Thursday, 30 September 2010

Character design - Viking superhero

I have been given a randomised character that is to be starred in a fictional cartoon series, of which I have to create a character bible for. In this bible I must include a suitable synopsis of which explains the backstory of the cartoon, an example of three characters, all my research and development. I have been given Viking Superheroes.
These characters must be of the three main roles usually found in a cartoon series. These are the following, plus a few examples of well known characters in the cartoon world under these titles.

A Hero

Examples: Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Bucky O'Hare, Peter Pan, Sulley (Monsters Inc)

A Sidekick

Examples: Brian from Family guy, Robin of Batman, The Dragon in Mulan, Gnasher in Dennis the Menace, Stimpy from Ren and Stimpy

A Villain

Examples: Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmations, Skeletor from Masters of the Universe, Shredder from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I must create a character out of each of these titles and then develop them into the final designs ready to be used for an animation.


Generi guy lip sync part 2

Here we have the second part to my lip sync using the infamous Generi guy!

Its alright, but could do with some tweaking with the jaw roll to prevent geometrry collapsing on itself when animated. There is definate room for improvement in creating mouth shapes when the character is talking, however for a first attempt this isnt too bad I guess.

Here are a few examples of how I formed some of the shapes to manipulate talking.


Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Generi guy lip sync part 1

Heres the first part of making a character talk, the jaw roll. Geting this in time with the dialogue will help to ensure that the character appears like he is moving in time with the sound. After this we shall be applying mouth shapes to manipulate the way in which words are projected.


Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Character design - The henchman

Hey there! Todays lesson was focused on the understanding that shapes can be used to define certain characteristics about a certain individual. We was asked to draw a henchman, therefore designing them with the concept of his role in mind and using distinctive shapes to construct their appearance. Notice my favourite being the rather simple yet sly evil ninja like character, who is hunched over and somewhat intimidating. He however, has a cup of coffee due to keeping gaurd of his boss all day, and therefore appears to be needing the loo rather badly.


Monday, 27 September 2010

My little awareness appeal for my team

Hey guys and girls, I thought id do a quick little update to show you this wonderful idea called advertising! Im posting around the internet the URL link to my groups blog, which in turn will lead to more page views and perhaps helping the project to become a bigger success as the weeks go on.

One example is here, good old Facebook. So if you want to help us and you support our project, feel free to invite people to check us out! Comments and advice is welcome.


Friday, 24 September 2010

B3D story development

  • When?

Set in the year 2000 but through the eyes of how someone in the 1950/60's would have visioned it to be.

  • Where?

Space station/Earth/

Focusing place - small part of a city

  • Characters
Invisible astro cannibals - (Villains)
Army - General (in charge/idiot)
Soldier - (Hero)

  • Genre
Sci Fi/Horror (Acting/diologue used applies the comedy as B-Movies traditionally have bad acting)

Space station infected -> Space pods return to Earth -> People surround pod in curiosity to greet any surviving astronaughts. The infected Astronaughts attack as humans then become more creature like as the film develops. -> Army gets involved -> Conclusion.

Astronaughts are invisible. At the start of the film they have their space suits on but as the threat of humans attacking them becomes more evident they remove the suits and become fully invisible.

The cannibals transform into a more primal appearance and more animal like over time as they feast on more flesh. To detect the cannibals, the soldiers use heat seeking devices (or refraction anomally detectors) to see where they are.


Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Character design - first lesson

In our first lesson of character design we was talked through the meaning behind different characters appearances and what makes them feel like they have the personalities we associate them with on screen. After watching several clips of classic villian/hero/sidekicks from various different films dating back to early animation to modern animation we discussed the similarities between the characters and how we could apply that to make our own characters "feel" like they have distinct personalities.

This led onto an interesting task, picking two cards which had two randomised outcomes which together provide a character which requires a good depth of the imagination. For example, I had two different characters to draw; one being that of an alien stage magician and the other being (ironically) an intergalactic goth. I decided to draw one of these up in photoshop to give a clear image of my alien character. (I'll draw the goth up as well and stick it here soon).

