3D animation, rig, character

When looking for a rig I stumbled across one of a slightly overweight man. This sparked a new idea in me about my character. I already wanted to have a cocky character showing off his magnificence, but I couldn’t think of why. I needed a backstory also to be able to create the surroundings for my scene. With the overweight rig and an Elvis clip as inspiration I came up with ideas for a backstory that could help me with his surroundings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj0Rz-uP4Mk

The first thing I thought of was making my character like a fat, retired Elvis who was still popular among some people. Maybe he still tried to show off his moves. For a surroundings I then thought I could have him come out on stage somewhere and have a couple fans screaming as he blows kisses and shows off his ‘handsome’ self. I also thought of making him a retired actor who used to play a superhero. Kind of like a Birdman-Incredibles combination. I would therefore give my character a cape that doesn’t look good anymore, maybe it’s too small, and have him jump onto stage with a huge grin on his face – still thinking he’s as young as he was 20 or so years ago.

I’m still not certain which one of these backstories I’m going to use, possibly a combination of them both. It all depends on the poses I use and how the animation works out. I’m already thinking of making a stage for my retired ‘celebrity’ to show himself off on. I would like to have a crowd as well, that you don’t see, that you hear cheering. A stage as a setting seems like a great idea.

When you look up ‘stage’ the most common thing you see is a stage with red curtains. I don’t want to make a cliché stage like that. I want to use different colors than the standard red, and different shapes. I would also like to use lights. I want it to really look like this guy’s a big shot. He may be old and fat, but he is still loved by some people. Of course, I could choose to make the stage cliché and lame, signifying how old my character has become and how he doesn’t want to accept that he’s older and not (as) popular anymore. Only a couple of people know him. I’ll have to decide between these two ideas.

My rig also has no face, so I can focus more on the movements rather than the face. I first really wanted to animate the face and show all the emotions and smiles my character would’ve had, but I think it’s better to focus on the body. That’s what this entire assignment is about. I should be able to get his character across with only the body movements. Now, I can try to do that.

Character Animation – Animatic

There are things I’d like to change on this animatic, but because of time I’m going to make those changes when animating. I’ll be using this animatic as reference.

After watching and analyzing all of the videos I previously posted about, I acted out my scene. Pretty early on I kind of had an idea what kind of poses would work for the individual lines, but I found the transitions between these poses difficult. There wasn’t really a flow in the moves. In the second half of the animatic you can also see that it doesn’t flow as well as the beginning. The beginning could still do with some changes, but the second half is slower and more static. So, I’ll have to work on the flow when I start animating. I’ll research movements a little more to get the flow.

A clip I have in mind when thinking about smooth transitions and movements is from Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2:

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (2) has such smooth animation and really nice character animation. Compared to what I what this animation may be too fast in the transitions, but I can use a clip like this as inspiration for my own animation and tone it down to the speed I like.

Character Animation: character research

To understand how my character would move I did some research on arrogant and cocky characters, but also on regal characters like princes from ballets. My character need to think that he is above everyone else, move around smoothly and regally, but not be too over-the-top with his movements. Big movements don’t seem to fit with the monologue, but maybe that’s because I have the original clip in my head. I’m going to try out different movements and see what’s appropriate.

Gaston, Beauty and the Beast (1991):

Gaston is such an arrogant character. He truly believes that he is the best and most amazing person in the world, and in a way my character also feels that way. My character shouldn’t care about others. Maybe only about others’ opinions, but other than that he should only think about himself. Gaston’s way of moving and checking his reflection is exactly the kind of character that I want.

Miguel and Tulio, The Road to El Dorado (2000):

Miguel and Tulio are very expressive in their movements, and that may be what I could do for my character. In the original clip Gilderoy Lockhart doesn’t express himself in body-movement as much as he does with his voice. I may try to make him more expressive with his body. Miguel and Tulio are great examples for that, especially when they pretend to be gods.

Prince Charming, Shrek 2 (2004):

Prince Charming is cocky, and just like Gaston he believes he’s the best and most beautiful person in the world. In this clip he doesn’t move that much, but his facial expressions and the power he has in his voice can be used as inspiration for my character animation.

I chose a couple clips from ballets, because the way the dancers move around is so regal and beautiful and is how I may want my character to move: regally. The arm movements are what I like the most in these dances. I would like my character to also use his arms a lot to express his ‘arrogance’ and ‘awesomeness’.

Prince Florimund, Sleeping Beauty (ballet):

Manuel Legris, Sleeping Beauty (ballet) (1999):

Character Animation: Gilderoy Lockhart’s monologue + emotions/subtext

“Gilderoy Lockhart. (I’m amazing! You must’ve heard of me. *smirk*)

Order of Merlin, third class. (Yeah, I’m still amazing. How can anyone be more awesome than me. *smug look*)

Honorary member of the Dark Force Defence League (I am respectable. I am honorary. This is serious…, but have you heard of my best achievement, what I’m most proud of?), and five times winner … (Yeah, I am even more awesome than I thought. Everyone loves me. I’m the best!)

of Witch Weekly’s ‘Most Charming Smile’-award.” (Just look at this smile. No one has a smile this beautiful! You may now faint/worship me.*smug smile*)

Scene (0:12 – 0:31): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gxYEcNPkQo