Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pepe and Lucas - The Pie Launcher. It launches pies.

For the most part, when I'm starting work on a project, the 3D team is finishing up another one. When they start on the next project, I've already moved on to the next one after that. This allows me to stay ahead of the curve for the most part, except when several projects are all running at the same time and my brain explodes. However, things worked a little differently for Pepe and Lucas. We took close to a year off to create it from start to finish and I was able to maintain my focus on just that project for almost as long. If you've been following my previous posts, you can see that for the most part the process goes from sketch variations to color variations to finished painting and then orthographic drawings for the modelers. However, since the whole team was moving on the project at the same time, they did catch up to me pretty quickly. As a result, some objects were built out for me entirely and some of the bigger things  were roughly mocked up, so that they could be utilized in early animation stages with the idea that I'd come back later to finalize the design. The pie launcher was one such example.

Modeling by Dan Herrera.

The pie launcher was designed to be the first step in a more scifi direction. As the battle between clown and mime heated up, the props would become more and more fantastic and action oriented. Instead of throwing pies, Pepe's pie launcher rapid fires clips of pies. The pie launcher influences were a combination of WWII weapons of war - battleship turret guns, and then carnival rides and circus canons. I kept the color palette matching Pepe's costume, although you'll also find that primary colors are often the primary colors used in carnival and circus palettes.

While I prefer to do my sketches and paintings before the modeling so I don't waste a modeler's time building an idea that won't fly, it is really nice to have the proportions worked out so that the modeler has a lot less guessing to do. I'm sure I'll be doing more 3D myself in the future, so I can at least do this kind of basic mock up for myself.

One thing I've neglected to mention about creating Pepe's props was that they all needed to feel like technology from the depression era - very industrial, made up of metal and gears and pistons. He's a nuts and bolts kind of guy. His gadgets needed to be as worn and forgotten as him.
The other consideration was the level of wear and tear that would be defined by dirt, grunge, and rust. We ended up not texturing Pepe with the grunge version I'd painted. It just felt like too much. For the most part, we didn't dirty things up too much as I found that it often muddied the colors a lot.  We did add rust and dents to Pepe's mechanical props. Anything that was painted would have chipping paint or paint worn off revealing the prime layer of paint underneath. I tried to use rust sparingly and punched up the color so that it was very vibrant instead of leaning towards black or brown. Especially on the car, I looked for ways to place it so that it would lead your eye back up to Pepe's head. You can see these principals applied to the pie launcher.

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