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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

One Piece at a Time

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Ok, so building all of the different angles for a character shaped like a cylinder with a head shaped like a sphere is not that easy.  It took about 6 or 7 hours to work all the kinks out.  But building all the different angles for a character that is shaped like a person is proving to be exceedingly more challenging.

Above you have the pelvis of the Soft Ninja.  Yes, just the pelvis.  Give me a break.

Being able to draw a good character is hard enough by itself.  Being able to draw that same character from hundreds of different angles in hundreds of different every day poses - not to mention the not so every day poses that actually make animations funny - is a completely different task.  You don't just want your character to look recognizable.  You want your character to have "character."  The hands need to look just right.  The way the elbow meets the forearm and bicep need to be just right.  And before you know it a thirty minute task is taking two weeks.
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So here is the pelvis with belt and belt buckle.  I'm embarrassed to say that just adding the belt and buckle took an hour and when I was done I realized it needed tweaking.

Now the method I'm using for a relatively smooth turn is the same as I described in the last post.  I have 12 different positions for the pelvis: Front, 4/5 Left, 3/4 Left, 2/3 Left, Profile Left, 1/3 Left, 1/4 Left, 1/5 Left Back and repeat for the right side.

Now the issue I've discovered with this method is that a real person can turn their leg slightly askew without turning their whole body.  So I will have to have more than just 12 different angles.  For example, if I had a ballerina facing front with her feet in first position (heels touching with toes pointing away from each other on a line) her pelvis would be a Front while her right leg would be Profile Right and her left at Profile Left.  So for each pelvis position I'll have to have five or six different positions for each leg.  The same is true for the arms and outrageously true for hands.  

I've got to stop thinking about this or I'll never finish it. I'm just going to make what I think is necessary and then add new positions as I need them.

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