A 17th Century Character Design challenge!
As you will see, this month’s and next month’s challenge are somewhat different – but quite exciting I feel, if you’re up for it? We will talk about next month’s then of course but this month is very much a character design challenge – although you can show some animation poses too if you like. The potential of this month’s challenge however is that you might actually see your designs animated by me!
I am developing a new film project that I would prefer not to reveal right now. All I can say about it is that it’s very different, quite dark in character and set in England in the 17th Century! So what I’m looking for is a lead or secondary character/concept design that will capture the feeling of the stylized woodcut images from that time - yet it must also have a contemporary animation feel for it at the same time. It is very much a serious subject, so no out and out ‘cartoons’ please. It is very much more ‘illustrative’ in its styling - bad perspective drawing and all - yet something animatable and original. You may have seen the wonderful job that Tomm Moore and Ross Steward did in turning the art of the Middle Ages into a refreshing contemporary style for their Oscar-nominated movie ‘Secret of Kells’. Well, that is the transformative approach I’m looking for with this challenge – although my project is not as light and innocent as ‘Kells’ was. Instead, if you have seen the ‘Wolf Hall’ TV series, starring Oscar-winning actor Mark Rylance - set in the sinister and intense world of Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII – you’ll get a good sense of what I mean!
I’m looking for a design style/concept art piece that will reflect an animated character that comes from that period in time. But it needs to be styled in a way that will appeal the audiences of today. Your submission should be on a single page (.jpg or .png) file. Adding a background (same period) might help if you have time, although that is not essential. Similarly a turnaround model sheet view of the same character might work too, but again that is not mandatory. Finally, if a static character pose is not as interesting to you, then by all means draw the character in more than one action poses – although again remember that this is not a ‘cartoon’ film – nor a fighting superhero or Anime adventure! Therefore the poses should not be so drastic and stylized as to not reflect the somberness and mood of the time.
Reference & Character:
To help you with this, to the left I have attached a number of woodcut prints that have survived from that time, which will also give you a sense of the subject matter, and underlying styling of the approach I am considering. The top character is the one I most identify with as my leading character. He is in his 30's, an educated man but someone with a quite rebellious streak who was on the side of Oliver Cromwell fighting against the English Monarchy in the Civil War. However he is not a fighter, more of a sensitive intellectual. Puritan by religion (and in appearance) he is also a very compassionate person who would always help the down and needy. (Note: So you can see the reference designs better I have attached a PDF version of them below, which you can download onto your own computer - as long as you have an Adobe 'Acrobat' reader to view them on.)
Winning character may be animated:
The winning entry this month will be considered for use in the film - as a main or secondary character. Although it’s not at all guarantee that the winning design will be used or animated in the film, you should nevertheless submit your design with the knowledge that it could well be. (So please, no legal rights challenges later if it is!) If your design is used however, I will guarantee that you will receive credits in the final film’s title sequence – as well as be paid for your design if I should secure funding for the final project. (Although again, I do not promise to use and/or animate the winning design in the film – a lot will depend on how much I like or feel comfortable with what everyone comes up with.) I will of course publish the winner and finalists, as normal, for this month's submissions - whether or not they are used in the film.
If in doubt, please ask:
Needless to say, please do feel free to ask questions if you need further advice on this unique challenge. I don’t normally post anything on our Facebook group page that is not specifically challenge drawing related but I will post your questions (and my answers) there if I feel it helpful for everyone concerned.
So ‘good luck’ with your character designs, one and all!
|For more details of the reference designs you can download this PDF file to your computer...|
|File Size:||4897 kb|