Assignment – DES336 Animation for the creative industries – Summer re-sit assignment. Submission Friday 29th July

Assignment – DES336 Animation for the creative industries
Brief 2

When I was given the two options for this assignment, I leaned more toward character design and background design because I enjoy creating characters and I believed I could do well at it given that I spent a lot of time developing the backstories and lore for each of my childhood characters while growing up.

I was re-playing Mass Effect at the time, and the new Star Wars series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, had just come out. I immediately thought about creating a space theme because I really like the alien and concept designs for Mass Effect and Star Wars. This prompted me to do more research and consider my options, and I discovered a fantasy steam punk/Hidden Advanced World.
Consider researching titles and films like Love, Death & Robots, The Mandalrion, Arcane League of Legends, Titan A.E., Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Treasure Plant, Titan A.E., Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, The Road to El Dorado, etc.

When I was given the two options for this assignment, I leaned more toward character design and background design because I enjoy creating characters and I believed I could do well at it given that I spent a lot of time developing the backstories and lore for each of my childhood characters while growing up.

I was re-playing Mass Effect at the time, and the new Star Wars series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, had just come out. I immediately thought about creating a space theme because I really like the alien and concept designs for Mass Effect and Star Wars. This prompted me to do more research and consider my options, and I discovered a fantasy steam punk/Hidden Advanced World.
Consider researching titles and films like Love, Death & Robots, The Mandalrion, Arcane League of Legends, Titan A.E., Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Treasure Plant, Titan A.E., Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, The Road to El Dorado, etc.
What Character Design Is For

The driving force behind animated films, television series, and video games is narrative. Character also drives stories. These characters are intended to be likeable, physically appealing, and memorable through character design.

Artists can design characters entirely from scratch in the worlds of animation and visual arts. As a result, they are able to leverage every element of design to develop a distinctive identity. For a better understanding of how character design is more focused on storytelling than just producing a beautiful sketch.

Elements of a Strong Character Design


The key to a good character design is simplicity. This calls for not only having an engaging design but also one that stands out regardless of how we perceive the character. The three elements of effective character design are listed below.

Silhouette

Simply described, a character silhouette is what remains when all colours and details are eliminated and the figure shape’s outline is entirely filled with black.

Many of these characters may be identified by their silhouettes, if you’re like me. True, many of these characters are legendary, but their iconic status is a result of their strong, distinct character designs.

Having a firm grasp of shape language is crucial when designing a distinctive character silhouette.

Character designers also need to employ colour carefully and strategically in addition to geometry.

Palette

The usage of colour by a character designer is referred to as their palette. Additionally, colour selectivity is crucial. The last thing you want is a character with a palette that is oversaturated with colours without any sense of hierarchy. Instead of engaging the audience, this will ultimately distract them.

It’s crucial to attempt and make one colour the protagonist of a character and to utilise other colours as little as possible to support that hue. Use complementary hues as opposed to ones that clash.

It is simple to get carried away with colour when designing a character, generating brilliant and intricate colour schemes. But keep in mind that a simpler colour scheme is usually best.

Exaggeration

Exaggeration is likely the most crucial aspect of character design among all three of these key elements from the viewpoint of narrative. Exaggeration uses particular traits to intentionally generate emotional and psychological reactions from a viewer to a character.

It can depend on these exaggerated traits whether a figure is perceived as heroic or scary by the audience. Exaggeration is the best storytelling technique for creating characters.

Three essential elements of effective character design are exaggeration, exaggerated silhouette, and colour palette. These three components are frequently at the heart of what makes a character design memorable or completely forgettable, despite the fact that there are many other factors that a character designer must take into account.

What does an animation layout artist and background designer do?

A background designer’s duties include creating backgrounds for fresh scenery and painting or drawing those backgrounds for the finished animation.

Some studios employ backdrop painters who are tasked with creating only the finished backgrounds. In some cases, backdrop painters even take on the role of designers, coming up with new settings under the direction of the art director.

Every background painter and designer adheres to a particular aesthetic based on the animation.

When you contrast the backdrops of vintage Road Runner cartoons with those of contemporary TV programmes like Adventure Time or Family Guy, you can see the contrasts. Each cartoon has its own distinct style, thus the backdrop artist must develop settings that fit both the cartoon’s visual aesthetic and are plausible as real places.

 

The differences between jobs for backdrop painters, background artists, and background designers are probably minimal.

But a background designer and a layout designer differ slightly from one another. Each shot of the animation has a completely drawn black and white version of the final backdrops taken from the storyboards by the layout designer (or layout artist).

Artists who create storyboards create the individual animation scenes. Character positions and settings are featured in each scene. This serves as a general template that the layout designer can copy and then fine-tune to fit the background within the cartoon’s visual aesthetic.

