Thursday, 27 November 2014

Minor Project: Modelling Progress 27/11/14 - Franklin's New Do

Below are a few screenshots of Franklin and his roughly modelled hair.

I've yet to include some of the details, including how the hair will interact around the ears, although this gives a rough idea of how the hair will appear overall.

3/4 Unsmoothed

3/4 Smoothed

Front Unsmoothed

Front Smoothed

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Minor Project: Rough Delivery Man Design

I've put together a very rough design for the Delivery Man character.

After researching what a 1970s delivery man would look like, I came to the conclusion that being that it is a British setting, the most suitable choice would be a run-of-the-mill English postie.

I may alter the outfit slightly, give the impression that the man works for an independent delivery company, although I think the familiar Postman appearance is a bit more humanising and helps represent the audience more effectively. 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Minor Project: Modelling Progress 25/11/14 - Adding the Ears

I've added Franklin's ear and neck now, as well as restructuring a lot of the geometry. 

The ear will predominantly be under hair, so I've not provided it with a huge amount of detail. Also, I've added an image of the head without the wireframe and I'm starting to worry that its all looking a little too flat. Whilst I work out how to provide the model with a bit more depth, I think I'm going to start constructing the body.

3/4 Unsmoothed

Side Unsmoothed

3/4 Smoothed

Side Smoothed

3/4 Smoothed, No Wireframe

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Minor Project: Modelling Progress 23/11/14 - A Touch of Rhinoplasty

Franklin has undergone a little facial reconstruction, coming out with a brand new nose.

It has shrunk somewhat compared to the drawing, but I think the smaller size suits the overall appearance a bit better. 

Next step is to tidy up the geometry and graft on some ears. 



Saturday, 22 November 2014

Minor Project: Modelling Progress 22/11/14 - Defining the Eye

Now that Alan has adjusted and repaired the general layout of my mesh, I've began to define the eye.

The eye is getting there gradually, although it needs to be polished a bit. I think this may be best left until I've established the general appearance of the other facial features, otherwise I feel I may end up having particular features which don't sit well with the others, i.e. super refined eyes next to a soft and stylised nose.

The mesh is still pretty untidy, but at least the right loops are in the right places. I think some digital rhinoplasty is the next logical step.



Thursday, 20 November 2014

Minor Project: Modelling Progress 20/11/14 - Adjusting Franklin's Cranium

The overall construction of Franklin's head is more or less there now.

I've adjusted the overall shape of his cranium using a lattice deformer so that its all a bit more proportionally uniform, so it looks like I can move onto the refinements, most notably, the gaping void in the middle of his face just begging to become a nose.

I'm unsure of the spacing between the eyes, also. Although this may correct itself when the bridge of the nose and the eye socket are blended together a bit more.



Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Minor Project: Modelling Progress 18/11/14 - Revising the Topology

After receiving feedback on the topology of the eyes, I decided it would be simpler to completely restart the modelling of Franklin's head.

This time, the essential edge loops appear to be correctly placed, its now just a case of completing the general construction and finessing the details. 



Sunday, 16 November 2014

Minor Project: Franklin Modelling Progress 16/11/14 - Starting to Model the Head

I've been tweaking the orthographic for Franklin this weekend, but in the meantime, I've started modelling Franklin's Head.

I've opted to use extrusion methods this time around, ensuring I get the appropriate topology from the outset. At this stage, I've yet to add definition to the brow line, cheeks or nose. That can wait until the necessary topology for the rest of the head is in place. 



Sunday, 9 November 2014

Minor Project: Franklin Outfit Finalising and Hairstyle Possibilities

After posting the various colour scheme options for Franklin and receiving feedback regarding the most appropriate selection, I've decided on the colour scheme below.

In this design I have also added a simple pattern to the woollen waistcoat, as well as a tartan-like pattern on the shirt. As before, I've tried to strike a balance between unsettling, fashionable and period accuracy.

As well as the colour options, I also received feedback regarding the appropriate hairstyle for Franklin. 

I couldn't decide between two styles, nor the final colour, so I've posted several variants of both styles below.

