I have revised my story beats and started to expand on them:
- Scientist prepares to mix fluids in test tubes (Setup)
- He apprehensively tries to mix them, changes mind (bead of sweat rolls down face). Tries with another fluid, changes mind. Tries a final time, changes mind.
- Buzzing sound starts (turning point)
- He gingerly tries to escape through a door but fails (Rising action)
- He looks alarmed but is happy to see door, starts to sneak off camera
- He runs to door
- He reaches for the handle into frame
- wasp flies onto handle from other side of frame
- Pulls hand back swiftly back
- He quickly tries to escape through the window but fails
- He runs to window off camera
- wasp flies onto handle from other side of frame
- Pulls hand back swiftly
- He frantically tries to hide in a cupboard but fails
- Runs to cupboard off camera
- wasp flies onto handle
- He is backed into corner, scientist must choose ‘weapon of choice’. Wasp closing in and scientist must choose to kill it or catch it
- Looks to right of frame at spatula (bead of sweat rolls down face).
- Looks to left of frame at beaker
- Gain confidence
- (Out of audiences view decision is made) outcome of decision is seen (climax)
- Scientist traps wasp in beaker with beaker and spatula
- He lets the wasp out the window (resolution)
- Scientist is pleased with himself
- Turns to board and looks scared again
- Recovers confidence
- He follows through with a decision by mixing fluids
the biggest difference from previously is that their is no longer a white board. So by using potions I can foreshadow the wasp by making the 2 fluids at the start black and yellow, which involves the wasp more with his fear of decision making.
Also following feedback from last time, I have made my character look more elderly by deepening the winkles and changes his glasses. I felt I could do a better job modelling and from experience these seem to be deemed ‘old man glasses’.
I recently pitched my idea to my classmates and lecturers. My presentation outlines the story and character.
- When he is cowering in the corner, he should grab a beaker and trap the wasp, this will give him more time to make the decision to kill it or not
- the wasp landing on each object while he is trying to escape fits well with the metaphor because its almost like he is destined not to escape, its his fate
- The scientist doesn’t look very old
So my feedback was very positive with only minor things to change. I am going to experiment with his appearance by making his earlobes longer and have darker rings around his eyes which should make him look a bit older…
We were recently given a task from our lecturer to pin down the ‘aboutness’ of our project, what we wanted to communicate to the audience and why.
- My project is about overcoming fears and takes place in a lab with an apprehensive scientist who is struggling to make decisions with his work. He is forced to confront his fear of taking control when an invasive wasp enters his lab. He has an epiphany that a painless sting is nothing to be afraid of and unleashes his new-found confidence to remove the wasp and decides a plan with his work.
My project is about overcoming fears to take back control of his life
Does he overcome his fear and take back control of his life? Yes
- Animation Direction: I like Pixar style animation that shows life-like movement with subtle gestures to make them feel more alive and relatable.
Art Direction: My technique is semi-realistic where either (or both) character and setting are realistic but will have exaggerated features. I want to continue this technique by making my characters and setting looks far more realistic in terms of appearance but still include exaggerated features that are more refined and relate well to the character e.g. I like Despicable me for the exaggerated body proportions combined with realistic looking textures.
Cinematic Direction: In this project I would like to communicate through the standard practice of film language to accent the realistic movement and subtle gestures of my character.
Skills: I would like to showcase my character animations skills, art direction and lightning.
Additional investigations: I want to improve 3d eye animation, improve my texturing within the Arnold renderer, improve my camera work, improve my character animation, especially subtle movements and gestures.
I then discussed the story with my lecturer again and coming to the conclusion that the scientist being stung by the wasp is not needed in the animation, this better allocated the wasp to be an analogy for the scientists fear of making decisions.
So here a quick breakdown of the story:
- Scientist is looking at a whiteboard with Plan A and Plan B written on either side
- he is afraid of making a decision and is very apprehensive and nervous
- he avoids the situation by going over to his desk and looking through a microscope
- a wasp flies in the window behind him
- He stands, frozen with fear
- tries to make a run for the door but the wasp lands on the handle
- he tries to get out the window but his head is too big
- runs behind white board and trips
- the wasp gets close to him
- he has to make a decision whether to kill it or let it out the window
- he eventually chooses to let it out the window
- Overcomes his fear of making a decision
- marches over the the whiteboard and circles Plan B
I need to think more about the chase scene where the wasp comes into the window, because I am not sure if it will be too long or too short because I want that chase scene to be a large part of the animation so I can flesh out his fear.
This is my main character for my thesis film, meet Howard the Scientist.
This is the final model without textures.
He was originally going to have thinner glasses, but the goggle look suits him more as a scientist. The ears were originally going to be more natural without them sticking out, but after experimenting this made him more unique as a character because they are quite monkey-like and cute!
Here is the final model, I took extra care on the ageing features such as the liver spots, eyebrows and subtle nose hair.
I need to add some more facial animations and finish the rigging process. The nose was also enlarged because from a logical perspective, there was nothing hold up his glasses. From the few people I showed the original model to, they didn’t even notice a nose which was not my goal. My goal was to have a small and cute nose but it is now obvious to me that it was too small and with it being larger it now makes him seems fuller in the face and more realistic.