Finally, we was given the randomised playing cards once again which was to choose our fates for the project. I got Viking Superheros, which im quite pleased about because im sure theres a lot I can do for this... ive just got to avoid whats already been done with Thor.  We are to create our own character bibles with a synopsis of the "cartoons" storyline.


Conceptual ideas for team work trailer story - The day of the invisible cannibal from beyond the stars

In our groups we have each received a randomised title for a fictional film that we are to design a trailer for, of which shall be showcased at a animations festival entitled "Retro-fest". My group has decided to each come up with concepts within the first week, no matter what genre, or how different each idea may be so that we can then sit down and discuss which ideas work and what direction we are to place our trailer within.

So here are some of my (very random) ideas for this somewhat comical, yet horrific title...

  • The hungry astronaught

Basically in this concept, it is set around the idea of a lonely astronaught stuck in space, who works on a space station that has run out of meaty food. On his attempts to gain food he creates a teleporter, to collect all the burgers in the world and collect them on his ship for food. Unfortunately, he only manages to pick up humans, who start to noticably go missing on earth due to some "invisible" force. Being hungry, he becomes dilluded and beleives the humans are burgers and starts eating them. Only one human who manages to escape his grizzly fate manages to over ride the teleporter and save the day...
  • The incredibly greedy Cannibal in space with his evil plans for world domination
A play on the above story, a cannibal with intentions to find a way to safely eat more people without being caught decides to build a starship that can teleport humans into cages on his ship. Again, it takes one brave soul to escape and figure out a way to save his fellow captives...
  • The meteor shower with alien infections
In this story a shower of meteors lands and in a similar fashion to that of the film "Invasion of the body snatchers". The meteors contain a virus which, in comparison to traditional zombie films, turns people mad and makes people eat other which in turn spreads the virus through surviving victims and insects carrying the virus from infected human remains. One other thing to mention which makes it incredibly difficult to capture this virus and its infectees, they are invisible during the day. This helps make it easier for them to prey on those who arnt yet infected by the virus, yet at night they are visible and seem like everyday normal human beings. This also causes problems, as there is no where to run or hide, and no one to trust.
  • Santas revenge
This is hilarious, when thinking of the "preview man" voice describing the hungry astronaught concept over the trailer, I imagined him saying "this summer at a cinema near you". Then I stopped and thought as its nearly Winter it'd make much more sense to say "This Christmas". As a result, I sprawled to mind a totally new idea which mixes some of the above concepts and throws them into a very post-modern, amusing yet shocking tale based on Santa Claus himself. This is comparible to that of such tales as the Grinch, A Nightmare Before Christmas etc on the basis that the peacefullness associated with the festive season is disturbed and faith is questioned as a result. Santa Claus has become evil due to his anger at the fact Children have stopped beleiving in him as much in modern times, therefore they seem to lack puting foods and drink above the fireplace. He finds this unfair, ungrateful and very hurtful. He needs this food to survive with the lack of people interested in his business now days, it is a recession after all! The world seems to be relying on the commercialism of Christmas and lacks faith in what Santa stands for and does. This drives him insane, he needs to survive, so he starts taking parents back to lapland with him to punish them... and eat them. There would be a hero in this, perhap a child whos parent managed to contact him through text message, or on Santas "faithbook", to tell him they are all in danger. This child could set out on saving the parents and stopping Santa on his evil quest and in turn making him realise he isnt as forgotten about as he beleives. Tissues at the ready please!


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

B-Movie research development - horror movies

As my group faces the challenge of making an invisible cannibal from beyond the stars, I feel that this relates to a dark, often socially shunned topic which most would find un-nerving. However, due to the title given to us I can tell there shall be an element of amusement within this film, therefore we could use what we know people expect in a typical film and turn whats steriotyped as scary into funny.

Here is an example of typical B-Movie horrors, of which each carry humour in the moments where the acting is suppost to be most serious.


Retro-fest assignment - Research into B Movies

There has always been a widespread interest in the art of film making, for it holds the ability to tell a tale through physically depicting the envisioned ideas of the writer. We cant all be George Lucas and own millions of pounds worth of studio equiptment, or be able to hire out specified workers by the dozen, but this doesnt stop a large majority of artists with a passion for film making from making their final cutts. These somewhat lower budget movies are often described as "B-Movies", and are often either brilliantly executed according to the resources available to the maker, or quite often immersed in crindge-worthy acting and soaked in obvious amutuer editing skills.

