Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pepe and Lucas - Character Model Sheets.

Character model sheets are my least favorite part of concept designing, but they are really important. Obviously, the modelers use them to build a model of your concept, but I find that it also reveals more fully to me what the 3 dimensional shapes are that make up my design.

As I have constantly found from working with 3D artists, there's always room for interpretation of a 2D design and when you work in 2D, there are a lot of short cuts that an artist takes that only work as an abstraction of reality. The way the eyes wrap around the head is often a place that where my front and side view drawings don't match up once modeled in 3D. I usually give the eyeballs much more mass from the side than would actually appear if my front view is matched. You can see the disjoint in Inspector Clousseau examples below. Check out the eyeball in the 2D profile shot. There's a solution in the 3D toy on the right, but you can see that the nose had to to be moved in order to make room for both eyes to sit together. That shift pulls the nose over the mouth as a result.
A lot of anatomical impossibilities will come up in 3D that must be worked out and agreed upon with the modelers, but working out the basic shapes of a character with abstracted anatomy really saves a modeler some time and ensures that the character looks like what I had in mind, from all sides. I've often been told by my 3D buddies that a three quarter view describes the most of any view, but it isn't nearly as helpful from a modeling stand point. Proportions in a 3/4 perspective can't be judged as accurately.

For the magician, the hair ended up being the part that needed extra explanation.

The clown also needed some hair explanation since a hat covered the top of the head, but there was a gag planned where it would pop off when he burst into a fit of rage. I'd done a painting of him with a total afro eluding to the possibility that there was a whole mess of hair tucked into that little bowler. That joke was cut, but it would have affected how the hair was created.

Since I'd drawn Pepe from the front and not in three quarters, I found that a lot of people had mistaken the scarf around his neck to be a collar, even with the scarf tails hanging down his back.

Making the nose fit on his face without intersecting the eyes was a challenge in 3D. We had to play with flattening the eye and adding/reducing the bridge of the nose. It also became a little bit of a legibility issue since it was large enough that it often covered up the eye farthest from the camera.

Since we were simulating real clothing, it was necessary to paint the characters naked so the modeler's could see the body forms hidden by baggy clothing and make sure the cloth bent and folded around those particular shapes. That didn't end up necessary for the mime since her clothing was so form fitting.
For the most part, no character had a really intricate or unexpected backside, but without the drawing of the mime, a modeler wouldn't have known I wanted to cross the suspenders.

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