Then the layout comps are evaluated by the art director. The layouts move on to be painted and completely rendered if everything looks fine.

Designers of backgrounds frequently perform all of these tasks. Because you’re envisioning new places, drawing them, and then painting them for the finished animation, backdrop work may be very demanding.

My boyfriend and I discussed several concepts and ideas after doing extensive research and speaking with others about what I could accomplish for this assignment. Eventually, we settled on the notion that I should come up with a backstory and history for my fictional world and its inhabitants.

All though my initial concept was to be an alien or creature and to be based in a futuristic fantasy world like those in Star Wars, Mass Effect, and some of the short stories Love, Death & Robots, I ultimately decided on the concept of having an advanced civilization that would be based on animals. My preferred animal of choice was dogs, as I like the idea of having a society of Pedigree and Mix breed aka Mutts.

In the same way that dogs are divided into pedigree and mixed breeds in the real world, with pedigrees being seen as the superior of the two, I wanted to play with this idea and create a world concept and characters that would still adhere to the original concepts of an advanced fantasy world.

My World Concept/Lore

Ludlow Falls

Similar to Piltover in League of Legends, Ludlow Falls is separated into an upper class and a lower class.

The majority of the upper class consists of pure breed dogs, such as Great Danes, French bulldogs, Pugs, etc., while the slums are home to mix-breed animals and ex-upper-class criminals.
Because of this division, many members of the higher class despise the rats or slum mutts as the pedigree canines refer to them.
To prevent the lower class from joining and gaining access to the upper class technology, Ludlow Falls’ upper class is highly guarded.
The Valentino family built the city and made it what it is now, for better or worse, making Ludlow Falls a well-known trading post among the Omega system’s.
It is a bustling city with all the best amenities a pup could hope for, but of course it is just like any other city. Since the Valentino family rose to power, they have divided Ludlow Falls into upper and lower class and tend to keep it that way for as long as they are in power. It is dirty outside, also known as the slums, where many criminals and mixed breed live.

Thought process for design the big three!

Given that I intended my Big Three to be based on canine dog breeds, I started researching different types to determine which could be the most appropriate for my protagonist, antagonist, and non-player character (NPC).

I was pretty immediately certain that I wanted my antagonist, Tex, to be a giant purebred dog, such an Irish wolfhound, Cane corso, or another large breed.

I decided to base Tex on a Harley Quinn great dane because I believed that for a villain type character, the Harley Quinn great dane would be a wonderful start as they seem royal and intimidating. I thought I could play around with this concept when I started designing, such ass giving cropped ears and I really like the idea Alec my teacher made while giving me feedback, The thought that Tex have concealed cybernetic alterations that are not visible to the human eye, such as like that.He claimed that his dark sercet under his flesh wouldn’t be evident unless he was really hurt.

I decided on a bully mix breed, such as a pit bull or a staffie, as I myself have a staffie mix, thus my own dog Loki became the main influence for Dog. I looked at the many possible mix breeds of dogs that I could base Dog off and constructed a character around a certain mix of breeds.

Pitbulls, Staffies, and other bully breeds are, as far as I’m aware, frequently seen as dangerous breeds and even classified as dogs, which I felt would play into my design for Dog.

Regarding my NPC, I had a good notion of what kind of terrier mix or jack russell he should be before I even started drawing him. I figured the idea of Buster being a terrier breed would be extremely apt for his fighting spirit of a character because, as I’m sure many of you know, little dogs are frequently renowned for small dog syndrome, Thinking they can take on something over three times their size if not bigger.

My Protagonist

Dog (Friend’s call him D for short)

Dog, like many other residents of the Ludlow Falls slums, desires a better life for both himself and his family, but due to his ancestry, this is not possible. Your bloodline alone is enough to judge you as unworthy.

Dog, a mixed-breed dog, is well known in the Ludlow Falls undergrowth despite not having a name. His father had established a reputation in the annual Valentino street fights by being one of the few mixed-breed dogs to ever come close to winning. There have undoubtedly been a lot more, but none of them have come near to D’s father’s position in the fighting. Of course, regrettably, this is also the point at which Dog’s father passed away, thanks to the discovery of the Valentino’s dark secret of their genetically altering themselves to maintain their dominance and prevail in these battles.
Of course, no one paid him any attention, and the evening before his final fight, he mysteriously vanished and was never again seen.
Dog, who is convinced that the Valentino’s killed his father, is on a mission to exonerate his father, exact some much-deserved vengeance, and improve conditions for other mutts just like him.

