Saturday, 28 November 2015

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Character - Last Session

We had our last character session yesterday, we were put into groups and given a brief in which we each had to create two characters and one environment concept. We were set a deadline and as the class progressed Justin threw a few obstacles our way to make it a bit more interesting, asking for new designs for specific parts, in which he also set time limits for.

Here is what I did in the time we had, lots of scribbles but it was actually quite fun to do.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Pipeline 1 - Character Skinning Part 5

The pelvis was by far my least favourite experience in Maya, that was a battle that went on for ages.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Pipeline 1 - Character Skinning Part 3

I created loads of little problems for myself while doing this tutorial, which meant it took a lot longer than expected.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Pipeline 1 - Character Skinning Part 2

I added the ribbon spine to the character scene and created the rest of the skeleton ready to start skinning.

Pipeline 1 - Character Skinning Part 1

I started the skinning tutorial today, which involved making a ribbon spine, I am interested to see how it works with the character.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Character - Guardian (Sidekick) Thumbnails 27 - 38

I started to get some ideas down for the guardian, he is the smallest of the three characters and yet he believes that he is the strongest, definitely a case of short man syndrome. I quite like the idea of him being a creature of some kind, 31 and 37 I think are going in the right direction.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Character - Villain Thumbnails 35 - 38

After talking to Justin today he suggested focusing my attention on the villain and guardian/sidekick character as the hero has started to determine the style of the world. This meant because the hero had a larger than normal head, the other characters would have to as well to fit into the world. I went back and started to sketch out the villain, I'm quite drawn to the idea of the villain not being human, I like the direction that 38 is going in so I will continue to explore this character.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Pipeline 1 - UV Layout 1, 2 & 3

Today I finished off the UV tutorials, the trousers didn't quite come out exactly as planned.

Torso UV Map
Eye UV Map
Hair UV Map
Head UV Map
Trouser UV Map
Shoe UV Map

Narrative - Super Mario Bros film review

Fig. 1. Super Mario Bros poster.

Super Mario Bros (1993) is a live action adaptation of the video game, directed by Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton which mostly deviates from its original source. The film itself breaks away from many of the rules that are set by the brand that is Super Mario, thus creating a strange world in which a plot that feels reminiscent of a B movie is formed.

Adapting a video game to a film possesses many challenges, for one the film still needs to abide by the rules that the game sets in place for it to feel like it still belongs in the world that the game created. The Super Mario Bros film however just takes influences from the game as it pleases and creates its own world and story with them in it. It kept some themes in the film, such as rescuing the princess and the final fight being situated on a bridge however the game and the film feel like two separate worlds.

Fig. 2. Mario and Luigi still.

The characters in the film have been changed from what is expected due to the game, to start with they use Daisy instead of Peach as the princess, they also add a backstory of her being hatched from an egg which doesn’t appear in the games. They keep true to her love interest being Luigi, but apart from that she feels very distant to the game character that is rarely seen. The main villain in the game is Bowser a giant lizard like creature who kidnaps the princess; however in the film Bowser is replaced with a humanoid character called King Koopa who wants princess Daisy and the stone she carries with her, to merge the dimensions together. As a character he doesn’t feel as powerful as Bowser seems in the games, Bowser is much bigger than Mario in the games which creates a clear distinction of power, however the films make him seem quite weak. Interestingly the two main characters Mario and Luigi have a very different dynamic in the film, Mario appears more as a fatherly figure for Luigi instead of being there as his brother. This is very confusing as it is hard to understand if Mario is in fact Luigi’s father or he just acts like it, which again is something that isn’t true to the game.

Fig. 3. Environment still.

The environment is very strange in the film as well for a few reasons; the start of the story is based in Brooklyn which is strange in the Mario world as their world is the mushroom kingdom. It could be that the film adds the real world to make it easier to connect with the audience; it appears that this doesn’t quite work successfully. It adds a strange mundaneness to what is in sense a fantastical world and then it introduces you to the mushroom kingdom, which in the film is another dimension. This version of the kingdom is very much a dystopian nightmare that could appear in other film worlds such as Mad Max. This dystopian kingdom is very far from what the game displays as the fantastical mushroom kingdom and this in turn changes how the world is perceived. The games are all quite bright and magical in a sense, which makes the game enjoyable and interesting for children whereas the films choice of environment makes it aim for an older target audience. One successful part of the dystopian kingdom was the signage, they has flashing signs like Vegas that were direct reference to stuff inside the game, they had signs like ‘Bullet Bills’ and ‘THWOMP’ which appeared to be the most successful tribute to the game.

The film added multiple things to the world that didn’t exist prior, like there being two dimensions that separate the real world from the mushroom kingdom and rocket boots that allow the user to jump higher. They also altered the cannon fodder in the film, they made them into giant dinosaur like creatures that have little to no intelligence. In the game there are variations of monsters and they are usually smaller than Mario, whereas the film made them all giant idiots. It is possible that these additions remove the charm from the Mario world, the world which plumbers can jump higher than usual, the world in which Mario and Luigi live.

Fig. 4. King Koopa still.

