Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Minor/Major Project: Mr Plimsolls Concept Art



Fig 1: Head Concept for Mr. Plimsolls

Fig 2: Body Concepts for Mr. Plimsolls

Here are some initial head and body concept art for Mr. Plimsolls in the style of the 1930's. I have decided to go down the route of the surreal cartoon style of early animation, influenced by the early Walt Disney and the Fleischer Studio cartoons. I decided upon this style because I like the appeal of the style and there is a lot more to work here then with my other style choice. Because the animation at the time was very experimental, it lead to very bizarre and, in a way, scary cartoon shorts and because of this I feel as though this style would fit with my theme of childhood bogeymen very well.

Feedback on this post would be most welcome.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Minor/Major Project: Bogeyman Research Assistance @Phil

For my project I am doing it about childhood bogeymen, inspired by my mum's childhood neighbor, nicknamed Mr. Plimsoll who scared her as a kid. I would like to gather a collection of various stories, detailing other peoples childhood bogeymen, to create a good archive of character concepts to have a well informed basis to form character designs from. The main things that I would like answered are things like:
  • Who were they to you? a neighbor, a family member, a teacher etc.
  • What they looked like (detailed description)? 
  • What were the things they did that scared you?

To provide some context as to what I am after here is a synopsis of my Mum's bogeyman, Mr.Plimsoll:

Mr. Plimsoll was an elderly old man who lived down the road from my mum's house as a child. He had a bald head, a hunched back and carried a canvas bag in one hand and a walking stick in the other. In summer he would wear a peaked cap, a stained white vest top, white shorts that went to his knees, brown calf length socks and a white pair of his namesake plimsolls.
My Mother and her Brothers would play "Knock Down Ginger" on the door of his bungalow, that had an overgrown garden. The house couldn't be seen from the outside because of a big bush that so thick that it engulfed the bungalow in its foliage.
He would leave the house early at 6:30, walking up and down the street at a ridiculously fast pace for a man his age. As he did so he would chuck his stick in the air yelling as he went. My mum suffered from nightmares about him, having dreams of him staring in at her through the window. He scared her so much that she spent the entire summer holidays one year indoors.


If you are able to provide you own childhood bogeymen please comment on this post with your stories, providing answers to the questions above. It would be a big help for me in gathering research onto this topic and with the creative process as well.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Minor/Major Project: Influence Maps



Fig 1: Examples include: Fleischer Studios Betty Boop, Popeye and Bimbo, Disney Studios Mick Mouse and the Silly Symphonies
As well as these Kingdom Hearts 2's "Timeless River" and Cuphead is also featured as modern examples

Fig 2: The Artists featured includes: Edward Gorey, Tim Burton, Kenshi Yonezu, Mikolaj Cielniak, Henry Patrick Raleigh, Shan Jiang
Game included: Machinarium

Some in depth style influences that I'm still deciding on for my project. I'm leaning more onto the early cartoon style of the 1930s because of its simplicity and surrealism. However I'd like to feature the Illustrative styles of the Victorian and Edwardian times in some way. Maybe as a style shift to make the bogeymen appear more monstrous? At this point I still planning out what i want to do and achieve for the characters and the project as a whole so I shall keep experimenting.

Maya Tutorial: Ambient Occlusion and Wire Frame made with Arnold

Fig 1: Ambient Occlusion on Model

Fig 2: Wireframe on Model


Achieving Ambient Occlusion and Wireframe Renders in Maya 2017 is so much easier to achieve with the renderer Arnold. Instead of going through a long process to get these renders in the old versions of Maya with Mental Ray, with Arnold the process has been greatly simplified.

