Friday, 18 May 2007

First 15 Seconds

Right, I've had a fairly productive week, and am currently on schedule to finish right now. Managed to animate my first 15 seconds out of the minute's worth of footage, so here's the playblast for what I've done so far.

First 15 Secs - Final Project from Spangles on Vimeo

Here's the texture map I set up in order to compose the action. It's just a movie texture laid on a square, which acts as a virtual cinema screen in front of which the two monkeys act almost like stage 'actors'.

The film was shot at the gallery (thanks to Carol Hambleton and Lee Riley for seeting up the equipment and getting permission). You'll also notice the Purple primate, C, is now yellow, as he would have blended into the background too much, and now J has switched to a fetching lime green.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Invitation Photo

Just set up a couple of 'Invitation' images for our end of term soiree. The first in 3D is just a render of my two characters, now rigged in Maya, striking a pose for the camera.

And the second, is my initial character sketch, buffed up with a bit of photoshop action.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Animatic and Script

The next stage was to write the script. The stand out train of thought points for me were as follows:-

1) It's an ugly woman.
2) Or is it a man?
3) Either way it's invokes feelings of digust and ridicule (it is a cartoon by nature).
4) But if you think about it, it also brings out some pathos, as it seems a tragic situation too.

Wouldya from Spangles

Using these key points I wrote up a script, from the Monkeys point of view, trying to convey all of these themes within a supposedly humorous frame. Casting was simple for me, a colleague Tim McCourt would do one voice (having established that we both had seen these kind of characters down our local pubs), and less convincingly I would do another. After a few takes we managed to get a half decent effort, with which I then produced a short animatic for the National Gallery on the 27th April.

As you can here it differs greatly from the original script drawn up already as the script has evolved:-

First Script

Two monkeys, J and C, are at an art gallery facing us directly.

J:- Oi, oi, look at tha-ha-at.

C:-Gaw, no, she’s awful!

J:- She, are you sure? She’s got a hairline worse than your Uncles Dunston and Clyde.

C:- Oh-ho yes. I bet she can still move at the old, er, tea parties too.

J:- Really? Wouldya?

C:- Oooh, I suppose I’d have to do some of the old mon-key-mag-ic-ah. , a bit of the old cha-cha-cha. .

J:- You’d need a couple of jungle juices though, eh?
Before you…..

C:- Nooo-no-no-no… stop it, there’s kids about.

J:- Before you, er, you know, er, let her, ahem, peel your bananas like?

C:- Stop it. Stop it. Noooo. No-hooo. Well, maybe. Yeah, alright then.

J:- And your nuts?

C:- Too far. You little monkey.

Character Design

With the idea of these two london wide boys in place, I set about the design. The painting certainly has a somewhat simian quality, and as had two London geezers commentating the only choice for me was two "Cheeky Monkeys".

Character sketch

Dimension Sketches For 3D Modelling

And here's the models I rigged up in Maya in their bind poses ready to go.

A second shot, here you still see the tail joint which in the end I didn't skin, as I thought animating the tail for 2 minutes would be a further pain in the arse, and I'd probably have only used it in one shot anyhow.

A transparency to give a greater idea of the skeletal structure.

Side view overlaid on initial dimensions sketch

Final Project Character Concept

After picking the painting, I needed to get an idea of the two characters who would talk about her. With the idea of her being in a suburban nightclub, I thought the characters would be two dodgy, south london wideboys.

Here's a few examples of the kind of characters I had in mind:-

1) Gary Hobbs and Minty from Eastenders

2) Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse
Lee and Lance on Youtube

3) Danny Dyer

So basically one character is slightly savvy, but not too much more so than his mate.