- Should we allow the stigma of how we voice our opinions and emotions change the way we live?
- We live in a world where our actions, the way we walk, to the way we talk is under constant surveillance from society. Information can be shared in a instant and it’s so easy for us to hide how we feel, to show as little as possible, to curb them behind our robot like personas. It pushes us away from who we are and why we feel.
- Curb & Co. is about the life of one man taking on these demonised emotions we forget about. Seeing the face value meaning behind what we say and do as these monster manifestations. This is about showing how subtle actions can have a big impact emotionally on someone, almost like the physical wounds inflicted by these creatures.
- Our protagonist treads between the contrast in subtle and exaggeration. Acceptable and unexceptable, right and wrong by our social standards. He interact with his colleagues showing only subtle disingenuous expressions but their monster counterparts show us exactly how he feels with each encounter. With each nock down though, will our simple office worker become the knight he was meant to be and take this strange cruel world head on? or ditch his shield and armour for sharp tie and a heavy facade.
- distributed weight in movement
- creatures and people of different proportion, as well as different sized props and accessories
- diversity in not only character designs, but a depth of understanding on how these character movements effect the world around them and even the story.
- subtle expressions of emotions along side exaggerated expressive animation, shows character design and animation limits. crucial elements to the discourse of my story.
- As you can tell, timing is a key aspect to how I want to animate but it’s very crucial to my story and character development as well. I think that implementing well timed comedy can really help build a characters rapport with the audience. A big part of my idea is incorporating comedy into the pacing of situations and how drastically these small/subtle encounters can change depending on how the characters feel and how these feelings are portrayed.
- Finally I would like to talk about special effect and camera works, exploring how they work as well as how to implement them. I’ll be researching and observing how certain effects work as well as how they’re created, like cloud/dust formations when a object hits the floor or when it explodes. I’ll try to imitate and study these effects in their raw form but I’ll also be looking at many films and games due to their stylised takes on motion/movement. These effects will especially be used when characters are trying to do an exaggerated motion.
*= possible changes the scenario before
- Woman walks into staff room > protagonist says hello > woman ignores protagonist > picks up apple from table > woman walks away munching on the apple > witch walks in > guy says hello less enthusiastically > witch ignores protagonist > reaches for a apple and taps the table > realises there’s no apples left > witch taps the protagonists chest and rips out protagonists heart > walks off calmly and munches on the heart.
- Protagonist finishes paperwork > boss barges in > drops a wall of paperwork on the desk > boss leaves > protagonist sighs and starts to work > * Ogre walks in with a big shield > lugs it on to the protagonists back > pulls out a large hammer > protagonist carries on working > boss slides another piece of paper on to his desk and the thumping from the ogre drastically increases
- *Protagonist has shield on from the beginning to encourage some anticipation/suspense
- *Ogre walks in with a hawaiian shirt and a pair of glasses on > roof opens up with the sun bleating down > the walls flip and turn into a moving paper desert background > two smalls goblins scurry in and plop a saddle on top of the protagonist > the Ogre then very ungracefully bumbles his way on top of the saddle > a small man nips in and slides a single piece of paper on to the protagonists desk > he runs out and immediately passed by a small goblin lookalike > which then scurries past and plops a small pillow on top of the protagonists head > the ogre then yawn and lugs both of his feet up on the pillow > the atmosphere settles before moving on, only to be interrupted by a letter slipped through the letter box > and just as it touches the floor a small umbrella opens up
- *same gag but the protagonist is essentially a kiddie ride machine
- Protagonist shakes bosses hand > hand is crumpled afterwards > protagonist shakes ogres hands > protagonists hand turns to dust
- Protagonist is sitting in a meeting > everyone else is asleep > one guy is babbling with a presentation > tall monster starts pouring sand on the protagonist > jump cuts to man still babbling > pans back over to our protagonist completely covered in sand > co-worker yawns, blowing all of the sand away leaving the protagonist in the same position but with his face intensely focused on the speaker and his eyes taped open.