My Antagonist

Tex Valentino

Tex is a pure breed that comes from a long line of pedigrees; both the good and the evil of his family are widely known in Ludlow Falls. The majority of the bad is kept from view, but Tex’s family is notorious for conducting tests—and not always in the most humane manner. The Valentino’s have made quite a name for themselves in the field of modifications and illegal cybernetics.

My NPC

Buster

Buster is a mixed-breed terrier who, like Dog’s father, is a close companion and a warrior. Like many dogs before him, Buster wanted a better life for himself, but his fighting days are over because he was hurt during one of his fights during the early Valentino Street fights. Today, he is a retired fighter who owns a small boxing gym where he instructs other dogs in the skills that he has honed over the years.

Since D doesn’t have anyone else to turn to after his father mysteriously vanished, Buster has taken on some of the role of a father to him. He tries his best to keep D out of trouble and out of harm’s way.
In the hopes that Dog will be able to accomplish what his father came so close to, Buster has agreed to train the canine.

~Portfolio~

Character Design

Protagonist Design : Dog aka D

First Pass at Dog's Design,I wasnt happy with it so kept going.

As you can see, D doesn’t look much like he does in the end product, therefore my original design for him didn’t work out.

I figured that a bull terrier would be more appropriate for him, and I’m pleased I did because it seemed to give the dog more personality after I started creating him.
Dog has worked hard to get where he is today. Dog is determined to avenge his father, which has caused him to get into trouble more than once, as evidenced by the scars on his body.

Second Pass and I was much happier with bull terrier design.

 

Antaggonist Design : Tex Valentino

I already had basic idea on how I wanted tex to look like,Main inspiration was Harley quinn great dane and the doberman from caravan palace music video.

Once I decided on the breed to model Tex after, it was relatively simple. I decided a Harley Quinn great dane would be appropriate because I was drawn to their commanding appearance and regal stature.

In terms of his cybernetic enhancements, his design is greatly influenced by the musical Caravan setting with dobermans wearing suits. They are not visible to the general audience and are only subsequently made known when he confronts D in the ring.
I’ve added a quick sketch showing how his cybernetics are hidden behind his skin.

A little look inside tex's left eye modification,One of many that he has.

 

NPC Design : Buster

I had a idea right of the bad for buster when it came to his design.He is based of a jack russel,I wanted to give him a rough and scrappy look such as wired haired jack russel,Which I thought to be very fitting for his design.I even added a some bandages to his left as result of his injury and a small scar that he covers with a plaster over his nose. Thought given his a toothpick to chew on would add some character.

 

~World Design~

Background Design

Buster’s Workplace:

With the little bit of background and information I’ve shared, you should be aware from my sketch for Buster Gym that Buster and D do not lead a life of luxury like Tex.

Despite the fact that Buster’s gym is severely run down and on the verge of collapsing, he still manages to keep it open.

 

Dog’s Base/Home:

In order to acquire ideas and inspiration for the slums, I looked at many of our actual slums.

I decided on the notion that I wanted it to be crammed with people and houses so close together that you can hardly squeeze through an alley at night due to the lack of space, not to mention that it isn’t the cleanest location in the world.

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In terms of D’s bedroom, he continues to reside in the family home, which is not much of a home in reality because, like Buster’s Gym, it is collapsing around him and lacks even windows to keep the heat in.

D frequently makes things worse because he occasionally destroys his home during rages or when he awakens from dreams, but he still wants things to be better.

 

Tex’s Lab For His Illgeal Cybernetic Modifications:

 

Concept Sketches

 

~ Picture References~

~Viedo References~

~Artist References~

Brett Northcutt

Ryan Church

  Robh Ruppel

Ben Lo

Ben Erdt

Luis Carrasco

Nino Is

Tyler Edlin

~References~

  • Su, H. and Zhao, V. (2012). Alive character design : for game, animation and film : character design course by Haitao Su. Harrow: Cypi.
  • Tillman, B. (2019). Creative character design. Boca Raton: Crc P.
  • Eisner, W. (2008). Comics and sequential art : principles and practices from the legendary cartoonist. New York: W.W. Norton.
  • Mattesi, M.D. (2008). Force : character design from life drawing. Burlington, Ma ; Oxford, Uk: Focal Press.
  • Murray, J. (2010). Creating animated cartoons with character : a guide to developing and producing your own series for TV, the web, and short film. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications.
  • Crossley, K. (2019). Character Design From The Ground Up. S.L.: Crc Press.
  • Schell, J. (2019). The art of game design : a book of lenses. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis, A Crc Title, Part Of The Taylor & Francis Imprint, A Member Of The Taylor & Francis Group, The Academic Division Of T&F Informa, Plc.
  • Dille, F. (2007). The ultimate guide to video game writing and design. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications.‌‌

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