Animation Studio 1 – 04 – Natural Born Gnome
In week 2 I was assigned my second project for the studio unit, it is another team effort, we are called team Gravity Falls and there is about 7 members. The brief told us to choose an existing animated show that has simple character design, then we would have to each design a character that would fit in the the shows world and visual style. Finally we will have to model the characters we design within a polygon limit and a texture size limit. We discussed many shows including Billy & Mandy, Courage the cowardly dog, but we finally went with gravity falls as many of the character elements could easily be translated to 3d. The team hasn’t really decided anything else as there hasn’t been any communication at all from some team members on the slack channel. This may be a problem as I believe that for this project to succeed we need to ensure consistency among everyones characters as at the end of the project we will have to pose all the 3d characters together in a group shot.
Druids & Gnomes
All I needed to get my characters idea was to watch the first episode of the show, which features gnomes as the antagonists. I have chosen to make a druid gnome, a druid being a kind of nature wizard, being able to control animals and trees. I thought this would mix well with a gnome as they have beards, hats and live in the woods. The name of the character is Furious, he is an ancient gnome that lives in the darkest parts of the woods, he doesn’t like people to disturb his silence as he likes to knit sweaters. He used to be able to control all of the forest and even animals, but now he can only control a tree stump called Stumpy who usually disobeys or ignores him. The pictures below show some of the inspiration for the look of the character.
When drawing the original design for Furious I was trying to get a solid construction as I knew that I would have to draw him several times and I wanted the form to be clear so that he would translate well to 3D. I t was trying to find a harmony between a druid and the style of the show, as the show is quite simple with its designs but druids usually have busy designs to portray their connection with nature. With this rough sketch as the basis for the look of the character I went into photoshop and made a clear construction of the character so I could easily draw thumbnail sketches without worrying about the overall shape. I finally came up with around 12 sketches with each feeling unique, in class I put up my favourite 5 for critique from the class and my teacher. The main thing I got out of it is that the designs where to busy and that I should simplify them and make the face the focal point. So I chose my favourite three and came up with clean versions of each taking in mind the feedback I got. I also tried to find a solid colour scheme I tried using the dark yellows and greens, browns and yellows associated with druids and add more saturation to them. I then received a second round of feedback which suggested I incorporate the best parts of all three designs into one final design, I chose the middle one and added thongs and sleeves, I think visually the design is appealing to the eye and conveys the characters elements. I will now start work on drawing out the model sheet and drawing thumbnails for a second character I want to make.