The purpose of my creative habit for this project was to sketch a wide array of futuristic weapons, vehicles, robots and drones. For both reference and inspiration I turned to various images of old G.I. Joe vehicles, Halo weapons and vehicles and various concept drawings that I could find online. The practice of sketching many iterations within a restricted time frame (30 minutes) and attempting to create variants of each sketch has proven to have been a helpful exercise.
This week I centered my sketches around futuristic military weapons. Unlike the first week’s sketches being armored trucks/vehicles for transportation of both materials and soldiers, this weeks sketches are all about destruction except for one first-aid drone. Along with the sketching I decided to go through and give a few of the sketches some labeling to give a better idea of what some of the machines can do. Some are remote controlled, some are free roaming drones with facial recognition and motion sensors and others are intended to be completely controlled by soldiers on the battlefield.
Initially I had suggested doing quick 30 minute creatures in ZBrush. I had planned to look at various types of animal anatomy and bring them all together into several newly created creatures. This would be an excellent exercise for myself seeing as how I’ve put my focus on 3D modeling and the confines of quickly sculpting something within 30 minutes would be an ideal time limit to push myself. However upon further consideration I have decided to abandon this idea and perhaps revisit it at a later date on my own outside of school.
Instead I have decided to push my creative bounds within the realm of ideation and concept sketching. I may be a 3D Animation major with my focus being on 3D modeling but I also have a love for industrial design and most of my 3D modeling reflects this. I’ve taken a few ID courses and have only scratched the surface with what I can come up with when it comes to quickly producing concepts within a confined time limit. Exercises such as this can only aid in my attempts to quickly convey concepts for a given topic.
Over the next several weeks I plan on doing concept sketches for futuristic military vehicles and robots with a confined 30 minute time limit each day. Within the realm of doing futuristic military vehicles and robots I’m envisioning designs that would stylistically be compatible to the designs that have been seen throughout the history of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toy line but also reflect upon current functional designs that are currently in use today.
I’m not sure where to begin with my displeasure of what was presented as a “rough cut” and what will likely end up as the final product. Nor am I sure about wanting my name or image attached to the final product or documentary seeing as how all of the work done by myself and the other animators has been thrown out. Prior to the viewing of the rough cut there was absolutely no conversation about removing our work in any way and thus leaves me feeling pissed. The rough cut that was presented Tuesday is not an example of a cohesive group project in any way. In fact it’s the product of lousy communication and perhaps the shallow and selfish desire to obtain an portfolio quality piece for someone. When we were told that we would work with what we had despite the flaws in it I expected to see OUR work not someones hijacked interpretation of what we had done. Any small amount of respect that could have been earned within this group is gone. What was presented in class on Tuesday I had absolutely nothing to do with nor did any of the other animators. In fact our names and positions within the group have been relegated to “Other Help” which I find to be not only be disrespectful but just down right bullshit. I cant speak for the other animators that I worked with on this project but I cant support this project. Nor am I pleased with having wasted weeks of class time working on the stop motion just to have it removed. As of right now I don’t even have the desire nor intrigue to see the final product unless OUR work is included.
Between last Thursday and this past Tuesday we had experienced several small setbacks that were ultimately overcome in a timely manor. From the very beginning we had figured that our makeshift green screen would have been sufficient for our project and and even after our first initial shots we had thought everything was fine. The person editing our shots together even said that everything was fine but the further we got with shooting our scenes the editor came across several issues that included weird lighting and areas of our green screen having too many harsh shadows making editing difficult. We eventually got our hands on a proper green screen and finished our scenes that way. It’s my understanding that the initial shots that we were having issues with are still going to be used with some kind of effect placed over it. We also had some small structure issues with our puppets but those issues were quickly dealt with by adding more clay to the feet of the puppets and wherever else required more clay such as Poe’s right hand. Another issue that was encountered was with the camera. This past Thursday when attempting to get our scenes shot the camera for whatever reason would not cooperate due to to it shutting off every few shots even though it had a charge and when we attempted to charge it, the camera would still shut off after a few shots. Thankfully everything worked out in the end and we were able to get our shots and also experiment with a few that weren’t illustrated in the storyboards.
As an animator within this group project I must admit that I was rather intimidated by the idea of doing stop motion with a clay puppet however during the last several group meetings the intimidation has gone away and the process has actually been surprisingly fun. We’ve come across a few obstacles such as the puppets not wanting to stand properly (primarily Poe) but the issue was solved rather easily by slightly bulking up the feet with some extra clay. We’ve also come across a few issue with certain angles not really working too well and the camera not wanting to focus on certain puppets the way we had hoped. This issue however allowed for us to experiment with different angles which I think turned out for the better and we were able to get shots from these new experimental angles that helped better invoke the emotions that were aiming for with the original shots. We also tried a few new angles compared to what we originally had drawn up in the storyboards just to see which would allow for a more dynamic range of emotion.
For project #2 we had discussed incorporating stop motion into our film but what we haven’t settled on was the materials to create our character Poe. I’ve done some research and naturally gravitated towards claymation. Most stop motion films that I’ve seen have used clay models and if decide on going the route of Claymation there’s a few things that we should keep in ind. When doing claymation it’s always standard to use oil based clay when creating a character. The oil based clay wont dry and crack. Recommended brands of oil based clay Plastalina, Claytoon or Van Aken plasticine. If for whatever reason we are unable to obtain either of these brands we can always ask for an oil based non hardening clay and we should be good to go. Also when creating a clay model it’s also wise to create a wire skeleton and apply the clay to that. 1/8th aluminum armature wire is recommended when creating a wireframe for the character. This wire is good for pushing the joints into place without having the wire bounce back.
For starters I don’t really know anyone’s name so at this point I cant really make any suggestions as to who should be in what role. This will become easily decided once the groups are formed and the members are named and we’re given the appropriate amount of time to sift through everyone’s weak points and everyone’s strengths. As far as the actual proposal goes I’d like to maybe do a short film done within the horror genre. For the last couple of years I’ve wanted to do a project like this but I haven’t had the time nor the equipment to do. During the last project I’ve seen a few pieces done by other students that seemed like their style would lend really well to a horror related project. I think it’d be really cool to do something that has a 80s Wes Craven feel or something that has a John Carpenter Vibe to it.
This is the culmination of spending several weeks working outside of my normal media which is 3D Animation. I had chosen to do a menagerie and complete three separate illustrations depicting three different Transformer inspired heads. I turned to several different inspirations of mine in order to help out with the design process. Personally I feel as though this project and the time pent working outside of my normal media was a success.