Tuesday, 11 October 2011

11/10/2011 - Character Design Lesson 4

This week was all about turning inanimate objects into characters and thinking about props that characters would have. First off we were given a place to think of, mine being a garage, and then thinking of different objects that you would find in that place. I was given garage and these are the things that came to my head when thinking of a garage -

  • Tools - i.e. Hammer, wrenches, nuts and bolts and so on.
  • Car Spares - Tyres, Oil cans/bottles.
  • Paint pots, brushes
  • Car Wash equipment - Pressure Washer, Sponge, Car polisher/Buffer, Bucket, Car wash bottle, ice scraper
  • Bikes
  • Car
From the lists that we made we had to come up with a Villain, a Hero and a sidekick and then draw the objects we had chosen in the archetypes we designated them.

  • Villain - The Demented Pressure Washer
  • Hero - The Wonderful Wrench
  • Sidekick - The Silly Ice Scraper
The Demented Pressure Washer -


In the villain design I took the route of trying to put a frowning expression with the use of triangles in the handle at the top. The first two images Justin advised me that the wheels were too big and comical and that I needed to keep the proportions of the actual pressure washer's body similar but maybe expand the size of the gun to make it look powerful. One of the original designs had the gun mounted on the 'shoulder' of the pressure washer which I quite liked as well.

The Wonderful Wrench and Sidekick The Silly Ice Scraper -

This was a bit tougher and my initial idea was to make the top half of the wrench bigger to match the broad chest type of a hero but the problem was that it didn't have enough character. Justin explained that he could see what I was trying to do with the top left hand image but it was hard to figure out a 'head' and that when the wrench puts his 'arms' by his side he doesn't look like a wrench anymore. The bottom right idea is Justin's where he showed me a 'cheat' in that the ends of the wrench could be armlike and that certain grooves design on the wrench could be made into faces. As for the bottom left image that was my attempt at the ice scraper. My idea was to try and expand the bottom half of the scraper a bit more and make it much more rounded and flexible, making it a poor excuse of an ice scraper.

Finally the last part of the lesson was thinking of props that we would relate to an iconic character. I was given the character Penfold from Danger Mouse which I found rather difficult. I wasn't particularly familiar with the character himself and did a little bit of research. I found that the character was rather cowardly, always being kidnapped and having to be saved by Danger Mouse and knows martial arts but wasn't very good at it. I struggled for a while in an attempt to create some props which would define his characteristics but the things that I was coming up with would not be able to define the character just by looking at the shape of the prop. I originally thought of a watch that may show Danger Mouse the coordinates of Penfold's location everytime he gets kidnapped but as I said before this needed explanation and by its design alone would not show the audience what type of character they were looking at. In response to his martial arts skills I thought about nunchukas made of rubber as to not hurt himself when practicing.

Justin came over and realised that I was struggling with ideas asked me to break down the character into shapes like we did a few weeks back and then what Penfold's clothing said to me. Penfold is round and soft but has an untidy dress sense therefore the objects designated to him must be of a soft shape but untidy. Justin gave the idea of a battered old teddy bear and then I thought of a roundish suitcase which was untidy with papers hanging out of the case.


I did find this lesson quite hard as seeing characters within inanimate objects was challenging for me but much like every lesson I'm there to learn and I just need to make sure I improve on the skills that Justin is providing us with.

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