Exploring Mood and Environment
I've narrowed down the character to definitely being an anthropomorphic chicken, though his design has not been finalised this is really a matter of milage within the same scope. What currently needs more exploration is the mood of the piece, the overall aesthetic. I'm working looseley, exploring various different shapes and ideas for both environment, particular shots and even some stylized characters.
I familiarised myself a little with chicken farms both on the end of free range and taking a look into slaughterhouses, though brutal, the ones I had looked at were very clinical. The process was interesting and I suppose, sad but lacking in regards to elements that I'd be interested in using for my project. Though could use some further looking into, perhaps less on large scale and more in the vein of manual labour on a smaller farm.
'C' for me really emphasises the danger of an oncoming storm with the strong red and yellow, but I do really like the musky green tones in 'E' and 'F', brings in a sense of smog, a world that does not treat well to those unprepared. 'H' and 'I' are good fun, but definitely giving off a rave vibe that doesn't really fit the context. Though I may not use the style of 'O' and 'P' I'm finding it quite interesting to consider how they could be depicted in 3D.
Further composition and environment tests. Again, finding the musky green tones in 'B' to be something I'm leaning towards. 'D' takes the scale up, making the world almost apocalyptic, run down, falling apart and the chickens have to survive. 'F' Puts them into a dark isolated environment, perhaps inside the barn, almost as if being interrogated or plotting something. 'G' and 'H' were some explorations into the idea of foxes, but using them in the context of a storm, considering them as a shape language for the storm itself rather than a threat of actual foxes. Finally here, 'I' a composition that is dramatic and somewhat impending, the scenery is not quite final, but the colours and the comp itself is something that I'm really feeling for in regards to the storm, this does go more into the realms of fantasy and very much reminds me of Fel energy from World of Warcraft. The brush for 'I' was definitely good fun and gives great texture.
Being fairly happy with the development of ideas I started to block in my main poses that I want in the animation through my animatic. There were some parts that I couldn't quite think of transitions or idle gestures and thus blocked in aspects I know I definitely want and re-visiting inbetween parts later. Some ideas are shots that show the location and the storm going on around it while in other cases I plan to take my animatic as a base for another acting reference video to see what may come to mind.
I was listening to some new music through spotify. Something I enjoy doing as I can sometimes discover pieces that I would not have expected to like and amongst those, pieces that strongly evoke a feeling or mood to the extend that I can almost visualise an animation to the music. I discovered Infinite - Notaker a piece that came across to me as gritty and deep, I was beginning to visualise a cast of gritty war-veteran like characters banded together walking over the horizon, which in turn inspired some ideas for walk cycle motions that I wanted to experiment with in my character. This is both a test for how well the character holds up in motion, his construction and potential for character. I was also able to overcome the hurdle of how his feet would look if the mechanics were that of chicken legs. Though they do look unusual when focusing on them, they seem natural on the character as a whole.