I chose blue eyes because according to my research, people with blue eyes have great inner strength and are generally smart which fits well with my character. Going into depth about our association with the colour blue, “It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven” these are all qualities of a good (and smart) person, even a hero. My character is a good person and could possibly be considered a hero because he saves himself.
During the creative process I remembered another reference that helped the development of my character, mostly during the texturing phase.
Brown and gray are the main colours in his pallet, they help to accent the old man attire because it is dark and boring. The bowtie also adds a formal and old-fashioned look that helps the audience recognize him as an old man. This was a great reference because I was struggling to communicate that the character was an old man, the grey hair on my character seems to really bring his age up.
Briscoe, T. (n.d.). Scientists Say Your Eye Color Reveals Information About Your Personality. Mine Was SO TRUE!. [online] LittleThings.com. Available at: https://www.littlethings.com/eye-color-personality/?vpage=2&utm_medium=google [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].
Colour-affects.co.uk. (n.d.). Psychological Properties Of Colours – Colour Affects. [online] Available at: http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].
Color-wheel-pro.com. (n.d.). Color Wheel Pro: Color Meaning. [online] Available at: http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].
Dickieson, B. (2015). 226828-up-old-man-2-0. [image] Available at: https://apilgriminnarnia.com/2015/12/16/curmudgeonly/226828-up-old-man-2-0/ [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].
Free People Blog. (2013). What Does Your Eye Color Mean?. [online] Available at: https://blog.freepeople.com/2013/09/eye-color-meaning/ [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].
Samant, S. (2014). Different Eye Colors And What they Say About you – Listovative. [online] Listovative. Available at: http://listovative.com/different-eye-colors-say/ [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].
My initial idea was to have my scientist character wearing a suit, however I saw a foresaw a problem in which the shoulders on suits are large and pointed. This problematic because the rigging may look odd when his ares are raised and large broad shoulder are typically seen on heroic and brave character, which mine is not (at least at first). I still wanted to keep the formal look, and after some research I came across this 3d model:
his formal look is skin tight which avoids folds in clothing and makes it more simple to rig. So i took this approach and gave him a simple shirt with a large bowtie.
While Looking for inpiration I came across a few 3d model of an old man similar to mine:
The overall posture and curvature is very appealing because it flows very well with no sharp or unappealing body parts, which is what I want my character to be like in terms of design.
I want my character to have the appearance of a cute, small and frail old man that has an inner fire within him. This is a great example by pixar of just that:
I want to take the element of the zoomed in lenses on his glasses, because it really adds to the old man aspect and gives him more emotion in his eyes with facial expressions.
I took some inspiration from the video game crash bandicoot for my chaarcter:
I enjoy the use of his large head, it emphasises that he has a large brain and is therefore smart, like a scientist usually is. I combined this large head look with the shape of an egg, therefore my character is an egg-head which is commonly known as a smart person.
Here are some perspective sketches which I used to model my character
and the final model:
There were a few changes from the sketches I’ve done, his glasses are more rounder on the arms, I thought if they looked more like goggled it would add to the scientist aspect. I am unsure about the ears, I may make them longer because typically old men has large ears but I don’t want it to look ugly or unappealing, I will need some opinions on it. His mouth as also been put higher on his face, in practice the mouth position looks good but when modeled he looked more evil which was not the purpose. At the moment it is hard to judge if he will be cute because he has no eyes and is in default stances. When the the texturing is finished I may need to scale down his mouth because at the moment I’m wondering if its too big. I also experimented with the idea of having teeth or just gums but it just looked odd.
Inadvertently during the process, my character’s body looked similar to Victor Perkins from Despicable me:
So I used him as another reference to get the body parts to the right proportions. I also wanted to extend the cute factor of my scientist so that led me onto Agnes from the same movie:
I made his eyes larger and instead of a long nose I made it smaller and squished to add to the cute factor.
I also had a look at this Mort from madagascar as he is obviously adorable. This is because of his overall roundness and his large eyes and small nose and mouth. I took note of this with the facial features and made his eyes larger than his nose and mouth.
3d funny character, cartoon sympathetic looking business man, dear person in suit with glasses and tie. (n.d.). [image] Available at: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-illustration/3d-funny-character-cartoon-sympathetic-looking-182878991?src=RzxmdyDpkACgiRSqSithcg-1-14 [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].
3D magic models (n.d.). Old Man 3D Model. [image] Available at: https://3dmagicmodels.com/shop/3d-models/characters/humanoid-types/urban/old-man-3d-model/ [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].
Fandom (n.d.). Agnes Gru. [image] Available at: http://despicableme.wikia.com/wiki/Agnes_Gru [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].
Fandom (n.d.). Crash Tag Team Racing Doctor Neo Cortex. [image] Available at: http://crashbandicoot.wikia.com/wiki/File:Crash_Tag_Team_Racing_Doctor_Neo_Cortex.png [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].
Fandom (n.d.). Mort. [image] Available at: http://madagascar.wikia.com/wiki/Mort [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].
Fandom (n.d.). Victor Perkins. [image] Available at: http://villains.wikia.com/wiki/Victor_Perkins [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017
Mike and Tina Character Rig Overview. (2014). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-_67sjP0x4 [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].
Pixar – Chess Game. (2012). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqoioeayk34 [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].