- Protagonist sitting at his desk > coffee guy walks by and offers some coffee > pours some fresh coffee and hands t to the protagonist > coffee guy stands there until protagonist drinks the coffee > protagonist burns his mouth but give the man a thumbs up > coffee guy walks off > firry guy walks over and stares at the protagonist > the protagonist goes to say something but is interrupted by a boiling pot the man is dragging around > firry guy then opens the protagonists mouth further and pours molten lava into it >* firry guy waits till protagonist gives a thumbs up > the man made of fire then walks away slowly and very nonchalantly
- * the protagonist flips out for a while only for him to sit back down and go to say some and have the same thing done to him > protagonist flips out again frantically running around, desperately trying to cool his mouth down > he stops in front of the man to try and catch is breath, waving his arms, indicating his mouth is on fire > firry guys then gently pours more into his mouth as the protagonist believes he’s being given something to cool him down > protagonist screams, the firry guy shrugs and walks off > the skit then cuts short there
- The protagonist has to meet a bunch of clients > the clients are all lines up to shake his hand > *the protagonist then has to shake a bunch of hands with different types of people and their monster counterparts
- the protagonist walks down a corridor of people > on one side are all the clients > on the other are all of their monster counter parts > by the end one hand is red, sweaty and throbbing > the other one again turns into dust.
I might also include some foreshadowing with the monster counterparts by adding hints with different effects before they appear i.e. you might see the protagonist smell smoke before the firry guy enters the room, or you might see smoke in the background, or even more subtle things like the protagonist rubs his shoulder a little before the female co-worker walks in and ignores him. I think it’ll be a good way to experiment with different types of environmental effects.
A art style that I immediately thought about when coming up with my idea, was the Netflix TV series by Dreamworks, Trollhunters by Guillermo del Toro.
One artist that worked on the series character designs was called Fruiz. His real name though is Francisco Ruiz Velasco a concept and story board artists working on the series. He’s also worked on the short film A Gentlemen’s Duel by Blur studio.
I love his work because of his imagination with the creatures he creates, what clothes they wear, they’re roles and how that effects their demeanours, and the shapes he uses creating them and how the unconventional proportions meld with them and effects their characteristics overall.
Take these three as an example
These are three different characters, all with different weight, size and proportions but all of them follow a similar shape dynamic, this shape being the egg. But all of them are funnily different sized eggs, all with varying bases/pivot points. These differentiation help us pin the character to the shapes. The First one is dopey because of his thin legs but long and wide proportion at the waist. This tells us how he possibly moves due to the varying difference in mass and what kind of balance that would have when he’s moving. The second would be faster moving and more stable due to his stocky stature and low centre of gravity. His actions and proportions tell us he’s motivated and stern but lovable due to his use of curves, straight lines, and how his body parts are long pointed and more firm looking. Our third character shows many comedic characteristics i.e. the use of the small, big, small stature and incorporation of props helps emphasise surreal juxtapositions, self conscious comedy, irony and almost some topical social satire. As well as that they also follow the few principles that tie the character designs down to the artists style; stern lines leading into bulging curves, the thick limbs ending with small pointed tips, the thick strokes side by side thin ones to show a contrast in distance, focus, and lighting, etc.
Many of the these techniques can be dated back to early cartoon artists like Hanna Barberas, Tex Avery, and Winsor McCay’s especially his animal/dinosaur designs.
With Tex Avery you see the early stages of exaggerated disproportion/bulges in limbs and body parts. You also can see the use of the infamous cartoonistic large eyes, used by many artists around that time. Large eyes that were close together, was a very common style of drawing characters around then in 1930-40. The evolution of this will change through the years, you could already see the development in comics like in Popeye when it got more popular in 1929. Then again in super hero comics like Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel during the Golden Age of comics from 1940-50.
I think this, in combination of widening the gap between eyes in the early 2000’s animation brought upon a new popular style. The rampancy of anime and anime related sub genre’s like chibi, I think influenced the facial characteristic of western shows. Many shows in the early 2000’s took influence from anime with their designs and even their motions/emotions, i.e. Yin Yang Yo!, shuriken school, totally spy’s, Hamtaro, etc. What i’m getting at, is that there has been a snowball effect of these styles evolving and taking inspiration from one another, and I think that even big companies like DreamWorks and Disney have taken inspiration from this lineage of artistic styles. You can even see bigger disproportionate bulges in limbs with characters in big movie’s like Open Season by Sony studios, Kung Fu Panda by DreamWorks, and even Lilo and Stitch by Disney. Francisco’s drawings are an example of modern cartoon design that has taken these old popular styles and added a more rounded stylised form to help their animations. Like for example; dynamic lines, more varying facial feature that are stylised but still retain a relatable amount of human aspects, more distinguishable body shapes that help emphasise the characters characteristics, and obviously more stylised digital brush strokes but that’s a given.
I.A. Magazine. (2017). The Art of Guillermo del Toro’s Trollhunters. [online] Available at: http://www.iamag.co/features/the-art-of-guillermo-del-toros-trollhunters/ [Accessed 17 Oct. 2017].
