Rough Character Walk Cycle

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Here’s the inbetweened version of the walk cycle I previously started. I am quite pleased with it now I’ve smoothed it off. It does capture an element of his age and his pride, especially now I’ve changed the had to be placed on his chest. However I do think the hat may need some seeing to.

Here’s the gif I made before touching it up a bit.

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Character Walk Cycle Draft

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Working with what I developed last night, I’ve created this today. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed with what I’ve managed to do today, but I only have enough time to work with this now. I will touch up the inconsistencies around the neck, the hands, the hat and the left arm and then hopefully move on to colouring.

A couple of things I am pleased with are the bottom of the robe which moves with the legs as they move underneath it and the motion of the staff. But I really hope tidying these things up improves the overall feel of the animation.

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Character Walk Cycle Tests

Here’s a couple of testers for my character walk. I have a vision for this but I’m having a little trouble translating this to something consistent and flowing. As you can see, these exports only have the first 5 key frames of the complete cycle but I’ve stopped at this stage each time beacuase I’ve noticed something with each of them before taking them any further.

The first is more detailed and took a bit more time to get out of me. I’m pleased with the overall look of the character, as I had my doubts about the appearance of my character from this angle initially but I’ve made it work. However, I felt there wasn’t enough motion with the head going on and the knees seem to be 2 thrirds of the way down his legs so I thought I’ve take a more basic approach to drawing the character.

The second I did very quickly to see if I could get a better motion with the head and legs but it hasn’t worked any better, the motion is too irratic – Perhaps the exargeration is too much?

I’m warming to the first test more now despite it’s being so rigid, but perhaps that’s how a man of his age moves? He must keep his head high to maintain his pride but there’s no escaping that limp he’s got.

I’ve got to get the upper body moving without exagerating the dipping of the head.

Clean Claude

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This morning I had another go at refining Claude and tested my ability to draw on the Tablet. My strokes came out a more naturally partly due to using a proper brush tool rather than the block brushes and partly down to me being more confident about where I’m stroking.

I also ended up changing the colour scheme. Before, I gave Claude a drab, pastelley palette to reflect his age, but as the idea has developed, I see him as more of an over the top character, a bit of a clown so I’ve made the grey of his cloak a more off white colour and the red a bit more vibrant.

Lord Claude Colour Analysis

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Here are a few colour schemes I came up with for my character based on colour theory and references.

Original

This is the character colour scheme I’ve been working up since I first added colours to him. I think of Claude as a character that needs bold decoration to hide the fact he’s a fragile little man and to give him an inflated sense of status; We can’t have God’s chosen big wig be just a frail, old bloke under a linen table cloth. He reflects the frivolity of the Catholic church. Gold had to be a part of the outfit to reflect this, and not just on the decoration of the staff, I wanted it to be a part of the character too.

This character is a villain, a warmonger (set in the era of the crusades, I’m not saying anything about Francis) so Red was an obvious choice to conotate blood and danger, something instinctively recognised by humans.

But we can’t forget the fact he’s a spiritual leader, and I think a pope without white isn’t a pope at all. White is in the mix to reflect the pure and holy side of the character.

However, something I’ve recognised about my character after spending so much time on him, he’s a fool. Now when I see the colours and the outfit, he’s a clown. And these bright red, yellow and white colours reflect that nicely.

Navy & White – The Calming Pope

Again, white is featured in this version to reflect his spirituality, but this time, it’s more prominent. The character feels a lot more humble and neutral. This is also conveyed by the blue that I’ve used here as well. Blue conveys depth, purity and wisdom, which is certainly the kind of qualities you want to see in a spiritual leader. Being so instinctively associated with the sea and the sky, it can give vibes of tranquility and calmness.

Purple & Black – The Tyrant King Pope

This version was supposed to convey his royalty and his villainous side. With purple conveying extravagance and wealth and black reeking of death and evil, what other colours could I have chosen?

Gold & White – The Greedy Pope

This pope is supposed to be greedy and nasty. The gold is supposed to tie into the idea of wealth and greed. White I also feel can tie into the idea of superiority to convey his inflated ego.

Orange & Red – The Eastern Pope

This one I thought I would change up a little – We’ve taken on the colour scheme of eastern spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. I really like how the orange and red work together.

 

 

 

Character Design: Lord Claude in AE

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With my spare time at the weekend, I decided to have a go at making Claude on the computer, that way I could look at colour with more options than just a set of 10 pencils. In starting to look at him on the computer, I put together this rough test in After Effects to look at how he moves.

He’s slow, rigid and rather heavy on his stick as his age is getting to him now. He wears the clothing to compensate for his fragility and frailness. However, he holds his head high to keep his status but is slightly too weak to hold it up when he goes down on his gammy leg.

