Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Lofax Designs

I was driving home yesterday and Mogwai was playing in my car. Little known fact, but whenever I do work on Lofax I listen to Mogwai because it kept me in the mood to write something really bleak and depressing :D. So I guess after a year and a half of refining this story I sort of developed a Pavlovian response to hearing them play (even though I guess it would be kind of backwards, response and stimulus-wise) And I started drawing more stuff for the main character. I've never been satisfied with his design because the boney cheeks and big jowels just never worked in connecting with the body. The character was always just too cartoony for his own good, and I couldn't keep the piece looking serious. So now I think I've reached a better middle ground for him. He still retains his shape, but he looks much more humanoid.

After I got the face working a little better, I started thinking about the story more and more. And while I think I got closer in the flash short, I still don't think I hit the mark on the aesthetic that I'm looking for with this piece. It's going to take a huge mix of harsh light colors and camera trickery to make this kind of story work. I really want a handi-cam feel to the camera movement as well (like any recent Michael Mann film). It's hardly ever done in animations and I think it would help make the audience feel like they're a part of the movie. But it's really hard to do camera movements in stop motion and Flash, and the kind of money you would need to build such grand sets and motion rigs would be far beyond what I could do with a small group of people.

Then yesterday I had an idea. I was watching The Pearce Sisters and I was marveling at how appealing the characters were, a lot because of the design but mostly because you knew you were looking at animation that was noticeably different, but you couldn't tell how. For those of you who don't know, the animators modeled and animated all the scenes in CG and then rotoscoped every frame. Like I said, what's so great about this method is that while it's dissonant, it remains very appealing and captures the audience's eye. I think I could rework this method of coloring into making a very smooth yet dissonant feel for Lofax and achieve that aesthetic effect I'm looking for. I would have to recruit some 3D work (because I hate rigging), but I think this story could be done in the future by a relatively small production team.

This will of course be a very long road until Lofax comes into fruition. And I don't plan on dumping The Last Mariachi or McDonough by any means. I just know that there will be a lot more that has to go into pre-production for this story than any of my other ones.

No comments: