Thursday, November 15, 2007

Re-designing the Titan

I've been over and over and over this I don't know how many times, but I'm going over it again. Sometimes certain character designs just never seem to come easily, and if you've been following all this you probably recall that the design of the Titan definitely falls into that category.

The design of both Pyre and the Librarian seemed to come instantly. And so far even my attempts at designing Mal'Vash, the big bad of the movie, is going pretty well. But for some reason this one character has simply never worked well.

I'm in the midst of yet another design. This one had taken a few other elements into account. Such as scale, I think I was going too large with my original ideas. When he was composited into the shots with Derek standing before him, I couldn't even fit it into the shot properly. Then there was realism, sometimes simpler is better - to a degree. Personality was something I really hadn't considered until I saw how well Pyre had turned out.

So I went back to the drawing board. I had some ideas I worked out, and they seemed good, but when I started modeling the design started to stray a bit...Quite a bit. Once I had what I considered to be a really good start, then I began to wonder if I was approaching the whole thing wrong - did he have to be a giant living statue-like thing? I thought about it, maybe he could be organic looking, like just a big creature...that thought process didn't last too long.

So he remains pretty close to the original idea. Then there was a problem I had with the idea that if he's made of stone, I didn't want it to move like flesh. It's been done before and whoever did it I'm sure got away with it, but I wasn't sure myself. Until I added a new element to the design.

I decided he should look literally like he was a statue that somehow came to life and in order to move he had to be all cracked and broken around the areas that would move - it's a pretty simple concept actually, and it's been done before to pretty decent effect. However, I don't think it was ever really done with something that needed to speak and show character and emotion.

He's no longer 200 feet tall. I just couldn't see fit to do that. I think right now we're looking at maybe 50 feet? Maybe only as much as 20 maybe, it all depends. Still pretty huge by all accounts. I have the head designed and nearly done (a work-in-progress shot is coming up at the end), I'm still working on ideas for the body.

So there you go. There's a few spots where there's some major texture stretching - mainly around his eyebrows. Given that most of his shots will be up angles that shouldn't be too much of a problem. Normally this would be a huge issue, but I'm willing to let it go for this and hope it won't show too much.

I might also tone down the colouring of the cracks in the stone. While it helps in some cases to emphasize the cracks, it comes off a little too cartoony at times. It's an annoying balancing act. In any case, I still have a long way to go.

Meanwhile, I'm getting ready to take care of the last two scenes. I just found out in the last couple days that a good chunk of my extras might be unavailable - the guys from Sketch 22 are filming some of their own stuff on the same day. Luckily I made sure I had way more people lined up then I really needed, so it should work out fine.

That's all for now.

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