The basic movement is there and okay along with some secondary movement with the hat and stick. Obviously it’s a little rusty as I’m not quite sure about where the floor is and his feet don’t bend. The stick stays forward because with my layers and pre-comps, I couldn’t find a way for the stick to be under the fingers and behind the legs. But we can get over these things. Lord Claude V2 on the way.

 

 

Character Design: Three Walks of Life

I’ve solidified the idea of the jaded old Lord Claude, but what’s his story? Where did he come from? What kind of man becomes such a powerful leader?

He had humble beginings. Growing up in a peasant family, he knew the horrors of life. He also saw the beauty of it, in his small village near the alps; What a wonderful world his lord had blessed him with.

In his middle age, he gave up the fields to become a man of the cloth, renouncing all wicked things to devote himself to the lord.

Teaching of the wonder of the lord was what he steped up to do, however the role also let him get to know the true wealth of the church in all its splendour. He got a taste of the high life and wanted more. He saw himself rise through the ranks of the wealthiest organisation on all the earth until he reached the top.

The young Claude wears drab, scruffy clothing showing his peasant status. It’s modest and loose and makes his shape much more rounded than my final character. He weilds a pitchfork to show his proffesion and forshadows his holy staff. His face is much friendlier and youthful, with his big rounded eyes and un-wrinkled complexion. His head is a lot less longer and so is his nose. His sybol pendant is worn over his heart by a string.

Middle aged Claude has taken on the robes of a pastor and lost his curly locks. His face shows his age with his swolen chin and extended nose. His robes are sharp but still modest. The black outfit represents the fear of the lord and the new darkness he’s found in being a part of this great institution. The red book stands out against the rest of his attire and represents the importance of the word of the lord to him, esspecially in the way he holds it close to him in his pose. He weilds a staff of wood and iron to represent his lowly role in the church at this point. He still wears his pendant over his heart.

Finaly we have his holiness, Lord Claude, bluring the lines between man and god. He wears the finest decorative robes and sits apon a gold throne. The outfit is made up of points and triangles. The red in his outfit represents the rank and the danger of him. The white represents the wealth. His staff, jewlery and the throne represent that every shred of humility in him has vanished. His holy book has fallen of the arm of the chair, faced down to show how important his faith is to him now. He no longer wears his pendant over his heart but now wears one on his head.

 

Workshop: Character Design 2

After having created our character variations over the weekend, this workshop saw the class choose their favourite of everyone’s characters. I had a clear winner with Pope Claude III.

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Going forward, this was a very good choice for me by the rest of the class. As we were looking at shape language and silhouettes, it became clear that this variant was the most visually striking and had the best silhouette as well as good iconography.  The triangular shoulder decoration, pope hat and staff as well as the ridiculous nose make for a recognisable character. On getting my silhouette down on paper, we then passed our papers round the class for everyone to have their own take on them.

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It was interesting seeing a few people changing the nose to a downwards angle which I rather liked but defeats the point of the ‘holier than thou’ turned up nose. I do like the look of the other hats, especially the one right at the top which would be a good step towards ditching the Catholic iconography, which I think might be a good idea. I haven’t come out of this workshop with any other ideas or made any variant sketches, but I will before the week is out.

To finish off the workshop, we created a totem section to represent our character and help us iconise it. I used the catholic iconography, the nose and the triangular colar piece to come up with this plan.

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Then when shown the resources, I chose to work primarily red with highlights of red and blue. img_20161017_161027

Workshop: Character Design

This workshop was all about getting and developing some initial character ideas. The genius start to this session was to turn a page of ink-blots into characters. This was supprisingly easy, I was quick to spot features and use them. It was a throroughly enjoyable process. I then picked one ink blot to carry on with.

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I chose the long nose whitch at the bottom as I thought they were the most interesting and original. The next step was to get a whole body version. For some reason, I dressed the character as a young girl in a T-Shirt and skirt. I wasn’t really thinking and this doesn’t really work. I knew they had to be some kind of sorccerer and a baddy – No one would get behind a hero looking like that.

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Based on shape language, I had to make the character sharper in design, so I gave them a big triangular breast plate pointing out from the shoulders and a cloak. I also changed the head dress from turban to some kind of hat to reflect add to their ‘spirituality’. The pointy shoes were a must as well.

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Now, based on the ideas of my peers, I had to take it to another level. Their ideas showed my character in a more sinister light, they added wrinkles, ruggid hair and frayed garments. The additional features I enjoyed the most were the nostrils of one picture and the crucifix round the neck of another. I could imediately see the cloak and hat in a different light. The character works as a crumbly old man of the cloth.

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This is a character I would definitely concider carrying on. I’m interested to see how he moves and explore his emotions. I think he’ll be a lot of fun, but I will explore other options.