Without the implementation of the game mechanics in the film, it appears that it strays too far from the world in which the game created. This is due to some vital elements being changed; the fact that to beat the enemies they don’t jump on their head is a huge difference that makes the film distant. The power ups that are received in game, such as the fire flower or mushroom don’t appear in the film, which again is something that ruins the film. It could be that the most disappointing aspect of the film is Bowser being human, it just didn’t have the same impact that the big lizard like creature could have had.

Overall the film isn’t a very successful adaptation, it feels as if the film is confused about who it should be targeted for. With missing characters and changes to the characters that are involved it makes it difficult to appreciate the film and find a clear link to the game, minus of course the names. By missing out the main features of the game the film sets itself up to be rather disappointing, from the terrible B movie storyline to the completely unfaithful environment and character design, this film is definitely a failed attempt at making a beloved video game icon into an epic film.

Illustration List:

Jankel, A. Morton, R. Figure 1. Super Mario Bros poster.,0,214,317_AL_.jpg (Accessed on 16/11/2015)
Jankel, A. Morton, R. Figure 2. Mario and Luigi still. (Accessed on 16/11/2015)

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Character - OGR

Unfortunately Scribd is reducing the image quality of my presentation and I can't find a fix for it.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Narrative - Male Character Model # 2

I've added a few things to model and here is what it is currently looking like, It has surface shaders as a temporary texture for the moment.

Narrative - Male Character Model

Yesterday I started to model the male character, this is how he looks so far. Some tweaks might still be required.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Character - Guardian (Sidekick) Silhouettes 1 - 26

I started to explore the Guardian/Sidekick character, he is meant to be comical in the sense that he thinks he is strong enough to fix everything when in reality he is quite weak. He also has a tendency to rage and to not be taken seriously, so i thought he should look quite cutesy.

Character - Outline

Written Outline

A universe exists in which the worlds are different genres of film; these worlds are part of a never ending cycle in which the plot of the genre plays out and is looked over by a guardian that resides in a film reel in the sky, this is also the place that links the worlds together. The characters in the worlds however age, meaning new characters step forward to take the position of their parents.

The game begins with a new hero being tricked by the villain, allowing him to escape from his world using the key that he stole from the hero to reach the film reel. The villain manipulates the function of the film reel in the sky and causes all of the worlds to get muddled up. The hero has no choice but to fix the damage done to the worlds and bring order back to the universe by stopping the villain.

The gameplay would involve the player fixing the worlds and bringing order back to the universe. To do this they would have to remove objects that didn’t belong in each world and escort/rescue characters that have gotten stuck in the wrong world as well. The character and villain are able to morph to fit into the different worlds; however the character isn’t very good at it to start with which makes normal inhabitants enemies. The player will be able to upgrade certain skills which change the effectiveness of the hero and his equipment. It is a 3D game with an aerial camera that tracks the player.

For this project I will be creating:

-       - Hero Design: Turn Around, Concept Art, Expression Sheets, Pose Sheets, Morphing Designs
-       - Villain Design: Turn Around, Concept Art, Expression Sheets, Pose Sheets, Morphing Designs
-       - Guardian Design: Turn Around, Concept Art, Expression Sheets, Pose Sheets
-       - Props for each Character
-       - Environment Designs: World select (film reel interior) & One of the worlds
-       -“Screenshot” of Gameplay

Life Drawing - 11/11/2015

Today's life drawing session was fun, I kinda wish I was doing the animation session as well.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Character - Sidekick Info and Influence Map

Today i started to think in more depth about the sidekick for the hero, I decided a little while ago that the sidekick would be the guardian or watcher of the worlds. He is there to add comic relief as he rages at the worlds being muddled up, he would also give useful information regarding what needs fixing in each level, etc. 

Sidekick (Guardian of the worlds)

Name: (Working on the name)
Age: 15
Sex: Male
Wants (Goals): To repair the worlds and bring order back to the film reel in the sky, as he is the guardian of the worlds and he let them fall into chaos while on duty.
Needs: To be taken seriously and to accept he needs help to complete his goal.
Internal Traits: Height issues (Small man syndrome), Comical, OCD (Everything has to be in order),
External Traits: Small, Stressed by things out of place, Appears stronger than he actually is,
Flaws: Physically weak, Easily annoyed or angered, Thinks he can fix everything by himself
Personal History: He is the newest guardian of the worlds, he resides in the film reel in the sky watching and maintaining an order in all of the worlds. Although he is young he has been doing a successful job since the age of 10, that all changes when the villain and hero ruin his reputation. What he lacks in size he makes up for in personality and plans on being recognised as the best guardian of all time.

Here is an influence map for him, he needs to be short with lots of attitude, however I kind of see him being quite cutesy, as that will probably make the scenario even funnier.

Character - Session #6

Today In Justin's class we worked on creatures, it was a fun class as we got to merge some animals together that really aren't meant to be combined. So that was the first exercise, we got given 3 animals at random and had to make them work as one, so trying to avoid just sticking parts on randomly.

Here is my attempt at trying to make an Octopus, Bull and Rabbit marry up in harmony.

