Rapid Development Project – Part One – Character Design

Or, the fun part.

I took on the design of the three major characters for our title sequence. We were originally going to go for the four main characters from the movie (Passerpartout, Phineas Fogg, Aouda and Fix), but we dropped the latter because of time constraints.

As it turned out, he still made it into the backgrounds as an amusing little easter egg.

But anyway. Obviously we had to knock off the style that we were given – in our case, A Kiss from Tokyo – which was a bit of a challenge. I’m not too bad at ripping off more detailed styles, but for some reason this type of stylised stuff kind of stymies me.

So I googled the hell out of A Kiss from Tokyo, then Kevin Dart and started trying to copy that style.

concept 01

(Some really early, really bad attempts! – these are the only ones I kept)

I wasted a bit too much time on messing around with this, so I moved onto coming up with the various outfits the characters would wear. Again, some of these ideas were dropped because of time constraints,

Copy of fog concepts aouda concepts passerpartout costume

aouda test

I also finally came up with a style that I was happy with that resembled the original Kiss from Tokyo style. I’ve always been a fan of that lineless style, but I was surprised at how liberating not worrying about how clean the line work was – that to successfully imitate Kevin Dart, that I had to be deliberately messy and sketchy. It was also great to see how some scribbled lines can be used in lieu of crazy and unnecessary detail – it was a hell of a lot of fun doing the ’embroidery’ on the matador outfit, and I’m really happy with how it looks.

fogg_victorian aouda_indian passerpartout_victorian passerpartout_matador passerpartout_acrobat

And the final characters! These were broken up into their various parts for rigging in After Effects –

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.14.07 AM

I had absolutely no idea how to do any of this for After Effects or Duik and so it took a whole afternoon of trawling through endless videos looking for a straight answer.

I didn’t really get one – there was a lot of competing information, so I winged it and went for what I thought would work best. I figured that so long as everything was kept on its own layer – left arm, right arm, left hand, right hand, and so on and so forth, and that if I had broken them down into too many pieces, well, it’s easier to merge layers than it is to break them up again and fix them.

(This is probably also the neatest PSD I’ve ever made – there’s actual names in there! Names that make sense and correspond with what they actually are and never ever conflict with each other! It’s a habit I’d like to try and keep up – there comes a point where ‘untitled 01 through 86’ and ‘maybe this one’ ‘keep’ and ‘I don’t know what this is’ at 1% just don’t cut it anymore’

And then there was that flip. Oh God. Why is it so damn hard to find reference for a flip from the front? As it is, I’m pretty proud of it, even if it only shows up for literally a second in the finished product.



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