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Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
edited August 2010 in Artist's Corner
It's time to dust off my "New Thread" button and ask for some crits on a couple of character and design elements. Some of you may recall this pitch poster contest back in June that yielded some pretty favorable results.

Not too shabby for literally overnight work (and Jury Duty the next morning). Winning the contest has helped us gain some clout around school so that we're not producing a three minute short film, in house, based on our pitch. What this means for me is that I get to spend more than a frenzied evening actually developing the character models. I've got a couple to post in thread gradually, but I'd like to start with Monkey first.

I won't give much of an introduction, other than, of the models below which does your gut prefer? Square chin or Pointy chin?

2cngkt3.jpg2irx3f4.jpg


In addition to that, what other general critiques does anyone have. What works for you, what doesn't? I wanna let people answer before I discuss anything about the character. Thanks in advance.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
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Posts

  • TamTam Le Buggeur Risible Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I don't really have a preference either way, but there's something about the line weight that's bothering me. It's uncoordinated enough that I think it's detracting from the piece. It's hard to be specific about this, so I'll try going over some of the lines to see if I can "fix" it.

    edit: I think I might know what it is that's bothering me- the line weights aren't very suggestive of the form.

    Tam on
  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    I guess I'm still getting accustomed to the Intuous 3 I got last month, so if you have any advice in that respect as well I'd appreciate it. I haven't used a tablet this much in a long time. I'm still accustom to analog materials.

    In addition, I think the line weight really shows just how many times these designs have been edited with the committee's suggestions.

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
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  • TamTam Le Buggeur Risible Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Going over your lines, it turns out it's really your joints that were fucking the whole thing up:

    wbe0br.jpg

    also the right mutton chop just looks funky

    Tam on
  • Guy BellGuy Bell Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    When you flip it horizontally you see you need to adjust the eye.

    Guy Bell on
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Go with the square chin.


    He looks like a more respectable intelligent monkey with a cut chin than an effeminate one.

    Godfather on
    0WBv0.png
  • TamTam Le Buggeur Risible Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    really doesn't make him look any more intelligent

    more confident maybe

    Tam on
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I was going for more distinguished, but sure, why not.

    Godfather on
    0WBv0.png
  • ChillyChilly Registered User
    edited December 2009
    I like the square chin because it's easier for me to imagine the monkey in "The Thinker" pose that way. Which is how I imagine all monkeys, fyi.

    Chilly on
  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The square makes his face more unique than the rounded chin. Still there's not much between the two.

    Mustang on
  • ChillyChilly Registered User
    edited December 2009
    The tapered chin reminds of when the boy in Jumanji turns into a monkey.

    Chilly on
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited December 2009
    the committee's suggestions.

    ughhhh.

    I like the pointy chin better, but I liked the design from the original poster the best, with the unique sort of muzzle shape. Square chin makes me think of Hellboy, (and I like Hellboy, but it doesn't seem like it fits the suit-wearing monkey character), pointy makes him look more clever and less thuggish.

    Also I liked the original eye design better, where it felt more like the eyes were spherical objects- they seem to have gotten flattened out to where they're more just 2d shapes, like Dragonball Z eyes.

    So my advice is fuck the committee, basically.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • DeeLockDeeLock Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I agree with Bacon, I definitely like the original design better.

    If I had to choose however, I'd say the pointy chin one.

    PS: Do you still go to AAU? I start in February. What department are you in?

    DeeLock on
  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    the committee's suggestions.

    ughhhh.

    Yes. Yes. It has been, at times, very frustrating. But it's also been very beneficial. Mostly frustrating at the moment.

    So, taking some of the suggestions into consideration I sat back down and tried to rework Monkey's muzzle. I'm taking him more away from his Chimp look and trying to make him more of a, well, Monkey. As ambiguous as his exact species type may be. I don't want him to look thuggish, but rather crafty and cunning. Below, my latest attempts and then a bit more about who his character is.

