A big chunk of this week was taken up finishing my dissertation draft, which I handed in on Friday. The rest of the week was spent working on Adobe Illustrator creating replacement shapes for the Alphabet Patch characters - this means drawing extra mouths (different expressions and lip syncing), hand shapes(waving, holding, climbing etc), eyes (shut, angry, winking etc). I have to draw the replacement shapes for every turnaround angle - so one for the front view, one for the 3/4 front view, side, 3/4 back and back. It's been pretty time-consuming, having taken most of the week and I still haven't finished.
I have also been texturing the characters. It's all getting very repetitive though as I have 6 characters and 5 angles each (Dotty the lady bird has 10 angles as she stands up and also walks on all six legs).
Something different I did this week was the sketch turnaround for the ant character, which I will then give to a crew member to divide up and neaten up in illustrator.
Tomorrow we have an exciting voice recording session with Paddy's voice actor so in next week's blog post I should be able to share some lip sync tests of Paddy with you. I am also running a CelAction class on Wednesday for my crew for which all the rigs need to be complete for them to try out, so again next week I should have lots of animated goodness to show you.
The last few weeks have been a bit of a struggle as the character construction and rigging is taking much longer than I expected, but the top of the mountain is in sight. Just have to keep going for one more week to get the characters completed. Lead animator for Dotty, Sophie Rippington has begun testing out her rig and doing some animation which I can't wait to see.
In conclusion, hang in for next week's blog post because it will hopefully be chock full of animation tests where the characters finally come alive after weeks of construction, and hopefully I can show some new backgrounds and design work. In the meantime, check out Jack's blog to see some of the props he has designed for Alphabet Patch, and animator Leigh Juggins hopefully will upload some of the animation tests he has done on his blog - these will be used as reference by the CelAction animators.