Friday, January 27, 2012

Little and Large - settings and test animations

I've been working on the settings that my animation is going to take place in. My film has two distinct settings: a cartoony, vaguely fantasy/medieval area, and a mundane desk where the Sackboy "toy" actually lives.

For both areas I wanted to keep it really simple, as I need to be focussing my attention on the animation rather than the modelling.

With this in mind, I constructed the fantasy land out of a cube and edited the vertices to give the appearance of hills. I initially wanted the clouds to be on strings, similar to Littlebigplanet, but it looked a bit out of place so I decided to abandon the strings. I also added in the simple tree and castle models to give an impression of the "medieval knight" theme. The animation will be taking place much closer to these so they will be more obvious.

All the textures are simple one-colour lamberts to keep it clean and colourful. 

And the desk. Lighting was an important aspect to consider here as the lamp will be switched off, so I need to ensure the area is still lit enough so that you're able to see what's going on. I also used more realistic looking textures here to contrast the other setting.

With lamp:

No lamp:
This is possibly too dark...

And my first try at a walking animation. I'm not particularly happy with it yet, it looks very controlled and inexpressive (although I added a blink in there to make him look a bit more lively). I used bending deformers on the arms and legs, but something still isn't quite right...

There is a fan-made Sackboy walk cycle on Youtube which looks much more characteristic and believable. I might have another attempt, using this as a reference.

I also quickly experimented with a couple of expressions. My Sackboy doesn't have a mouth, so I'm relying on head movement, gestures and eye movements to express how he's feeling. (These videos are very short, apologies...)



I think these are okay although I haven't incorporated the body movements. It seems a majority of emotion can be shown in the eyes, particularly on simplistic cartoon characters, so I'm hoping it'll work effectively in my final piece.

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