A lot of the best B-Movies that one comes to find would be that of the horror genre, laced in laughable special effects yet showcasing brilliant bursts of the imagination. Sometimes these lower budget horror films would sucumb to being far scarier than anything created with a higher budget, due to the more realistic-less "Hollywood" feel that the actors would portray, and also with less access to special effects of any outstanding quality B-Movies tend to use the saying of "less is more".

An example of a typical scary old B-Movie would be Dracula (1931) which was released by Universal studios and stars Bela Lugosi as Dracula himself. Directed by Tod Browning, this is discribed as "The story of the strangest passion the world has ever known!", unleashing the audience into a thrilling ride of love-crossed evil in an anxious hold. The actor playing Dracula is said to have a distinguishingly unnerving smile "You have never seen a creepy as hell smile until you've seen the smiles Bela Lugosi throws at people in this movie." This suggests that the fear induced into the audience is more about the acting than visual effects. According to, there is a lot of suggestive notions of society in the 1930's within this film as the audience only ever witnessed Dracula biting women on the neck. This suggests two things, that Dracula biting men would be perceived as exposing homosexuality to the masses, which in such times was looked down upon greatly. Also this shows how females were seen as the weaker of the species, how men overpowered them and were in control. (information on Dracula found at

 These aspects of how film makers persued their storytelling within a low budget continued into the modern age B-Movies. Some of the more successful B-Movies to weave this craft managed to get their films into mainstream cinema. Examples of this include films such as "The Blair Witch project" and more recently "Paranormal Activity". This film has undergone such success that they are working on a sequel to the first film, of which I beleive is to be an enhanced version of the original due to its success. On a review site it points out facts based on the film itself, some of which sum up the nature of the budget movie itself. An example of a few of these facts are:

  • Filming was completed in 10 days.

  • The entire movie was filmed in Oren Peli's own home. (the writer/director)

  • The actors weren't given scripts but were given guidelines on how to behave or what to discuss in their scenes. (This created a more "realistic" sense, however made things cheaper on the printing costs!)

  • Dreamworks wanted to remake the movie with a bigger budget and better known actors rather than release the film as it was and use the original as a DVD extra. (This goes to show how a higher end production company enjoys the ideas portrayed in such a simple storyline and peice of film, however this shows throwing the film at a more commercialised audience would ruin its scary appeal)

  • The film is based on a personal experience in which Oren Peli encountered an object in his house fall off a shelf at night which seemed highly to be paranormal at the time. Therefore he took this concept and created the idea of a demonic presence overcoming a house of a usually contentive, happy couple and twisting it into a maddening possession that somehow all audence members feel they can relate to. We have all experienced that feeling of not being alone at night, or being watched, this is the very human emotion that Peli plays with in this movie.

Info on paranormal activity review at

Overall these two films I have discussed show similaritys in how they shock the audience using simplicity and a lower end budget to spend on. I am not yet sure of which genre my group is placing its "B-Movie" trailer within, but this provides evidence that horror is a prime subject to touch on when faced with empty pockets. I will be providing a list of different B-Movies in my next blog to compare different genres and get a better understanding of what works and what doesnt.


Monday, 20 September 2010

Second year! Group project - Retro-fest!

Here we are, in our second year ready to face more challenges that come our way. This time however, we all know its a lot more serious. In saying this, its still a lot of fun to do what we do, so here goes!

Retro-fest assignment

We have been put into groups chosen by our tutors to work alongside for the next 15 weeks. In this 15 weeks we shall produce a trailer for a typical B Movie. To do this we each discuss what roles are best for one another, how long we should take to do each certain tasks and collaborate ideas together. Each individual in a group has been selected due to personal strengths and weaknesses which in turn should help to further our personal skills and be benificial for our projects as a result.

In my group I have the following people:

  • Shabhir
  • Ruben
  • Ethan
We are group F, or as we have collectively decided we are to be named - "B3D studios".

The randomised title for our film is "Day of the invisible Cannibal from beyond the stars".

Watch this space and our group blog for further information/progress.