My first sketches for the character from term 1:
With character design I started knowing I needed something simple, to not take up too much time of production, but also effective in establishing the story, personality and empathic to the viewer.
As a lot of the environments this character would be in would be blocky boxes, with hard pointed edges and aggressive shapes, I wanted the character to contrast this to show how truly out of their depth they were.
I also wanted it to come across how rundown this character seemed before even starting this huge project of uncluttering. For this room of boxes to get to the point it has, the owner of this room must have had a rough few years, probably working full time, suffering from depression and/or lack of motivation to partake in the 'self-care' act of sorting this mass of boxes that have just been getting larger and larger, harder and harder to deal with.
To show this in the character they will take on a very slumped posture, the kind you would get if were working over a computer all day and then went home only hunch over your phone, do tired to do anything else. The posture will give an added storytelling element to the film, as the character gets closer and closer to the end of the huge task their posture will rise, as if a weight is lifted from the shoulders! I also intend to show this with eye bags lifting about expression changing.
I played with a few different styles
Character Construction Sheets
Designinig construction sheets was very helpful in getting the form of my character more consistent. I had attempted a series of key pose practices using a reference I recorded for the memory scene. I think will be entirely 2D animated so I thought it was a good one to start working with as I complete the 3D models for the rest of it.
Here is my first go key posing without the construction sheet.
Now that I have these sheets to use as reference I will be able to main the same volumes and styles on my next pass of the scene. The turn arounds will help me see the ways the character's face looks from all angles. Although my character will be in 3D for some of the shoot when they are aged up, I still needed to do a construction sheet and turn around to help when I add the 2D parts and toon-shade rendering.
References and tutorials