• Charles Breach

Term 2 - Week 11 - Character Bestiary

Today we quickly went back over the process for character creation, before going through a technique to generating character ideas, which we could perhaps use to create our cast for the character bestiary animation. We had done something similar to this before, using ink blotches to see characters in random shapes, and more similarly creating characters from basic shapes. This was kind of like a digital mix of the two, where we created a couple rough shapes to describe a torso and hips, before adding a head, connecting the different parts, and adding limbs, to create a silhouette.

We then took a few of our preferred silhouettes, and lined them up next to one another, with guide lines to show the silhouettes' comparative heights, and then added detail, like with the ink blotches, to create a character.

I drew the characters again, altering their structure, but trying to keep some of the basic characteristics they had.

I wanted my animation to take place in a house, the main mythical creature being a kind of companion, who perhaps ate flies, or washed dishes in return for staying in the house. I wanted the household to be occupied by people related to one another, and although I don't know if the above characters will definitely be the designs I use, I like how they have similar features that imply they are related: similar hair, facial features, wackiness? So I'll have to consider this aspect when creating more characters.

I took inspiration from the troll character I created in the previous entry, enjoying the potential for the character's movement, but wanting a more fantastical twist on it. I took another character design I'd started, of a floating eye creature, to which I added a body similar to the trolls. I have this idea that when the character is resting or asleep, it is exists in a ball state, not just tucked up into a ball, but the character IS a ball. When the character becomes active, it'll morph out of the ball, growing limbs and an eye, the initial ball shrinking to become its head.

I think i started at the wrong end of detail, trying to keep with the texture I'd given the original floating eye ball, so I skipped out on that after a couple weird attempts. I kept the character cartoony, trying out different combinations of characteristics, trying to make the character more interesting to look at, and unique.

after trying to draw antlers on the first iteration of the character on the left, I realised I didn't know how antlers worked. Although I quite like the wooden branch effect the first antler had, I wanted to try something a little more animal like. I looked up a quick tutorial for making antlers more realistic: https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-draw-antlers-step-by-step--cms-30130, they key I learnt from this being that antlers aren't really complicated, with a few branches stemming from a main branch, that tend to curve inwards when facing them straight on. In looking at some reference material, I realised that antlers varied quite a lot, even within the same species of deer, so if I draw a set of antlers without drawing directly from a reference, I wouldn't be creating something entirely false, as antlers tend to be unique. What does stay consistent within species is the general shape and size of the antler.

I've been taking aspects from my different characters that I enjoy, working them into a new version of the character, whilst experimenting with new things, for instance the character below's feet, antlers, and eyes are pretty new, but I'm keeping with the body, head, and tail from other iterations. Perhaps this species I'm creating would vary in these aspects between individuals, differing number of eyes, tail, body shape. Although things like a varying number of eyes would be impossible for the most part, I think I can let that slide considering the mythical element of this project.

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