11 October 2008

A Character's Journey

It goes without saying that things change as you work on an idea, especially something like a film. There are so many variables, from location, time period, character, plot, and music, to name a few. My thesis story has changed a few times since its original incarnation, and with that, the main characters have changed as well. Here's a look at how the main character has evolved since August.

The very first version of the story was about a man stuck at sea with no supplies, no wind, and no land in sight. He was much younger than than he currently is, and except for a few seagulls, no other characters made it into the film.

While trying to design this younger man, I doodled this older guy. Something about him made me laugh, and I liked him. At an earlier meeting, Howard (my advisor) had suggested making the man older and introducing more characters. I decided to keep working on this design and see where it would take me.

The design is a little tighter now, but lots of variation in his head shape, face structure, and hair patterns.

Now I was starting to get somewhere with him. I decided to take it a little more towards the "cartoony" side of things. It's easier to animate simple shapes, and I felt that a more basic look for the characters would balance out the backgrounds, as well as make Howard happy. Besides, I love dot eyes.
So now I was here. At this point, the setting of the story was much different, so his clothes reflected that. But in the third and final version of the story, the setting changed from somewhere in the Mediterranean in the early 1800s to somewhere off the coast of Maine in the 1890s. With that, he got some new clothes.

Everyone that sees him says that he's Howard himself. I can see the resemblance, but I don't think he's quite his twin. Don't worry, when I draw Howard, you'll know it's him. For now, we've got this guy.

Next post...how the story came to be!


Shannon said...

Dot eyes are very you :-)
I love how I can look at your drawings and your style just comes through.
I am excited to see what else you come up with :-)

Ms. Sandy said...

this is looking really great elyssa :) can't wait to see the final result :)

EunQ said...

His expressions are soo sweet...
Hope he is happy!