Monday, 23 November 2009

Research! - Continued

(dated Tuesday, 20 October 2009)

Firstly, let me apologize for the quality of this picture. Photobooth likes to make books look super shiny. Urgh I look awful haha!

Anyway, this is a page from a fantastic art book featuring developmental art for the very popular Studio Gibli film, "Spirited Away". I am not a big Anime fanatic, but I couldn't resist using the character Yubaba as some kind of reference for this project.

She is a very interesting character in the film. She is a magical sorceress who turns the heroine Chihiro into one of her slaves and commands her to work in her bath house. She is very unpleasant and calculating, and has a rather grotesque appearance.

Her first distinguishing feature is her head, which is about the size of her entire body. All her facial features are incredibly exaggerated, and a great amount of detail into all the wrinkles and sags of her excess skin has been focused on when animating her. Because of this, Yubaba is an incredibly expressive and potentially frightening character. She is seen wearing a midnight blue gown during a lot of the film, which denotes nobility and mystery. She also wears a lot of jewels and rings, which suggests that she is rather wealthy and greedy.

In terms of relating her looks to my own development for my character, I think it has made me realise that I am incapable of putting that amount of detail into my own character, since we have the limitation of making our characters look like they're made of plasticine/clay. It is possible to make my character look really wrinkly, but when looking at Aardman films such as Wallace and Gromit (as researched by Tom in a previous post) you hardly ever see really wrinkly characters. This is possibly because its just too difficult to retain that detail when creating claymations.

Is it just me, or has my nose doubled in size in the 2nd photo....?

So yeah, you might not be able to see clearly from the above photograph, but this is a page dedicated to the Character Mabel who features briefly in the Pixar film "Ratatouille". These illustrations are also taken from an art book.

In the film, dear old Mabel wakes up and accidently unearths a hoard of rats in the ceiling of her kitchen. She is repulsed by her newly-discovered housemates and takes extreme measures to get the vermin out of the house. Since most of the film is dedicated to Reimi the mouse, we see from his point of view the fear he has for this dangerous human being, and how she has driven him and his family from their "home".

Our first impression of Mabel is that of a sweet old lady who wouldnt hurt a fly. She has big glasses that make her eyes look a lot bigger, a pointed beak-like nose and, to contrast this, a very small mouth. she has very short limbs and is the same can be said about her height. She is wearing a nightdress, hairnet, and a pair of big fluffy slippers, all of which are shades of light pink. This gives the viewers the opinion that she isn't very strong and would be rather limited when trying to herd a load of wild mice out of her house unaided.

However, our preconceptions couldnt be more wrong. She whips out her shotgun and attempts to shoot the poor things. She seems to have a whole arsenal for such an occasion, even trying to gas the critters out!

I think this is a fantastic example of what I want to base my Grandma on! I want her to look elderly and fragile, but actually have the vivacity and energy to exceed expectations.

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