Monday, 13 September 2010


This may come as a shock after reading my Blog, but I am changing my story entirely from the Michael Clark adventure.

  1. I think the narrative for my new story is easier to tell and more inventive
  2. People will not expect it from me, as they know I have a history and access to research for adventure stories.

My New Narrative:

A mannequin lives in a shop window in a desolate street. Every night she comes to life and plays with the display in the window. For example, if she is dressed as a rock star she strums on a guitar, if she is dressed fashionably (for example in a black dress) she will pout at a mirror. I also thought she could have a toy dog at one point and be upset after the window change and the dog isn't there.

She has no knowledge of the outside world. Until...

One night, a young early twenties couple have been on a night out and stagger past the shop when the mannequin is awake. They both frighten each other, but place their hands on either side of the glass as if they would touch.

When the mannequin goes back to sleep and awakes the next night, she wants to explore the outside world and the story changes to her trying to escape the window she is held in.

I am unsure of the ending yet, whether or not she succeeds, because she will just turn back to sleep for the daylight hours and this may make it a sad ending. Otherwise, she could be joined by another mannequin, possibly male so that she herself becomes part of the couple she sees through the window.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Facebook Status

Just a quick comment that relates to my own character design, on the Indiana Jones fanpage on Facebook, this was written:

Abrahan Montes De Oca Indiana jones wouldn't have been as cool if he had a normal backpack insted of a messanger bag.
22 minutes ago via Mobile Web · View Feedback (1)Hide Feedback (1)

Abrahan Montes De Oca This, this is true. AlsoDaily post 1/1
19 minutes ago

I guess this means that I am on the right track giving Michael a side satchel rather than a backpack :)

Concept Art: Michael Clark focus

Some more concept pieces showing a more cartoony Michael Clark that includes my research into Jack from Lost, the items of clothing, and also the cartoonier style from Jak and Daxter.

One piece I wanted to include with Prada is that she has a black streak at the front of her hair a bit like Rogue in Xmen. This represents her bad side and is meant to contast to the white of Michael's Tshirt. Here they are having a close scene where she is trying to manipulate Michael, but as you can tell from his facial expression he is not having any of it.

The hat looks really wrong here, even though it was a quick sketch, so my aim for the next few days is to get this looking right, and like I say hopefully track down a suitable hat.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Hat Photographs- Ebay

Research taken from Ebay:

I thought this link was good purely for it showing the hat from all angles.

I am going to try and buy the snakeskin hat I found and then photograph it in a similar way so that I can use the images as planes in Maya so that I can attempt modelling it.

Walking Boots and Gun Holsters Research

After my inital drawings, I think I need to do a bit more research into the actual objects I am going to be using.

I first started looking at walking boots:

These are quite manly boots, but I think that the style of them would not match the rest of the costume and he would look a little odd. I think the look needs to be more sleek and trainer like to make him look more modern.

I did like the look of these boots more... until I found that they were for women!
I think these are right for Michael's character. They are stylish, the black is quite cool but the white also shows he is the hero ( I would probably make the laces completely white for ease of texturing and simplifying the cartoon image). They look practical and more useful than trainers when running through the jungle, but they do not look too heavy weight that running will be an issue. I am going to use walking boots like this for his character.

Next, I looked into Gun Holsters, as I think this can be played with to make something unique for his character.
The first image is actually not of a holster, but a holster type bag for men. I found this quite humourous, but I can imagine Michael looking at himself in the mirror this way. He is a poser and knows he is good at what he does.

These are real hosters, although they are mainly used by the military and police. They also just sling around the back over the arms, whereas I would like Michael's braces to influence the shape that they go over the side of the body not around the back.

This was just for fun, but kind of interesting with the one arm and the strap going around the chest.

The next too images are more like what I want, especially the last one as I think the gun should be lower, especially so the strap of the satchel does not interfere with him taking the gun from the holster or tangling up with the brace. Obviously the bottom parts would go further down the body so that they are attached to the jeans rather than acting on their own or behind the back.

From this research I am going to design Michael's boots and brace holster, I think this fitted with his snakeskin hat will start to see the character come together and his attitude really show to the audience.

Michael Clarke Cartoon Style

This is a quick sketch following my research into Jak and Daxter, so I have made Michael's eyes bigger to make him more 'cartoony' and also given him a chin a bit like Hercules in the Disney film. I'm not quite sure about the eyes here and I think it will look better when I have taken more time on the image, but it is a start. He also needs the snakeskin hat, which may be used instead of the leather jacket or interchanged during the film (maybe in a flashback he is in the jacket because he would not need it in the Mayan jungle).