    2n0kfp4.jpg
    2a0nosx.jpg
    The Monkey in full color ended up being my favorite pic. He's got that quality that suggests perhaps his mind is busy carving away at something grand (Also, one Internet Dollar do anyone who can tell me the actor he resembles there).

    dwz8g7.jpg
    1127ha8.jpg

    Who is this Gentleman Monkey?
    Monkey's deal is that at the start of the series, he is property of the Royal British Museum. As a super-intelligent simian, he lives in a cage with many affectations of a stately gentleman's manor, sneaking out at night to read books and generally satiate his taste for learning. The lab techs and other comers-and-goers don't know the degree in which Monkey is intelligent, and so mostly disregard him as being a failed attempt, and ultimately a waste of time.

    When Robot arrives, Monkey is quick to befriend him and they begin a tradition of reading together during the after hours of the RBM's normal operations. The 3 minute short prologue we are producing is about Monkey & Robot's escape from the RBM after they discover some sinister plans to which they will both surely meet their ends.

    He wears a suit and has a cane, and I'm pretty certain he'll be animated with a hunched-over walk/appearance. This is one of my motivations to make Monkey's appearance be on the rather young side, because it will counter balance what will otherwise make Monkey appear as an old man. He also runs around with a 16 year old girl later in the series, so the younger he can look, the less pederast it'll come across :lol:

    Suggestions and opinions are greatly desired and appreciated.

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
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  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    DeeLock wrote: »
    PS: Do you still go to AAU? I start in February. What department are you in?

    I do indeed, and with any luck I'll be able to figure out my financing/working/living dilemma and keep going there. Department wise, I'm officially Illustration, though with this project I've been doing a considerable amount of moonlighting in Animation.

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
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  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I'm getting the impression that you're trying to go for a TBAS: Riddler or Clock King feel for this guy?

    If so, I'd decrease the height of the eyes from the bottom, the amount that they're open, so that they look more deceptively cunning.

    ManonvonSuperock on
  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    No sir, Manon, that thought hadn't crossed my mind but now that you bring it up, I'm going to look those guys up again.

    EDIT: Oh man, both of those guys are great refs for drawing bowler hats!

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I like where you're going with some of the newer versions. Maybe keep trying some different facial expressions to really hammer down the character.

    earthwormadam on
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    yeah, they both have the bowler hats and are both notoriously crafty and cunning.

    ManonvonSuperock on
  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    it looks like a simian version of middle-aged scrooge.

    bwanie on
    w98zzq.jpg
  • Daniel_ArayaDaniel_Araya Registered User
    edited December 2009
    I like the pointy chin version that you've got colored, but I can't say which one is really better without knowing the real context of the story.

    Daniel_Araya on
  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    The design process on this has been rather frustrating simply because I have a partner, and I take his concerns with design into consideration. However, his criticisms of some of the designs has kept me going back to the drawing board, and as frustrating as that is I also feel like it's made me a better artist, so that's good.

    Here are the latest revisions. Something I've had to keep in mind the whole time I've been designing is that the characters are to be recreated as 3D models eventually.

    2pqm4ur.jpg

    2e52laq.jpg

    Monkey's whole character trait is that he is a super-intelligent simian that has been held in captivity by the Royal British Museum for years. He yearns to be more human (or rather, more Gentlemanly), and tends to over reach when acting the part. He's super smart, but naive and a lot of this derives from his captivity. He often thinks he knows best simply because he once read a book on the subject, and fails to see where real world experience is often more valuable.

    The epitome of this is what I tried to capture in the portrait above.

    People generally liked the pointy chin better, as did I. As Ahab mentioned, he looked like a thug with the square chin and of course as I worked on these that's all I could see. So I tried to find the best balance between the two of them, which I feel like I achieved.

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
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  • DeeLockDeeLock Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    i don't think that we would see as much under his chin as we are...seems a little off.

    DeeLock on
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited December 2009
    The thing that gets me the most, and this isn't so much a design thing as it is a general drawing thing, is that it feels like you're rushing the construction on these in order to get to the inking, and as a result most of them feel more like series of lines, rather than series of volumes.

