Thursday, 26 November 2009

Self Evaluation

Its very important to be self critical after completing a project like this, otherwise you will never learn from, nor and build upon your mistakes. I encountered a few problems during my project which looking back i wish i had thought about more productivly in the beinning and early stages of development. My main concern on the outcome is colour. Although i spent a lot of time researching into colour, and colour palletes to suit the personalities of each of my characters, i later found that it was very hard to apply colour to plasticine, without using the actual colour of plasticine specifically needed, and i had already ruled out this option down to costs and practicallity. However, if i was to do this project again, i would look more into techniquest of creating a flexible outer layer on my plasticine which has enough slack on it to not crack under the pressures of being animated.

I also come accross problems when trying to transfer the level of detail from my original head armatures, into my final clay models. I found that because the heads had been significantly scaled down, i was unable to replicate what i had already done on a larger scale. A good example of this is the level of detail between the head model of the Scottish groundskeeper, and his head on the final model (See actual models).

Another issue with my project, was project managment and organisation. Initially i had neglected to do a scedule right from the start of my project, and i later came to regret it when i found myself running out of time, and still had things out of place. If i had produced a schedule from the start i could have easily gone through it and ticked off each of my things 'to-do' without getting myself into bother when it came down to the last couple of weeks. This is definitly one lessoni will learn from this project, as i know i cannot afford to do it in the future, as i will always be under tight and strict deadlines.

I regard some parts of my project a success on the other hand. In my opinion, for a first shot at producing clay models from scratch under the pressures of a brief that couldnt be changed, i thought i did pretty well to produce 5 characters, however, another side of me feels that i may have taken on too much of a job, and maybe if i had restricted myself down to 2 or 3 clay models as my final piece, i could have encourporated more animation into my project, rather than just producing a block out of a potential animation i could produce at a later stage.

I enjoyed this project very much, but there are definitly things i would change if i was to re-do this at a later date. Now that i have experience of how to make wire frame models, and how to apply clay to them, i think i would do a far better job if i was to do this again. I would be more accurate in making the wire frames, which would maybe reflect on the accuracy of my actual models compared to my final model sheets i produced on paper.

I have learnt many things with this project, i have learnt new techniques i wouldnt have even thought to use before starting on the project, which goes to show how valuable reseearch can be in a project like this. I learnt about using tin foil to bulk out a character, how to use wire frames to assist in animation, how to use oil to smooth out the apprearance of a character, and how to created textures on clay.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Block out for animation in the future

As the main focus for me in this project was to get to the stage of modelling my characters, and look more on the side of how clay models are made and produced with wire frames, i have chosen to only produce a block out concept of how one of my animations would go.
In this blockout we cans ee the gorilla approaching the old lady, who in turn is quite frightful of the gorilla, but decides to push him away instead of run away, and leaves the friendly gorilla looking sad.

Characters together

I thought it was important to show what my characters looked like together, in a group. As they would obviouly be placed together if i was to move on to animating them whilst they interact with eachother.
All in all, i found that the relationships between each of the characters worked very well, and compared to my initial designs of body shape, they were close.

Final Models

This is a selection of images for each of my final characters. I am fairly pleased with the outcome f my characters. I think i fit them into the brief pretty well, and each of them look better than i had expected they would look when i first started out. I am particularly pleased with the Grandma character. I think she turned out the best, and looks most fitted to what i was intending her to look like.


Below is the process i went through, using the techniques i had learned in the videos i had researched. I used some of my own techniques, as well as them that i had discovered. I am very happy with the way this process went, and how it allowed mt to easily move my characters features if need be. I used a simple length of wire, and twisted it into a torso, and branched limbs out from there. this allowed me to then have a scaled wire frame of my character, and then allowed my to easily apply the plasticine to my wireframe model. From there on, i was able to bulk out my model into the shape that i wanted, and the shape that suited what i wanted to achieve for each of ym characters. Once happy with the shape, i used oil on my model, to smooth out the surface, and then started to apply raised plasticine to give the illusion of clothing and facial features.

As can be seen below, i also experimented with tin foil to bulk out my characters, and then apply clay around this. This gives the model a very light feel, due to its aluminium interior, however it restricts the movement allowed within the model. This technique can be used for very ulky characters, for example Cornelius, my gorilla character, who only really requires to move his limbs and neck.
The 3 lowest images represent how the wire frame allows the charactes limbs to move.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Modelling/rigging clay RESEARCH

Before making my final characters, ive decided to look into some ways to rig clay/plasticine models ready for animating in claymation. This is important to look at, most plasticine holds its shape when modelled, however if i was to move on to a animating stage, it may be under heat from intense lights, and cause the plasticine to melt, and distort. Having a metal or wooden rig in the clay model, not only allows me to move and transform my model more easily into the shape i want it, but also helps it keep tis rigid shape.

Wire Frame Rigging Video

This video has helped me in the rigging process of my character. Using this wire frame technique has allowed me to easily move my model into positions that i need to place my character in.

Applying clay to armature

Sculpting in detail

The above videos were very helpful in helping me in the way i produced my own clay models. However i ran into another problem which i needed help with. I needed to next research how to smooth out my plasticine so that it had a professional looking finishing touch. I looked on the internet and found many differnt people quoting many different methods of how to do so. However, i found one that worked particularly well. With plasticine being oil based, i couldnt use water like is possible with clay. However i found that using oil, in particular vegetable oil, which was handy and i found around the house to work very well. I used it to smooth over rough areas of my clay models and then wiped off the excess oil so that it didnt give the plasticine a shiny surface, only a smooth one.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Modelling Stage

Modelling progress of my Character designs
Body Shape
I wanted to fistly start of making armatures of the body shapes of my characters. The images below are a selection of images i took whilst in the process of roughing-out the body shape of each of my characters in clay. This was definitly the best way to start modelling, as it gave me the rough body shape, which i could easily manipulate to get a more sharp shape, closer to what my actual final model will look like. The armatures for the young boy and girl characters are similar because they have generally the same body shape, apart from the boy being slightly shorter, and having slightly wider hips, which you would generally find in a female character.

Below are the final deisgns for the heads of my characters, i decided to do these separately from my body armatures, as i thought the head was one of the most important features of my character, in showing emotion and feeling if i was going to animate them. I am fairly pleased with each of my head models, with exception to the model of the young boy. I will decide later whether i am going to adjust this model to look better, i think they eyes look a little wrong.