(Model Provided by eat3D)

Friday, 29 September 2017

Year 3: Minor/Major Project: Stylistic Ideas

As a result of both by Initial Influences and the talk I had with Alan, I have decided on two distinctive style ideas that i would like to have for my project. As my Project is about Childhood Fears around people that can be classed as a "Bogeyman" I want to go down either the root of early animation or a more illustrative style.
Fig 1: An Example of a Rubber Hose Style Character- Minnie Mouse

Rubber Hose Animation started of in the 1920s and was a staple of American animation for good couple of decades. Famous examples of this style of animation includes early Disney work like Steamboat Willie (1928), and The Skeleton Dance (1929) as well as the works by the Fleischer Studios (maker of "Swing you Sinners" 1930 and Betty Boop) as well as Paramount Pictures. The first notable character associated with this new style of animation at the time was Felix the Cat, a character that would spawn a whole series of imitations including Mickey Mouse, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Bimbo the Dog. A key characteristic of this type of animation is the flexibility and surrealist nature of it. As this was a first time experience for animations, almost every action a character did was exaggerated in a way that could be perceived as accidental.

Fig 2: Example of the Rubber Hose style of Animation

This is one of the styles of Animation that I like the style and it can give very odd and surreal results for my characters. I could focus on the key aspects of the designs for the characters and how to exaggerate their movements in a way that could be scary. There is also that aspect that old cartoons from that era in general has a certain creepy vibe to it just by how chaotic and surreal the animation can be at times and I'd like to achieve something similar.

Fig 3: Illustration by Edward Gorey
The other Style I'd like to go for is a more illustrative style by artists like Edward Gorey, who was an American Writer and Illustrated his works with pen and ink, depicting scenes from Victorian and Edwardian times in a unsettling way. His art style could fit into the category of gothic but there is a certain type of surrealist nature to his illustrations as well that has become a major influence in many artists nowadays, a big example being Director Tim Burton as well as the art direction in the film the Babadook (2014).

Fig 4: Example of the Gothic Illustrative style present in 2014's The Babadook
This is another style that I would like to explore as it as some horror roots to it which, in my opinion, fit the world of Mr. Plimsole very well. The style was commonly used in Victorian and Edwardian children books so there is a connection to the effect it has on child as well. I would have to go into more detail texture wise to achieve the ink on paper technique associated heavily in the style.

Maya Tutorial: Rigging 3 Part 2 & 3- Conditional Squash and Stretch & No Flip Pole Vector

Fig 1: Default Model in the Maya Viewport

Fig 2: Model Stretched out in Maya Viewport

Fig 3: Model out stretched with a twist at the knee in the Maya Viewport

Fig 4: Render of the Default Model

 
Fig 5: Render of the model with arm bent

Fig 6: Render of Model with arm Stretched

Fig 7: Render of Model with leg bent with no Twist in the IK

Fig 8: Render of Model with IK twisted at -35

For these two tutorial I decided to do them together as they both used the same rig. One was about conditional squash and stretch, using nodes to enable stretching for certain reasons as well as to a point. While I did follow the tutorial step by step for the arm I was able to do the leg almost entirely independent, only using the tutorial when I was confused about what parts should be point constrained and the full length of the leg.
The other tutorial dealt with the Pole Vector in the knee and how to stop it from flipping when the knee bends in certain ways, enabling for easier and simpler pose ability. Again this was a simple tutorial and I was able to understand how the method worked relatively fast although the way that the Twist Control and Offset still has me a little confused as to the maths behind it working.
Overall both tutorials were relatively easy for me to get my head around and could prove to be useful in my project for my characters.

Maya Tutorials: Rigging 3 Part 1- Basic Squash and Stretch & Volume Perservation

Fig 1: Toadstool at its default


Fig 2: Toadstool Stretched out

Fig 3: Toadstool Flattened

Fig 4: Toadstool in the Maya Viewport
This Tutorial dabbles in how to produce Squash and Stretch effects in Maya through nodes as well as dealing with volume control with the model as it performs the squash and stretch actions. At first I was a little worried about the use of nodes as it seemed a bit confusing to me but by surprise, I found it to be very simple and was able to get the tutorial done relatively fast.