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Monday, November 19, 2012

Design Practice 3 - Virtual Environments : The Brief

TITLE: "Of bots and bananas"
TARGET: Design and produce an 1 minute animated video where a humanoid robot walks, slips and falls.

When I was handed this brief for the first project of the 2nd year I was ecxited while I was reading it and slightly dissapointed when I finished reading it.
Firstly, I was(and I am still) excited with the prospect that I will work on a humanoid structure and movement, wich is something I was really looking forward to. Finally, the slight disappointment was because of the concept "and bananas", but I will not and I can't let me dwell on it since I will always have to face customers that will ask me to do something I might not like. So that's a good practice business-wise too.

As for the first thoughts now, before even taking the time to research about the project.

Character design - Brainstorming phase

The first thing that came up on my mind after reading the brief, was a robot mixed from two or three robot-like figures from games I ve played in the past.
  • The face of Kabal (Mortal Kombat hero)
Generally I personally like masked heroes from games from a very young age and Kabal was one of my favourites too. I also thought that the structure of the mask could help with the facial expressions of my robot-character if i will be able to do something about the mouth part of the mask. I also like the Sub Zero/ Scorpion mask from later versions of Mortal Kombat but I think I ll go for this one as it is good looking and close to what I was thinking.



  • Body
When I got home after the brief I managed to sketch a character close to the one I was thinking earlier that afternoon during the lectures. While searching for some photos on google, I ended up on this one. I will soon upload pictures from my sketchbook aswell. I just don't have a scanner and I must go on a bookstore so I can have them in a digital format too.



Script creation - Brainstorming phase

At first I was like "Okay, A robot slipping on a banana and falling. How funny. NOT". Okay thats the part of the disappointment for me, I have to try and overcome this with something that will cover this so I can be productive. A creative script would clearly make me happy but just how easy is it? Depends on many reasons. So, here are the first scripts that I thought. Just the conclusion though without the funny scenes etc. just the general idea. I still can't choose between them because I don't know what's the best and more appropriate for the project requirements.

  • A robot in a private gym excercising. Taking a break and opening the fridge to eat a banana. After he is done he gets the garbage and goes outside to throw them in the trash can. As the garbage bag is in the air the banana peel falls from the bag and when the robot goes back he slips on it.
  • A huge robot wearing a t-shirt with the German flag on it is chasing some smaller robots wearing t-shirts of Greece, Portugal, Italy, Spain etc. The small robots are smart enough and manage to escape to a small street where they can't be seen from a huge robot, after they are trying to go further away a tiny robot wearing a  French t-shirt is throwing banana peels on the street. The small robots slip on them and fall down and they are captured by the big robot.
  • One robot is making fun of another one that carries handles. The robot with the handles challenges the bully to a race. They start to run and the robot with the handles is ofcourse loosing but after some seconds the bully one slipps on a banana and falls down and looses the race.
Thats all my first thoughts about it without doing any research. Tomorrow I will update my blog with uploads from sketches and the reasearch I ve done until now wich will be and the final decisions before I start designing the final scenes in 3ds max.