character design

Remodelling of the head

A quick post before the final hand in. As I wasn’t satisfied with my final animation, and my character in general, over the last few weeks I was working on improving it. One of the changes that I did is slightly remodelled character’s head and his face. I’ve also gave him different eyes. As we can see his faces isn’t as “boxy” as it was before. His face looks smoother, at least to me. Removing few edges from his face and keeping it quiet low when it comes to edge count also helped when it came to creating blendshapes, something that I’ve struggled with with the previous model. The eyes bring completely new appeal to the character, actually having an iris makes him look more alive and in my opinion is just more aesthetically pleasing to everyone. Their shape changed as well, as you can see below. They’re much more spherical than before.


Exaggerated facial features and problems with them

In my research I found that exaggeration plays an important role in animation, it’s even considered to be a part of 12 basic principles of animation. Realism can be considered to be dull and static, especially when it comes to movement in animation and exaggeration takes it to certain extremes to make it appear more entertaining and exciting, especially when characters are designed in a cartoony style, rather than photo-realistic. I’ve noticed it in my work from my undergraduate degree when it was lacking exaggeration and the results weren’t as good as expected. But exaggeration doesn’t always improve the work straight away.

For my final project I’ve decided to design a character with exaggerated facial features, and while large eyes and bigger, overemphasised eyebrows bring some results and make a character look more interesting, more appealing, but in my design I was too concious and instead of focusing on one style, I was trying to balance between photorealism and cartoony, caricature style. This started to cause some issues when it came to doing blend shapes. Getting some particular mouth shapes turned out to be harder than I’ve initially assumed. Character’s high and emphasised cheek bones give him some charm, make him look slightly different than a typical character, but they also limit some of the facial movement. That’s something that I didn’t considered while designing the character.