Next up, we got given the task of creating a unique creature that would dwell in a random environment, I got given Caverns. There are some strange animals that strive in caves, the deeper and darker it gets, the stranger the animals get. So I started off by sketching some existing animals and using parts of them that I liked, then I decided I wanted to create a smaller creature, that would use sound to defend itself.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Maya - Posing a Character #4

I finished off cleaning up the animation for the five poses, I had to change a few of the starting poses as they were too extreme and the animation didn't quite work.

Narrative - Kenny Film Review

Fig. 1. Kenny poster.

Kenny (2006) directed by Clayton Jacobson, who also stars in it (Kenny’s Brother) with his brother Shane Jacobson (Kenny), is a mockumentary that follows the Australian Kenny as he lives out his daily life as a plumber. The film follows the challenges Kenny faces and the discrimination and prejudice that revolves around working with portable toilets.

In this mockumentary we as the viewer are welcomed in to Kenny’s life as he takes us through what is happening, Kenny is the star and kind of the narrator, as he explains what he is doing and carries on living his life as the camera crew are filming. It is a very sincere and sweet mockumentary that puts Kenny through a whole lot of difficult and uncomfortable situations; these include abusive comments from customers, being set on fire (all in the days work for a porta-loo transporter/plumber), a difficult ex-wife and a disappointed father who doesn’t accept Kenny’s choice of career. The mockumentary is set in Australia and involves Kenny delivering and maintaining portable toilets for festivals and events, during these Kenny receives lots of complaints and abuse which makes you instantly feel sorry for him, he is a very likable character. This potentially could be trying to expose the social views of people that work jobs that involve toilets; it paints Kenny as a very enduring and likable person, which shows that a job doesn’t define a person.

It is possible that this mockumentary could be considered to emulate the performative mode of documentaries, this is because the film makers/writers actually star in the mockumentary. However because it is a mockumentary it is a parody so it isn’t factual. Instead it appears that Kenny attempts to reveal social class structure prejudices, by showing the life of an average guy that gets abuse for doing a job that most people would find revolting and not want to do. The mockumentary makes you question why these people deserve to be constructed as lower or insignificant being in the social order, when in reality they do a job that is vital, however unglamorous.

Fig. 2. Kenny still.

Kenny is definitely narrative based, with the delightful lead character playing out the story of his life. The characters are very much fictional however the company that the character Kenny works for is a real company in Australia and the portable toilet convention they go to in the film is also a real event as is the racing car event. It is also quite interesting that the family of Kenny are actually played by the equivalent real life family member, so the actor who plays Kenny’s dad, is actually his dad. All of these make the mockumentary feel more real, which allows you to easily attach yourself to Kenny’s character and buy into the reality of the world they created.

The mockumentary appears to be very successful, but not at mocking, it manages to create a strong everyman character that you can’t help but like and root for. It succeeds in creating a hero from an everyday guy doing a mundane job that is highly discriminated against. If one thing is certain from this touching mockumentary it would be that if more people could emulate Kenny’s behaviour the world would be a much nicer place to live, the humble, thick skinned character has such a positive outlook on life even when the going gets tough. To conclude the mockumentary is a very sincere story about an incredibly likable character that manages to juggle his busy work life with a stressful family life, his persona is charming and he manages to maintain a strong positive outlook on a life that has many hurdles.

Illustration List:
Jacobson, C. (2006). Figure 1. Kenny poster. (Accessed 09/11/2015)

Jacobson, C. (2006). Figure 2. Kenny still. (Accessed 09/11/2015)

Character - Villain Thumbnails 27 - 34

I started to explore a couple of the silhouettes a little more and tried combining some of their elements together. I quite like the idea of the villain being masked, as I feel it will reflect his rebellious nature quite well.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Character - Hero Thumbnails 45 - 53

I spoke to Justin on Tuesday and he recommended taking this design further, so I've had a play around with it today. As a reminder here the the information on the hero's character.

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.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Narrative - Male Character Orthographic

I did the orthographic for the male character today, in preparation for modelling.

Character - Villain Silhouettes 15 - 26

I did some more silhouettes for my villain, I think its starting to get closer to the shape that I imagined him. I quite like 23 and 24, I think I prefer the proportions of 24, I think the hair of 26 is also quite fun.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Narrative - Male Character Thumbnails 83 - 88

Today we got together and discussed the design for the characters, this resulted in quite a few changes that I've started to sketch out, he still needs some work.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Narrative - Male Character Thumbnails 64 - 82

I created some variations of the hair and the key for the character. I like 70, 75 and 76 out of these thumbnails.

Character - Session #5

In today's character session we played around with poses, it was fun to play out some of the poses and quickly sketch them down. We were also asked to take an existing character, put them in a pose and give them some facial expressions.

Narrative - Male Character Thumbnails 60-63

I took one of the thumbnails that I thought was strongest from the last page and sketched him out a few times.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Maya - Posing a Character #3

I finished off my characters poses today and adjusted some of the previous ones so the pose between worked better. The third and last pose I found pretty difficult to figure out, i'm not sure if the last one really works (yoga poses are pretty difficult).