New Narratives -30 Second Animation – Character Design

Today i was moved to a new team, not completely sure i am okay with the decisions made to our group breaking up although that is life, gotta nut up and move on as the saying goes.

After being caught up by my new team mates, Cassie, Lorna, Rebecca and Hollie it seems I am now working on a Narrative that consists of a women in hospital named “lumen” or “Dolly” that is seemly obsessed with a light bulb but ends up getting in trouble by the nurse that works in the hospital.

It turns out that this is based of a true story that Cassies mother was in hospital and whilst one of the nights that she was staying over night there was an electrical error with one the the bulbs which in turn caused “Dolly” to attempt to fix it but instead got caught by the Nurse

Personally i had my concerns when hearing our character was going to be humanoid despite her being in a bed for most of it although seeing as im new to the group i am not going to throw opinions out whenever i have not heard a full in depth version of what the narrative was going to be of initially but after Rebecca had filled me in everything was fine

I found this video so enlightening to watch as it gave me that sense of insight on how the narrative was going to work and how the character of the animation will take form, the group already has a base design of her although it would not hurt if I decided to implicate some of my style into the design as i want to be apart of the group as much as possible!

Before getting stuck into developing the character further we needed to get some visual inspiration to get a general charisma that the character will give off to the audience, so with that we discussed that the best research will be characters with glasses seeing as Cassies mother wears them herself, it was at that point i suggested to the group that we made the characters facial expressions speak through her glass similar to that of Cartoon Networks Deters laboratory.

Dexter’s Laboratory was probably one of my earliest childhood television shows, it has alot of slapstick humour and generally made the family chuckle from time to time. The most notable feature of dexter was his glasses, they portrayed his emotion, his sadness, his smug attitude when beating his rivals with science! I felt we could implicate this into our characters expressions.

After watching the video and analysing cassies mothers traits we began to doodle on the whiteboards of potential designs we could go with for the final draft of Lumen, Rebecca came up with the name Lumen which is short for luminescence (Perks of having a science student in the group!), we began to talk about how the character could possibly look more geometric as it would make modelling alot easier in the next week to come – personally i felt the character being humanoid despite have nubs as arms and legs would be too complex for our animation, i could literally have had a cylinder with a Lumen head and achieve the same effect we are going for but a digress, i am still new to the group and will not forward such suggestions as Lumen is already set on the sand.

Further look into characters what have glasses, my personal favourite would have to be Daria as she is a cold brutally honest woman, to speak… Here is some footage of her below, enjoy!

Also College Humour was going to make a live action movie of Daria starring Aubrey Plaza, one of my favourite actresses! Really wish this became reality…

Daria Morgendorffer returns to Lawndale and discovers her shallow classmates have grown into shallow adults.

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YouTube Video Description

With us gathering a general idea of what aesthetic we want for Lumen it seems that Carl from Disneys UP (2009) and Edna from Pixars Incredibles (2004). I have to admit i loved Edna from The Incredibles, she had such a charisma not many characters have in the pixar universe and that what i love the most about her! The cunning grin, the sassy attitude, what is there not to love about wee Edna?

Ednas moments in The Incredibles (2004)

When we talk about the character looking like a geometric shape at heart i decided to look further into Cartoon Networks character designs, they are compiled of geometric characters –

Although out of all these characters I felt Madam Foster striked the most interest for me, she is very geometric in design.

Pretty much a square with a circle and added nubs as legs and arms, this is pretty much the style we are wanting to go with Lumen for our animation although the others edged toward the Disney style more but being the rebel teenager i am (but you’re 20) I decided to go with this simplified style of drawing which in turn will hopefully make producing art of Lumen relatively quick (and painless)

Cassies Color Palettes 

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Lornas Color Scheme to apparal and glasses design

Once getting a good look into these design templates, we went ahead and drew Lumen in all her pride then came back to each other the next day to show what we had achieved, i loved everyone’s efforts! We decided that Lumen would be conveyed as a grumpy, elder woman that takes no nonsense from no one!

Design Drawings! –

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Lornas Drawing
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Rebeccas Drawing on size
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Hollies 3D View of Lumen
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Hollies design of animal Lumen
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Sketch by me
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Sketch by me
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Sketch by me
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Final Design drawing of Lumen
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Attempting Kirtsins style of drawing
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Concepts with geometric shapes

 

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