    For example, in that last one, the cheekbones on each side don't tie together in perspective, and one appears to be much more prominent than the other. And on the left eye, the line defining his upper lid goes straight across, rather than showing a curve around the eyeball, thus flattening the entire area out. Also the bottom lids sort of sit at different angles, and not in a way that makes me thing that's a result of an expression- it just makes it look like you drew one eye, then forgot what shape you made it when you drew the other.

    3d guys can't really use 2d design tricks, so you have to give them something robust and unambiguous in terms of form. Like if you tried to replicate the expressions here in 3d, there are so many lines here that are hard to figure out how they relate to form, it would probably make it look like the monkey's face is melting.

    This is why I thought the original poster design was the best- and remains the best- of all of these. It's simple, it's expressive, it's solidly constructed, which means it'd be much better to animate with, in 2d or 3d. It feels like you're being pushed away from what's important by being made to focus on nitpicky stuff.

    Did some quickie sketches here going off your latest, trying to maintain volume by making the eyes obviously spherical, by tying the volume of the cheekbones together as a solid sort of curved box shape, and having the muzzle be a kind of egg. Broke the line from the cheekbone going to the brow up into two sections to get the added volume of the underside of the brow. Also added a bit of brow ridge when the expression demands it, having the brows defined only by a single line feels like it could feel weak in certain cases. Threw him into a couple poses to see how it holds up under strain.
    mars_monkey.jpg

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    That's fantastic, Ahab! What you did and spoke of in terms of volume is a tremendous help. It's not that I'm in a rush to get to the inking more that I don't always know what I'm doing exactly, so I appreciate the sketches you've done.

    A couple of those look like you, and I find that mildly amusing.

    I'm going to go back and try to make some readjustments with those things in mind. Thanks.

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
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  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Yeah, I was gonna point out the flatness of these sketches, but Bacon covered it better than I ever could.


    I would suggest playing up the expressions a bit, as Bacon's seem a bit too subtle for an animated show.

    Godfather on
    0WBv0.png
  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    Here's a WIP of some of the changes and attention to volume, per Ahab's advice.

    senmlf.jpg

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
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  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited December 2009
    I'm not sure you've quite got the idea here yet- you're still just moving lines around, rather than building things from the ground up with forms.

    I don't know if you've got the Preston Blair book Cartoon Animation, but what I'm talking about is basically what he goes over in the first part of it. Constructing a drawing with forms, actually going in and drawing the head as a sphere, eyes as spheres, cheeks as a curved rectangle shape, muzzle as an egg, and making sure that those simple geometric shapes read solidly in perspective, before worrying about stuff like eyelids or brows or lips or whatever.

    Because I've got the basic form construction, when I do add those details, it will just be a matter of wrapping them around the forms I've already got. I wrap the eyelids around the eye, I wrap the lips around the muzzle egg, I wrap the brows across the cranium. Everything correlates to the centerline of the head, and every feature is correlated across to the other side of the face- left tearduct to right tearduct, left corner of the mouth to the right, top of brow to top of brow, tip of ear to tip of ear- it all runs across in the same perspective. Every new detail follows the same perspective and principles as the basic forms- for example, I could think of the hair on the bottom of the face as two separate triangles of fur, with nothing to do with each other; but to increase the idea of solidity, I connected them together when drawing, making for a big, solid banana shape. It's easier to wrap my head around figuring out how a banana is going to rotate in space, than it would be to figure out how two ambiguous triangularish shapes would. I could think of the nose as a line running down the face with a pointy shape at the end, but I don't know how that would work from every possible angle- instead, I worked it out as a box.

    Now, obviously, things are going to change when you start putting expressions in there, but certain things that never move (ie: cheekbones, tearducts, ears, etc.) need to be put in their proper perspective, and having the ability to solidly construct figures in this manner is going to be essential to being able to pull off those expressions without losing solidity.

    Being able to draw basic forms in perspective accurately means I can throw my figure at any angle in perspective and maintain a solid feeling result, something that would be impossible if you only concern yourself with lines. You can have some pretty lines that look great from one angle, but if you can't move it in space, you're going to end up with some really really bad animation/models as a result.

    marsmonkey2.jpg

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    Thanks, Ahab. I hear what you're sayin', but just keep struggling with it. Trying to maintain the structure and keep the monkey on model is also been tough for me. The draw over is great though, thanks.

