Thursday, 3 May 2012

Maya Character Assignment - Storyboard & Concept Art

For our Maya assignment we have been asked to design, model and rig a character with appeal. I was originally going to create a candlestick holder but I decided against this as I felt I would not be able to give it the appropriate appeal. I decided to create two plants as my final idea, one larger than the other to represent adulthood and childhood and have these plants interact together in a suited environment.

The Story

The story will be centered on the developing friendship between the adult plant and the baby plant. The baby plant will seek attention much like any typical infant and the adult plant will be disinterested and not interact with the young plant. I felt that if my plants were well modeled in Maya it would be easy to get this interaction and feeling across to the audience.


I gained inspiration to design these characters from the flower characters in Alice In Wonderland as shown below.

I love the life given to the flowers in Disney's Alice In Wonderland.

Despite the fact as part of the brief we are not to use physical faces, I feel that with the appropriate deformers the plants will be able to portray their individual characters. I also gained inspiration from Pixar's short animation of their infamous lamps which interact with one another in a simple environment and show both appeal and character without any form of face.

Pixar's lamps are inspirational, known characters in the animated world.

The Environment

I decided to model a kitchen environment as a lot of plant pots are placed on windowsills and worktops within the kitchen in reality. I did some research into some source images in preparation for modelling this environment and chose to use the below design as my final idea, with a few of my own ideas implemented too. I really liked the white theme in this interior and felt that the reflective objects such as the fridge, oven and microwave would be objects I could create effectively in the 3D program.

Storyboard Design

The above storyboard I cleaned up in Photoshop shows a few of the poses that I hope my characters will use successfully. When I render out the individual images towards the end of the project I will probably add some more poses if I feel it is needed.

Character Concept Art

The daisy will be the younger plant as they are naturally quite small in size. I want to keep the structure as simple as possible for easy rigging and manipulation in Maya. The petals will most likely be flattened polygons which will be duplicated around the sphere center. The stalk will be a cylindrical tube which will be connected to the daisy center. By adding a bend deformer to the character and a rotation controller I will hopefully be able to move the character into its unique poses.

The adult plant will be a Tiger Lily. When I saw the structure of this plant with its unique bends and curls I realised it would be quite a challenge to recreate in Maya. However, I hope to create this character as best as I can and I feel it will make a nice contrast both in character, colour and size next to the simple Daisy.

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