the game play might look and I also had a look at some characters for some inspiration.

Pipeline 1 - Character Body Modelling Part 14

I started the body modelling today, the tutorial was pretty straight forward and fun.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Narrative - Rough Storyboard #1

This is a rough storyboard for one of the story ideas that we have as a group, the camera work will need some editing to make it flow more but I was mainly focusing on getting the events down to see if the story works.