Francisco Ruiz Velasco. (2016). MR. Blinky early development. [Digital]. Available at: http://fruiz-fruiz.blogspot.co.uk/2016/
AnimationResources.org – Serving the Online Animation Community. (2017). Inbetweens: Tex Avery Model Sheets – AnimationResources.org – Serving the Online Animation Community. [online] Available at: https://animationresources.org/inbetweens-tex-avery-model-sheets/ [Accessed 17 Oct. 2017].
Avery. T. (1948). Half Pint Pigmy. [Traditional Hand Drawn]. [Online]. Available at: https://animationresources.org/inbetweens-tex-avery-model-sheets/
Avery. T. (1945). Jerky Turkey. [Traditional Hand Drawn]. [Online]. Available at: https://animationresources.org/inbetweens-tex-avery-model-sheets/
Sagendorf. B.(Oct.-Dec. 1959) . Popeye #50. [Ink Printed]. [Online]. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popeye
Peter.G.H. (1942). Wonder Woman Comics #1: First Solo Title. [Ink Printed]. [Online]. Available at: http://readcomiconline.to/Comic/Wonder-Woman-1942
C.C. Beck.(Oct. 1941). Captain Marvel Adventures #20. [Ink Printed]. [Online]. Available at : https://mutantreviewers.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/top-ten-golden-age-characters-who-should-get-movies/
Yin Yang Yo!. (2006). Nickelodeon, Jetix, Disney XD, Toon Disney. 26 August.
Shuriken School. (2006). Nickelodeon, FOX, Jetix, Clan, The CW, France 3, RTL II, KiKa, Rai 3, Rai 2, Rai Gulp, CITV, 4Kids TV. 20 August.
Totally Spies!. (2001). Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, TF1, Disney Channel, Teletoon. Jetix. Rede Globo. Freeform. TV Tokyo. Disney XD. Super RTL. Fox Kids. Kabillion. November 3.
Hamtaro. (2000). Cartoon Network. 7 July.
The blue text is the original text and the pink is the possible replacement for it.
what do you want it to be about:
My animations premise will be based around the social stigma of Britain and how emotions are subjected to being expressed in the most subtle ways possible/portrayed in a “proper fashion”. As well as showing my story through mainly subtle body language and facial expressions, these actions will be contrasted through exaggerated comedic gags overplaying the protagonists actions and interactions along his daily routine. Each character, other than the protagonist, will have a monster like counterpart that recreates these interactions but in a much more exaggerated comedic way. This way I can show my range in story telling and hopefully also show others that stigmas are just social constructs. The argument that animation can only tell a story with big overly exaggerated motions, is a stigma, a social construct we all know isn’t true and isn’t so bad when done differently. Should we allow the stigma of how we voice our opinions and emotions change the way we live? That’s the question I hope my animation conveys. No being my answer and I hope to convince others likewise. Even if they don’t agree, then at least I made them question.
An assumption many people make about animation is that it is a medium that can only tell a story using overly exaggerated means. By subverting this commonly held expectation for animation as a medium, the content of my story is further communicated, and begs the question, should we allow the stigma of how we voice our opinions and emotions change the way we live? While my intention is to lead viewers to concluding that the answer to the previous question is no, I hope to lead them to at least question their views on the matter.
What do you want to do:
As a predominantly 2D animator, it’s only natural I want to show distributed weight in movement with my characters. Hence why I so badly want to incorporate creatures and people of different proportion, as well as different sized props and accessories i.e. weapons, armour and clothing, into my animation. This way it’ll help show my diversity in not only character designs, but a depth of understanding on how these character movements effect the world around them and even the story.
Emphasising the characters body movements also means I will have to focus on body language as well facial expressions to help produce a believable character. Specifically subtle expressions of emotions because they will be require detail to timing and micro changes in all components of the characters body i.e. shifting of weight, the transitions of tense and loose muscles, etc. These aspects are key to not only my character designs, but are crucial elements to the discourse of my story. To help accomplish some of these shots, I will be using video references along side a few expression sheets.
As you can tell, timing is a key aspect to how I want to animate but it’s very crucial to my story and character development as well. I think that implementing well timed comedy can really help build a characters rapport with the audience. A big part of my idea is incorporating comedy into the pacing of situations and how drastically these small/subtle encounters can change depending on how the characters feel and how these feelings are portrayed.
Finally I would like to talk about special effect and camera works, exploring how they work as well as how to implement them. I’ll be researching and observing how certain effects work as well as how they’re created, like cloud/dust formations when a object hits the floor or when it explodes. I’ll try to imitate and study these effects in their raw form but I’ll also be looking at many films and games due to their stylised takes on motion/movement. These effects will especially be used when characters are trying to do an exaggerated motion.