Stylistically, I think the brown option is most suitable, as it doesn't clash with the other colours in the design. Although, from a narrative perspective, I am quite fond of the ginger option, as the associated stereotype plays into the 'social outcast' aspect of Franklin's backstory. Although, this pairing of style and colour scream Little Orphan Annie a bit too loudly.

This is quite an adult hairstyle, which plays to the incongruous nature of the character's construction, as well as the 'amateur hairdresser' aspect of Franklin. There is also something quite unsettling of seeing a young child with such a mature and well kept hairstyle. In terms of colour options, I feel the brown works quite nicely, although the implied 'Aryan' aspect of the blonde helps up the unsettling nature of the character. 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Minor Project: Floor Plan of Franklin's House

Before I can begin designing the aesthetics of the environments, I've had to work out some of the general logistics.

There are several different environments in my animation, though they are all sections of the same place; a row of Victorian terraced houses. 

As a result of the cramped nature of these houses, I've had to generate a logical floor plan for the house so that the transition from exterior to interior doesn't give the house a TARDIS-like appearance, i.e. interior spaces that don't appear to fit within the already established exterior space.

I've also theorised where unseen areas of the home will be. This will help to give the rooms on camera logical scale and a more realistic, natural construction. The idea with this being that whilst the spaces are unseen, in the audience's mind, if they were to walk through one of the closed doors, they would find themselves in the appropriate room.

The neighbouring houses have also been included, as well as the alley leading up to and including the garden. This is to dictate how the houses will naturally connect together, helping inform and encourage a logical exterior design of the buildings.

In short, the purpose of this plan is to dictate and encourage the construction of a natural and realistic environment, both inside and out.

Minor Project: Franklin Outfit Colour Options

Below are a selection of colour options for Franklin's outfit. The colours are picked directly from fashion items of the period and matched somewhat accordingly.

Some of the options are more outlandish than others, pushing the concept of pairing unsettling colours to imply a perpetual sense of dread an unease. Others are more muted, more in line with the muted colours of 1970s Britain.

Reading from the top left to the bottom right, I'm quite fond of the second, fourth, sixth, eighth and tenth options (which doesn't narrow it down by much, but still).

Each of these options seem to lean more towards a muted colour scheme, although I feel as though I need to retain a sliver of the 1970s brightness to prevent the outfit from drifting into the 1940s.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Minor Project: Franklin Hair Options

I've put together some possible variations for Franklin's hairstyle. 

Being that he's an aspiring hairstylist, I felt his hair needed somewhat of a flair, even if he is only a child. 

Originally, a sort of unsettling bowl cut was in mind, although having explored some other options, I'm leaning towards options three and six.

Three has an unsettling hint of flair, whilst six is more in keeping with his age and neglected upbringing.

The final hairstyle will probably fall into place when the rest of his appearance is refined.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Minor Project: Further Franklin Development

I've refined several areas of Franklin's design since my last post. Most notably, he is now a bit more proportionally accurate.

As well as his growth spurt, he has also had a slight change of wardrobe. He is currently sporting a wider collar, slightly different waistcoat and an adjusted pair of flared trousers.

He's also grown a set of facial features, although these are placeholders more than anything, and a bowl cut as opposed to the shorter hair he had before.

Franklin still needs a ton more development, but this is the first time since I started designing him that I've felt he's heading in the right direction.

Minor Project: Refining Franklin

Going from my preferred thumbnail, I've quickly drawn up some refinements for Franklin.

I've chosen to retain the simplistic anatomy at this stage, although that may change as the character is developed.

I started off drawing a character that was reminiscent of the teenagers in Dogtown and Z-Boys, although I felt this didn't really fit the setting nor was it at all unsettling.

Moving onwards, I began looking at more snippets from 1970s clothing catalogues, giving Franklin a fairly loose knitted jumper and flared trousers, although this seemed a bit too straight-laced for the character, not to mention its resemblance to Miles from The Innocents.

Finally, I decided to strip back the baggy clothing and instead, give Franklin a knitted waistcoat and long sleeved shirt. I decided to give him some marigolds to add a little incongruity to the outfit. This is probably my favourite of the refinements, hence the colouring, so this will likely be the design I expand upon.