A quick overview of the basic costume, without the hat or jacket:

Reasons for the costume:
  • Cross necklace: I think that Michael would not be an out and out follower of God, but I think he may call on him for help from time to time, especially when battling ancient Mayan kings. He wears the cross as a form of protection, it makes him feel better. It is also stereotypical for boyband members to wear such jewellery and I feel it suits Michael in this way.
  • White Tshirt: the white is to show that Michael is the hero of the piece, and depending on the texturing may have some sort of small design upon it to make it look more aesthetically pleasing as Michael is about style as much as substance. It is a tight Tshirt to show off his muscles and I also think it would be easier to model this way.
  • Jeans with Braces: the jeans again are to do with style and practicality, they are easy to wear without just being practical shorts or adventure wear. The braces are for style (as taken from my Justin Timberlake inspiration), but I also think they could be used as holsters for Michael's gun. I am going to look more into this for my final designs.
  • Walking Boots: about the only truely practical thing in his costume, sensible shoes for any possibilities that he may come across.
  • Satchel Bag: Michael only has one gun so he holds his bag on the opposite side to it. The satchel is conveniant because it holds alot within it (for example some sort of treasure he hopes to find or map book he is using) but again it is more stylish than a rucksack and does not slow Michael down by carrying a lot on his person.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Walk Cycle- Rare

walkcycle from Hayley Allen on Vimeo.

This walk was created using blocked out animation which I had help with whilst at Rare, the rig is courtesy of them.

I think the placement really helped the way I will animate in the future and I will definitely block out using using stepped keys in the future as I think it really helps to concentrate on the posing and makes the animation look so much better. This was especially pushed at Rare and if that is what they do in the Industry then I must try to learn to adapt to their workflow.

The second video shows the blocked out form of a dance sequence from Scream, which i blogged before with Michael and Janet Jackson. I think it looks really good and I am going to try and spline the animation and tweak it this week if I can. I also have a nearly complete weight lift that I will also upload

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Mr. Bean - Mr. Bombastic

This video was just for fun :)

Great character movement though, would be interesting to animate.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Action Poses: My Poses

Action Poses

As I have been looking at poses this week I thought it was relevant to look for action poses as this will fit in with my film.
All of these poses are really stong and dynamic and you can tell there is a lot of force in the actions which is necessary for throwing a punch or jumping. The 3D poses are not quite as extreme, and this may be due to needing more subtlety compared to 2D animation.
I am going to investigate further and draw some poses of my own.

Character Animation Practice: Inspiration

For the last two weeks I have been on a Work Placement at Rare in Birmingham. I have been learning an awful lot about animation, especially when it comes to blocking out characters and putting them into strong key poses rather than worrying with the movement of it straight away.
I think the poses make the animation stronger. In the first week I focused on walk cycles which is especially helpful for my character animation next year as my character movement will be more subtle and realistic. The most important thing I have learned is not to overly apply rules for 2D walk cycles such as in Richard William's Animator's Survival Guide for 3D animation as the movement does not need to be too exaggerated. Otherwise there is too much movement in too short of a time frame and it looks jerky and wrong.
I will be scanning in my notes for walk cyles in my next post, but the focus of this one is the blocking out I have been doing for a couple of character pieces over the last few days. I looked on Youtube for inspiration, and found this jump and short dance section really interesting.

I initally sketched and planned my poses to give me a good idea of what I would need to do first and then began by posing the Rare Avatar rig into the poses. I used stepped keys to focus on the blocking out, only using spline when necessary for example to add in the head turns or movement of the arms which overlapped with that of the body or legs. I did each pose on threes, only stretching it out to match the timeline of the video footage when I was satisfied with the poses and wanted to focus on the timing. The results will be posted asap.

I do like the first jump it is a very strong martial arts type action which may be used in a similar vein for my third year project. The hero could be leaping out of the way of danger or going full force to attack a bit like the Jack vs the Man in Black video I have previously linked to. It shows how a step before the leap is necessary to gain momentum into the jump and also how a landing does not have to be on two feet at the same angle at the same time.

The Michael Jackson Scream video is one of my favourite music videos of all time, and I love the simplicity of the colour scheme being black and white. This would be really effective to apply to animation and perhaps if I was telling an old story I would to make it akin to olf fashioned effects. I was thinking from this of maybe only using a very basic colour scheme of two or three colours but varying the hue or shade of them like the black, white and varying greyscales of the video.
I also think the costumes are awesome, and would be great if I was doing a sci-fi piece. This may be looked into before my presentation.