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
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  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    I guess it's worth noting a quick swerve to the burbs on this logo design:

    2nronk0.jpg

    And after thankful input, it now reads better as:
    dmy49g.jpg

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
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  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2010
    So, as many of you know Monkey & Robot has gone into full production. Wondercon is coming up and we have a big presence prepared for the event, but one of the sticking points for me right now is the Soaring Bigtop logo that I designed.

    For its purpose as Barnaby Bros Flying Circus, it's perfect, but I'm trying to adapt it into an overall series logo, with the title being something akin to "Monkey & Robot GO!". I really like the branding of the Soaring Bigtop, but it feels really flat and not very dynamic, and even more so when I just wrap some text around it.

    I'm starting to hit a brick wall on this one and wonder if anyone has any input they can help sparks some new ideas with. At this point, honestly, nothing is out-of-bounds (except weiners).

    This is some of the rough attempts I've come up with, take a look. The idea remains to evoke the late 1800's, and that era circus/carnival culture, but also trying to be dynamic. It's either a good jumping off point or a lesson in what not to do :?
    264nnrc.jpg

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
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  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    monkeyandrobot1.jpg

    monkeyandrobot2.jpg

    monkeyandrobot3.jpg

    I don't know if these will help.

    NibCrom on
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I don't think any of those work to be honest.

    All 3 of them are far too cluttered and unbalanced.

    Godfather on
    0WBv0.png
  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Mmm yeah the tent logo looked nice, but I was wondering how putting all that text with it was going to work. ATM they just look shoehorned in there.

    earthwormadam on
  • DrIanMalcolmDrIanMalcolm Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Just an idea; you could flatten both of the wings and try resting Monkey and Robot on top of each wing with GO in the middle of the actual symbol. Also in general I don't think you really need the tent flap since you already get the idea with the striped big top, and along those lines the cloth texture seems unnecessary too.

    I like the overall shape of the logo though!

    DrIanMalcolm on
  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2010
    Thanks for the input guys. I gave some of the suggestion a try, but am still ultimately stumped on that one. I think I just need to really think on it for a while, which is fortunate I guess that I've got some more time to again.

    Here are some of the works I noodled with:
    29f7dp4.jpg
    They're servicable for now, though ultimately I'd like to move away from using the Soaring Big-Top as the series logo.

    Here's a WIP from an upcoming poster (though there's more to it than this now, but its on another HD apparently):
    mre4ac.jpg


    And now for the exciting stuff! Some model sheets and finished renders!
    10wsjmf.jpg
    This is the model sheet/color study I did and passed along to one of my modelers, who in turn knocked it out of the fuckin' park!

    10rv4sx.jpg
    I'm utterly in <3's with this model. I can't wait until this bitch gets rigged.

    Lastly, our intrepid hero is finished!
    qsl6qo.jpg
    Somewhere I have the model sheet for this I'll update with later so you can see the comparison. Once again, the modeler took my designs and through a complicated ritual of magic and alchemy created a brilliant model.


    I <3 my team!

    More to come as I get the renders back and can compile them.

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • NoodlesaladNoodlesalad Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Reminds me of that futurama episode:

    http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/Guenter

    Noodlesalad on
  • Nineteen HundredNineteen Hundred Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Wondercon is coming up and we have a big presence prepared for the event

    Hey, what happened to this?

    Oh, and I think I told you this, but these are looking awesome. Can't wait to see it all in motion.

    Nineteen Hundred on
    There was something important here. It's gone now.
  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Wow yeah those look pretty incredible. What are you going to be using them for?

    earthwormadam on
  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2010
    As evident by the amount of time I spent hanging with you, and not at a booth, it didn't pan out =(
    The powers-that-be shut the idea down in the 11th hour, but fortunately our department director is taking steps to avoid that sort of fallout in the future.

    EWA, this is for a short film based on a cartoon idea I'm helping put together at school. With any luck it'll lead to something and eventually I'll be making that Lando Calrission money...

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • DrIanMalcolmDrIanMalcolm Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Both of those models look great

    DrIanMalcolm on
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