In terms of overall design, I've began looking at paper fashion cutouts and diagrams in knitting and clothing pattern books of the time. Its a very simple, flat style, but I think it may work quite well in my animation, as a good balance between a realistic, yet stylistic environment.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Minor Project: Figuring Out Franklin

I've put together a few of the more successful thumbnails I've been using to develop Franklin's general appearance.

Taking influence from 1970s cartoons such as Camberwick Green and Ivor the Engine, I attempted to keep the general appearance basic, yet expressive.

Whilst I like the design in the top-centre and bottom-far left, I've opted to use the design in the top-far right, as I feel it hits the right notes of my influences (simple, soft geometry, etc) whilst retaining much of my personal illustration style.

Minor Project: Revised Stylistic Influences

Here is a small collection of my revised stylistic influences. The samples below are a combination of period relevant aspects of popular culture and other things I found visually striking.

In the top left, I've got Camberwick Green, chosen for the simple use of block colour and basic geometric shapes making up the characters.

Next to that is Ivor the Engine, chosen for its use of washed out, painterly textures.

In the centre is a screenshot from iOS game Lumo Deliveries, chosen for the striking cel-shaded lighting, contrasting yet complimentary colour palette and bold, off kilter environment design.

Underneath that is a frame from Mr Benn, chosen again for the rendering of washed out textures, as well as the uniform, yet subtly disorderly appearance of the buildings, thanks to the use of loose, hand drawn line art.

Finally, in the bottom left, is a cover from an issue 2000AD, chosen for the eye-popping realistic, yet stylised character design. Using traditional human characters, with exaggerated expressions and vivid colour palettes, it gives it a very Argento feel.

Overall, I want my animation to have a fairly realistic feel in regards to the character and environment design, but with exaggerated use of colour and lighting to help provide an unsettling atmosphere.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Minor Project: Franklin General Character Notes

These are my working notes for developing Franklin. I tend to design characters in a really uninformed way, so I'm investing more time in the background of the character this time around. 

At the moment, the notes here are somewhat scarce, although these are a snapshot of the working out over several notebook pages.

These notes will be added to throughout the duration of my character design process. 

Following this post, in the near future, you can expect to see some of the visual development for Franklin.


  • Pursue a lifestyle and career in hair and beauty
  • To do what he enjoys, regardless of expectations


  • Nine/Ten Years Old
    • Old enough to confidently perform actions, without being overly concerned about the social implications
  • Absolutely no interest in the expectations of his peers
  • Thanks to his Mother’s obsession with her personal appearance, Franklin has had considerable contact with beauty magazines, catalogues and materials growing up. Whilst his curiosity was in the appearance of women in these magazines, it wasn’t necessarily in the way you’d expect. He was far more interested in the methods employed to transform these women from dull to delightful. Unfortunately, as a result of being reviled by his peers and his lack of local relatives, Franklin didn’t have access to a suitable subject to practice on. This resulted in Franklin poaching his neighbour’s pets and performing impressive feats of beautification, unknown to his parents and peers. 


  • Disinterested Parents
    • Father, factory worker, a-typical masculine figure, interests in cars, football, drinking and sitting undisturbed in front of the television in complete silence
    • Mother, vacant, distant, focused more on her outward social perception than her parenting prowess (unless it can work to her advantage)
    • Both adhering to traditional gender roles
    • Both fairly negligent
    • Whilst they have an indirect influence on Franklin, they’re fairly individual people with very few correlating interests
  • No siblings, cousins or other young relatives that are local

Life History

  • Born into, and currently living in, an industrious English town
  • Extradited by his peers since his early school days for having less than ordinary interests
  • Generally considered unusual and creepy by his local community
  • Although, he is not overly phased by his outward social perception, far more focused and concerned about his interests, hobbies and future prospects
  • Thanks to having no siblings or young relatives that live locally, Franklin has always had very little interaction with children his own age

Research Notes

Design Notes

  • Mismatched clothing, as a result of having to dress himself
  • Suppressed confident presence
  • Gender ambiguous outfit choices (Nothing too masculine, nothing to feminine)