Friday, 11 October 2013

Understanding Characters

After our tutorial, it was apparent that we un-noticeably had more than the two characters as we intended. Though the additional characters were not going to be physically embodied characters that would appear as such, the understanding of their characteristics and attributes would be crucial in developing either their animation, or their voice work.

The Viking
Our main focus regarding animation will be on the character of our Viking as he will feature as the lone 3D character. Our Viking will be the villain of our story, and will take influence from an 800-900 A.D. English perspective, believing that Vikings were 'demons' from another land. With this in mind, we want to create a character that can be perceived as a form of 'natural' evil, but as the same time be likable. Referring to these ideas, we need to ensure our design has the toughness of a viking through the development of a his body build, a somewhat frightening face, and an assortment of props. Additionally, we would also like to base his actual character on something similar to Shrek, where his monstrous looks do not necessarily fit his personality. This will give us an opportunity to create more comedic affect with the Viking, and provide some room to express that he is really soft-at-heart despite his menacing appearance.

The English Bard
The bard is an interesting character. Even though he will primarily only feature as an off screen narrator, we need an understanding of how his character would deliver a ballad, and the way in which this may affect the other elements of the animation. Essentially, our narrative is this character's own personal story who, more importantly, is our story's main 'hero'. With this in mind, this guy needs to be likable and have the ability to be found interesting by an audience and, at the same time, perhaps be able to convey the emotions that he may or may not have felt during the events of the narrative.

The Three Puppeteers
These three characters are going to play a big part when it comes to animating the 2D portions of our production. The initial concept behind these characters is to allow their personalities to play off of one another off screen in comedic ways through visual communication which is suggestive and reflective of their characteristics. After much discussion we decided that using three puppeteers was the ideal fit to our scenario, as the idea of having a clash of trio of personalities allowed for creative developed around the roots of its comedic value, much like the Three Stooges or the Three Amigos.

Ideally, we want to have one puppeteer who will share characteristics of a poster-boy/'perfect student' who is punctual and flawless, another who will be clumsy and forgetful who has awful timing and can be seen as the fool, and then finally another who is a lazy and lack awareness who generally has the 'I can't be bothered' school boy attitude. With these character traits in mind, animating in a style that allows the interpretation of a commotion behind the scene would fit with the rest of the humor throughout.

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