Sunday, 13 October 2013

Minor Project: Establishing an Aesthetic

Establishing an Aesthetic

In an effort to establish a general aesthetic throughout my animation, I have compiled a collection of influence maps, each containing examples from a variety of different areas of influence. The majority of these influences were drawn from the mid-eighties and early-nineties, although there are some exceptions, which will be explained below.

The Overall Aesthetic
My animation is set during a period where once heralded technology has reached a point of redundancy. Technology has been surpassed by the constant advancement and development that comes with the territory. I've chosen to use technology of the 1980's as a point of focus, being that this was a period of rapid technological development and consistent breakthroughs, as well as the fact that the technology of that period is the best example of technology that was both state of the art at the time, but painfully obsolete now.

These are examples of technology that are both reminiscent of the 1980's, as well as being considered obsolete and redundant. Whilst many of these items were state of the art at the time, at this point in time, they are far past their expiry date. It is this theme of redundancy and passing trends that I aim to include in the overall feel of my animation. I am taking influence from the visual appearance of these items, as well as the idea that many of them serve to solve a problem that didn't exist, such as the Sinclair C5.

Character Influences

Being that the overall aesthetic is influenced by the 1980s, I plan to design the characters in a similar vein. Specifically, I wish to design the Robots with the fashion of the 1980s in mind, looking specifically at the fashion associated with teenagers in films of the time.

In regards to the Male Robot character, I plan to develop him as sort of a nerdy, shy guy, lacking in confidence but overflowing with charm and heart. This will be the general direction the character will go in, but I want to refrain from making the character completely clich√®. 

Being that the Male Robot character is the more outdated character of the two, I plan to design him with a more experimental, underdeveloped, prototype style in mind. The character will not be 100% complete, showing that the robot was more about functionality than style. For both characters, I've decided to use a bipedal, humanoid design, at least at this early stage. Mainly because I want to avoid making them cutesy, tiny things (à la Wall-E), so that any perception of the characters being at all sweet or cute will come from their actions and not their appearance.

As for the Female Robot character, I've taken influence from more icy, mysterious and aloof characters. Characters that at first appear cold and disinterested, but once their intentions are made clear, they become more understandable and more relatable. The appearance of the character will be loosely similar to these examples, but these are more of an influence in terms of personality. 

The Female Robot, being more modern in her design, will be far more refined and sleek compared to the Male Robot, but she will still share an aesthetic with technology that is obsolete. The examples of actual robots above(i.e. not from a film, game or television show), are robots that, whilst they are far more advanced than the influences for the Male Robot, they are also from a period that is now obsolete. They retain a very 1990s feel, which, in the scheme of things, is just as obsolete as the 1980s.

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