Thursday, 22 September 2011

Art Direction and Style

Today's update on art direction and style is a look at the superb short "Alma." This short by Rodrigo Blaas has a stunningly dark world and an extremely creepy narrative. However, the reason why I think it is an important piece to study is it's style. The real stand out feature of this film that I feel is relevant is it's textural quality. These small details are what we need to achieve, they take the animation to the next level. The mix of realistic design aesthetic and unique character form make this piece stand out beyond most shorts.

Alma from Rodrigo Blaas on Vimeo.

Check out the official site to get a closer look -

A Gentleman's Duel
We looked at this short a while ago, and it wasn't until today that we realised it follows a very similar style to our new story. The English character is the perfect stereotype of the classic "gentleman" and so our own writer must exhibit some these qualities. The style has a very clean look, with soft forms and highlighted faces on geometry. This can be seen within the characters faces, they are smoothed but accentuated by the flat planar forms seen on the nose. Check out this article for a great behind the scenes look at the short -

The animation was created by Blur studios and demonstrates not only great character design, but amazing style. The beautiful setting adds to the comic narrative perfectly as we watch these two giants battle for a girls affection. 

This is also a short that we should study closely as it is animated with amazing timing. The characters movements and facial animation are what make the narrative work so well, and with one character we must ensure that we animate to perfection.

Team Fortress 2
This game is mentioned almost every project as a source of inspiration for art direction. But it is something that we can really study as it is a game that has been designed beyond belief. The game itself is great fun, but it stands out because of its art direction. The characters are designed to the smallest detail, all unique and stunningly modelled. Their silhouettes allow them to stand out in the chaos and they follow similar rules to the film above. The characters are clean, both in texture and form. The angular designs often allow for definition, but they are not in anyway off-putting. This link gives an idea of how well crafted the characters are -

Check out the short below to see not only the designs in action, but the comedy created with such great characters. Each character has been animated in a short animation like the one below.

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