I know this needs to be shortened, less vague, etc, but I’ve been staring at the this writing for like 4/5days contemplating if it’s actually finished. It’s kinda just eating up time at this point so sorry if it sounds like trash.
To start of my idea process I asked myself what kind of aspects of animation I enjoy the most.
- I really like seeing the distributed weight in movement. So I want to incorporate creatures and people of different proportion, as well as different sized props and accessories i.e. weapons, armour and clothing.
- I also took a keen interest in special effects during my research for the dialogue action and interaction project and from various independent artists. So I think the use of weapons and heavy weight will be great to display some nice visual effects particularly some cloud/particle effects.
- I really adore the subtlety in expressing emotions but with animations I find most emotions are exaggerated in facial expressions and body language/dynamic poses. This was actually my main inspiration for my FYA.
- I love comedy in animation and a common aspect in most animated shows and their way of story telling, is when the expressions your characters portrays in small situations are made dramatic and exaggerated. This kinda puts emphases on what sort of characters your cast are, so any new viewers immediately understand roughly what kind of roles they have. Rambling aside though, a big part of my idea is incorporating comedy into the pacing of these situations and how drastically small situations can change depending on how the characters feel and how these feelings are portrayed.
Inspirations and rubbish out the way, I will attempt to explain my idea:
We’ll be following the lives of 3 protagonists. All office workers from different backgrounds going about their jobs trying to get hired in their own unique ways and with each awkward situation having its own dark comedic twist. The small situations will subtly show the changes in our characters character development and emotions but they’ll instantly be followed up by a bizarre dramatic representations of how their emotions physically feel. e.g. say one of them walk into work in a good mood and says “Good morning!” to a attractive co-worker. The co-worker walks past and just grabs a snack from the staff room table and walks off. Our protagonists cheery smile slowly turns to a awkward grit of teeth with half a smile draped over it. A icy creature similar to the co-worker walks by in the exact same manner. Our character with the same expression still planked on his face slowly raises his hand instead of saying hi. The creature goes to pick up a snack instead, taps the table in search for one, raises it for a second and plucks out our characters heart and walks off. These kind of small skits will show emotional subtlety along side it’s drastic counter part, i.e. emotional pain along side the physical pain equivalent. These physical equivalent will usually be carried out by these fictional creatures, to kinda subtly suggest these things didn’t really happen, but as a joke I think I’ll have they’re injuries or whatever subtly clued into that characters next skit i.e. a little bandage over their chest or a dent/rip in their clothing or armour.
I’ll show more examples and the development of the idea as soon as I can scan my progress and sketches but think I’ll put these small little developments mainly along side my design sketches (some skits are based around the characters designs and clothing so I think it’ll just be nicer and easier to digest in smaller bites).
Really looking forward to this project, till my next post guys.
For this project I think my strengths laid more on the written half of the brief. Although it did prove to be quite challenging extending what I wanted to say into 1250 words. I think I could of touched on the criteria of talking about animated characters and their connection to the audience but that plus my research would of over capped the word limit I think.
The drawing half I am not 100% pleased with. I think I could of presented it better if I had maybe done a poster of the evolution of man but twisting it so it was more like the evolution of dance. It would of shown what my idea is about more and the variation in styles. It also would of maybe given my artist skills just a little bit more justice than the animation but I think that the idea of a interactive web banner was and still is a better format of commercialising my project. Sure it wasn’t done beautifully, nor was it 100% coherent in what I wanted to say. It could of definitely have been better with more text, but I think the idea behind it is what it’s supposed to represent.
A lot of the possibilities, problems, and solutions were included in my Idea development post that I don’t think were as heavily inputted into my end plan. I think that the plan should of addressed more of them, or at least discussed more of the solutions being used.
Time management was a big one on this, that and deciding what I wanted to begin with. I spent a fair amount of time creating concept art and idea sketches for my initial idea that it left me not a lot of time when I changed my mind. I also could of spent more time on the animation/web banner and less time on the written work, although I do think my written work covered a lot more criteria’s.
This is a super rough version of what I would like to be produced as a web banner but it’s a fairly okay example of what I roughly want.
The reason it’s 300×600 is because it’s the most common web banner format. There are dozens of other format sizes though, most example are shown here: https://www.stefanmaescher.com/top10-banner-sizes/
Here they talk about which banner formats are used for what and what kind of popularity each one has amongst the audiences they’re aiming for.