The Brief

The requirements for Project A, Part 1 asks for research into the human anatomy whilst being quite simplistic with drawing as it only asks for line drawings/quick sketches. Statement from the brief: “You should develop your character to at least explore body types (endomorphic, mesomorphic and ectomorphic), gender, age (from child to adult), cultural diversity and even character style (cartoon, ¾ top down, 3D AAA, 8-bit, side-scrolling sprites etc).” This statement is very clear and gives us many ideas and also we can add our own art styles as well as looking into other artists work. For example looking into Pixar Studios work as their characters per film have so much variety of body shapes and styles depending on the artist.

Research

Artists

Glen Keane – Tangled, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Tarzan, Pocahontas.

I really like Glen Keane’s work because he has many body types to think of which coordinate towards the personalities. As an example Beauty and the Beast has objects that talk throughout the whole film and at the very end of the film when each object transforms back to a human they still resemble certain characteristics from when they where an object. A big transformation would be the Beast transforming to a human.

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With most of his work, Keane has to consider different body shapes because of the type of film and the character type/personality. With films such as ‘Tarzan’ and ‘Pocahontas’ he has to consider the shape of the main characters body as their culture can alter their appearance. In the film ‘Tarzan’ the main character lives among Gorillas and grows up with them, therefore he walks like a Gorilla on all fours. Also with Gorillas being quite dominant and they stand with pride he has hunched shoulders and muscles due to his fitness and Gorilla like abilities.

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All of these images have different ways of showing Tarzan.

  1. As a child.
  2. Comparison between Tarzan and Gorilla Body Form.
  3. Tarzan shouting, quite strong and scary.
  4. The muscle structure.

Brad Bird – The Iron Giant

Brad Bird has worked with many people, however he currently works at Disney as a Director, Screen Writer and Artist. When he worked on the film ‘The Iron Giant’ I found his art work amazing because he drew so many different characters to add personality and to add to the story line. He shows a great variation in artwork as he draws the characters together to show the characters height as well as giving some of the characters certain characteristics to add to their personality. Some characters you can judge just by looking at them.

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The artwork above shows:

  1. Character Hogarth.
  2. Hogarth in big coat.
  3. Hogarth being intimidated.
  4. Character Forms.

As you can see Hogarth and his mother have quite soft/round faces; showing quite a delicate side to them whereas the more intimidating and angry characters such as Kent and Dean have sharp/square-like chins and shoulders. Also I like the little features that are added to characters such as Hogarth has big ears and a skinny body (quite child-like) whereas Dean has a well styled beard and wears a turtle neck shirt to express his artist style.

Pete Docter – Monsters Inc., Up

Pete Docter’s art style is very simple yet effective. He uses basic shapes to create a basic character outline. His very famous sketch of Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc. is one of the most simple drawings he has done but using his basic shapes you can tell how the character is developed to the final piece. The same with the artwork from Up; Docter used squares to create Carl Frederickson and in the final film his head was still square.I think that many of Pete Docter’s characters represent their personality.

Monsters Inc. Sully – Big (Scary), Broad Shoulders (Tough), Fur and Light Colours (Soft Side).

Monsters Inc. Mike – Round (Harmless), Horns (toughness), Thin arms and legs (Weak).

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Research Within  Games

The Vin Diesel Effect 

In one of my Games Design Lessons Paul Starkey (Games Design Tutor/Teacher) talked to us about character designs within games. He spoke to us about the way in which games will always have a strong tough character to represent a male and a very slim shaped character style to represent the women. Games can be quite stereotypical, some games more obvious than others. Many discuss the nature of the well-known Tomb Raider known as Lara Croft as over the years she has changed in each game.

Lara Croft – Tomb Raider

LaraCroft 001Lara Croft 002

As you can see from the images above Lara has had many changes from the details in her face, to the shape of her body and some of that is a problem that relates to the when the game was made due to computer programs that the company use and the low quality in graphics. The first Tomb Raider character was made in 1996 and the graphics had a very low poly count whereas now in the 2015 game she almost looks real.

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Nathan Drake – Uncharted Game Series

Nathan Drake’s first appearance was in the very first Uncharted game named ‘Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune’. Many people share an interest of a common debate between Lara Croft and Nathan Drake. The two characters are quite similar as they both look for famous artifacts, are very adventurous characters but the main issue is the way in which these characters are presented on screen.

People think that because of the way the characters have the ‘ideal/perfect’ body and the way in which the camera lets us see a full view of the body is a wrong move because it can upset people as they want to look like that and can be quite negative. Although some believe that’s a good thing because a game is supposed to let us be a different person (rather than being ourself) so that we can escape the reality in which we may be having trouble with. The only issue I have is the way in which the camera usually follows the characters behind; in Lara Crofts games the camera is centered all the time to be focused on her behind when either climbing a ledge or even moving the camera yourself.

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Juliet 002

Juliet – Lollipop Chainsaw

I had to use this character as an example as she is highly made to look very sexual. This character wears incredibly short skirts, has the typical, stereotype cheerleader body and she also makes sexual references throughout the game. There is a feature within this game that makes her look even more sexual; this feature is a wardrobe, you can choose her clothes. Her outfit styles are mostly all the same (apart from the bunny mascot costume) as you can see from the images above. To make matters worse some people even cosplay as Juliet so this can have an impact on others making them feel bad about the way they look.

Quick Examples of Character Diversity within Games

Zangief – Street Fighter

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Cortana – Halo Game Series

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Quiet – Metal Gear Solid

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Axel – Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts

Axel 001

Big Daddy – Bioshock

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The Hulk – The Hulk Game

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