Masters Project – 4 – Characters (Stray Model & Animation Style)

In keeping with the aesthetic of the model for Anna, I’ve created the model to represent myself with the same over exaggerated limb ratios. Although I did say in the post about Annas model that I intended it to have dynamic hair I found this broke the overall look of the character. So the fixed polygon shape of hair that is used in the images of that post is the final look for her character.

I also said in that post that I will be adopting a stop motion style of animation, however during animating this film that rule has become flexible. That particular motion style expresses very well feelings of discomfort or clumsiness in the characters. As the film progresses their motion becomes more fluid as the characters are more confident, or when their is closeness between them.

I also said in that post that I intend to use dynamic cloth for the characters clothing. I do use it for sections of the film, but there are more sections with the characters unclothed. I made the decision to have sections of the film unclothed because I found that it was a more powerful look during the night time section before the birth, as well as the fact that it was spoiling the emotions I was trying to portray in the characters through their movement. The cloth had the affect of masking moments of discomfort or unease. Having the characters naked also gives the sense of their vulnerability, as well as their honesty. However this sense is not apparent to the viewer until they see them clothed (after Arianne is born) in the daytime sections, as the first time they see them they will be unclothed.

The clothed sequences therefore represent moments when the characters motion is more fluid, when they are feeling more comfortable. This clothed/unclothed trigger, along with the nature of the characters movements, are the main triggers that I use to indicate to the viewer both the changes in the environment and in both of us after Ariannes birth.

The last animated character sequence in the first film, although in daylight, has the characters both unclothed again. They are also lit with an additional rim light during this sequence, which gives the characters a slight glow at their edges, this light seems to the viewer to be coming from the left hand window.  This change back to being unclothed during a time of closeness represents the acceptance, as well as the sense of strength and vulnerability, borne from the change in circumstances of being parents to a young child. It also helps the film mechanically as a looping installation piece, as it sets up the viewer for the reiteration of the night scene where they will both be unclothed again.


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