Friday, 16 March 2012

Character Design, Influence Maps and Storyboard

After receiving my 'Flamboyant Cuckoo Clock' combination, I was completely stumped at what to create appearance-wise and how I would make the clock's personality revolve around the demeanor of being flamboyant. However, after a quick Google search to further familiarize myself with the adjective, one of the first things I came across this piece of text taken from

Definition of FLAMBOYANT

often capitalized : characterized by waving curves suggesting flames <flamboyant tracery> <flamboyantarchitecture>
: marked by or given to strikingly elaborate or colorful display or behavior <a flamboyant performer>

The example phrase, 'A flamboyant performer' particularly stuck out at me. Knowing that cuckoo clocks function to make a 'cuckoo' sound every hour, the idea dawned on me to combine the performer and the 'cuckoo' into one: A singing cuckoo clock. 

Firstly, before I did any sketching, I needed a design for the clock. I needed something relatively simple to draw so as not to bury myself in a hole, but I also looked at Mr. Cogsworth from Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' for human-like behavior. Since sticking on arms and legs was strongly suggested against, perhaps the best solution was to turn other parts of the clock itself into facial features, the most obvious being the clock face as an eye and the cuckoo door as the mouth.

One concept I looked at was how I would distort the clock face for facial expressions, hence the oddly-shaped analogue clock in the top middle here.

Wall-mounted cuckoo clocks are often seen with two hanging pendulums, which, when looked at from a different perspective, can be seen as two arms. Using this, I gave the clock more expression without just slapping arms onto either side of it; I made use of what was all ready there.

However, I also wanted the animation to be a comedy and what better way to simulate a comedy than to put two opposing personalities in the same situation together? I needed someone grumpy and cold. An old man immediately came to mind, so I looked at many of the well-known grumpy old men in films and games, some more obscure than others like Mr. Rottweiler from Neighbors from Hell (PC) (2003). I especially liked the appearance of Lord Finis Everglot from Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2003).

As with the clock, I wanted a simple design; nothing too complicated, but I didn't want to over-simplify it to the point of being a stick man. I went with basic, circular eyes as they provided the most expressionistic shapes.

Here, I refined the design more, taking plenty of inspiration from Finis Everglot. I also wanted to see how his character would interact with the clock. I imagine him struggling to get the damn thing to be quiet and stop singing. (hah)



No comments:

Post a Comment