Thursday, 29 March 2012

Transcription - Tail Development


As with Arm and Leg, started by exporting and straightening the block-out model tail.

The carapace on each vertebra was refined by bevelling the edge loop round the center, then adding edge loops to sharpen the edges (same technique as used on the torso carapace plates)

Spikes added to tail club; to keep polygon count down, each spike is a cylinder with only 4 axis divisions.


Block-out model used as a guide for refined model, with added chain guides and pulleys for mechanism.  Shape based off dinosaur vertebrae.


Since the conection between vertebrae wasn't worked out in the concept picture or silhouettes, I brainstormed for a design that would allow enough movement.  Ball and socket designs didn't match the sharp-edged design of the rest of the model, so I ended up with a symetrical hinge arrangement.
 Modelled connection.
Added connection point to vertebra
Duplicated and transformed master vertebra to make rest of tail

Tail Club connection

Trying out different designs for attaching the tail to the club.  Although the top one looks stronger, I prefer the look of the lower design.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Belleville Rendezvous (2003)

The most obvious feature of this animation is the visual style - the backgrounds are a delicate mix of linework and colour; more like a watercolour painting than the line-free backgrounds of Disney and Ghibli animations.  The linework has a slightly sketchy, hand-drawn quality, which compliments the slightly muted colours of the backgrounds.  This "sketchy" linework is carried over into the character animation, without obvious "boils", whilst the shading is mostly simple flat colour without shadows (except where the shadow is cast upon the character).  Since both the animate characters and the background feature similar-looking linework, there is less "separation" between the characters and the background than traditional feature film animation.  In some ways, the style resembles very early American animations (from the 1930s and 40s) - both feature watercolour-style backgrounds and muted pallettes.
Fig 1.  Belleville Rendezvous
Fig 2.  Three Little Pigs
This similarity to early American animation is even stronger in the opening sequence which features a parody of this type of animation (in the form of a "broadcast" of The Triplets from Belleville). 
Film 1.  The Triplets from Belleville

Film 2.  Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

The film world is stylised almost to the point of charicature, with buildings (and notably a boat) stretched vertically to improbable heights, but at the same time they are detailed in a highly realistic way.   The characters are even more charicatured, with the protagonist switching from an almost spherical boy to a stick-thin cyclist with massive thighs; his lanks frame contrasting with the stocky form of his aged grandmother,

Film 1.  The Triplets from Belleville (2003) From Belleville Rendezvous Dir. Sylvain Chomet  At: (Accessed on 31/03/2012)

Film 2.  Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (1930) From Snappy Salesman Dir. Walter Lantz  At: (Accessed on 31/03/2012)

List of Illustrations

Figure 1.  Belleville Rendezvous (2003) From: Belleville Rendezvous On: (Accessed on 25/03/2012)

Figure 2.  The Big Bad Wolf (1933) From: Three Little Pigs On: Jim Hill Media (Accessed on 27/03/2012)

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Transcription - Leg Development


As with the arm, started by exporting the block-out model leg.

Because the leg mechanism is the same as the arm, imported the arm model and flipped the elbow pulleys around.

Sculpted attachment points for chains, along with attachment points for the toes.

Imported a finger from the arm model and adapted it to make toes.

Transcription - Arm Development


Exported the arm from the block-out model, then straightened it to make a guide for the detailed model.

Sculpted a "bone", then extruded a "ring" from the shoulder joint to hold it in place.

Duplicated the bone down and started sculpting the first elbow joint.

Added the pulleys that the chains will go round (basing shape of concept painting); duplicated the whole middle arm down to form the lower arm.

Also added more detail to the shoulder joint

Added rotary joint for wrist and sculpted back of hand.  Attachment points for chains added by extruding.

Moved the block-out model's fingers into position to act as guides for detailed versions.

Straightened out the block-out fingers, then sculpted detailed index finger. Proximal and middle phalanges are same geometry, scaled so that the middle fits inside the proximal.  Distal phalange is sculpted to look like a single-edged blade, and sized to fit inside middle phalange.

Duplicated and scaled index finger to create 2nd and 3rd finger; although the length of components varies, they are still the same width as the index finger.

Decided that the "blades" were too short, so scaled them to be longer.  Also moved a duplicate of index finger into position to act as basis for thumb.

Added an extra section to thumb to allow full range of motion; also added a "palm" to bulk out hand and provide attachment point for fingers.  Proximal phalange geometry had to be adjusted to allow for "joint" with palm.

Realised that the position of the chain achors wouldn't work (the chains would prevent the hand from rotating more than a few degrees) so moved them to the end of the forearm.

Transcription - Torso Development

Back Carapace


Thinned the plates, then bevelled to block-out geometry to smooth the curves.  Finally, bevelled the edges to sharped the corners.  This proved unreliable though, so I switched to adding edge loops either side of the edge to be sharpened.

Process repeated on the hip plate

Chest Armour