Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Bonus: Character construction breakdowns

As I am compiling all of my work from last term ready for assessment, I ended up creating visual breakdowns of the Alphabet Patch characters to show how they are constructed and to display all of the different parts. Each character has five of these - one for the front view; 3/4 front angle view; side view; 3/4 back view and back view. I thought it would be quite interesting to show some of these on my blog, although there are still some extra parts that will be added to the characters this term (such as more replacement hands).


Above is Cecil's front view construction. He has 8 different 'slime' shapes that can be cycled through by the animator when Cecil moves. He also has several different eye shapes for different emotions, and a separate pupil that can be moved freely. The other shapes are his shell, his body, arms, mouth shapes and eye stalks.


Here's Dotty's 3/4 front view, she has wings that can be made either visible or invisible within CelAction depending on whether she is using them or not. There are also two sets of shells, one is 'closed' for when her wings are not visible, and the other set is used when the wings in use. Like the other characters, she has various eye and mouth shapes.


Dotty also has a 'standing-up' character construction for when she is standing up on two legs. She does not fly in this position thus there are no wings.


This is Paddy's 3/4 front view. There are a couple of different replacement hand shapes for him, and more that need to be designed. 


And finally, this is Tony's 3/4 front view. The black lines in the bottom right are his tail, each piece is limbered separately in CelAction to allow the animator to achieve lots of flexibility. His body has a limber that allows him to sit down and crouch. His extra nose is for when he looks upwards, and the Zs are able to be made visible/invisible individually so the animator can create a nice snoring effect.

I've learnt a lot from constructing these characters, and made a lot of mistakes! It's been a long and challenging process learning the different softwares (Illustrator, Photoshop, CelAction) and the pipeline between them but very rewarding and ultimately enjoyable. I'd like to design more exciting CelAction characters using what I have learnt.

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