‘Mashing’ the Character Styles

As mentioned in our meeting with Jude last week-it was discussed that we should create a variation of character styles in our ident. Why is this, you may ask, given that MashMob has a very vector aesthetic? The answer lies with something Jude said last week- the company’s goal is to bring together artists of all different styles, background and with different ideas- working together to create something awesome and express themselves- MASH-MOB- get it?

Jude preliminary mentioned a ‘stop motion’ look to some characters- something which I would love to create with some of the art provided- especially the dinosaur and octopus. On Monday, we met and narrowed down what we thing each character should look like overall- to give to Jude for feedback on the look. We mixed it up as much as possible- given Mash Mob’s reputation and difference in artwork.

Even commented that the idea from Jude reminded her of the song Nobody’s a Nobody from The Secret Life of Gumball (2016). Sure enough, the group of characters have difference in styles- some low poly, paper, 2D and stop motion.

Skip to the last ten seconds for the effect we talk about. (YouTube, 2017).

Fox- paper decoupage/ combination of textures on the underlying graphic.

We loved the idea of bringing together a lot of different textures in the fox character, but keeping the graphic look from the line art on his face etc almost as if it was stitched onto him. We liked the idea of keeping him flat- as if a kid had created him from excess materials.

Robert said this reminded him of both Yoshi’s Woolly World (2015) and Tonko House’s Dam Keeper (2016). The use of a woolly look and fuzziness adds an unusual look to normal smooth characters we are familiar with.

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Yoshi in Yoshi’s Woolly World.

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Characters from the Dam Keeper.

We also looked into stop motion films such as My Life as a Zucchini (2016) and The Fantastic Mr Fox (2009). The differentiation in the texture from the skin vs the clothing is one I have always been fascinated with in Stop Motion. I especially like in lower budget films when the fabrics stitching and threads are still ‘real’ sized for humans and not the dolls, so the cloth sits funny.

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Characters from Fantastic Mr Fox.

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I love the contrast of the knit jumper hear- it really breaks up the textures.

The Chicken/ Hen- home-made puppet.

So, this chicken fast became one of our favourite characters- simply because of the actions it could be animated with. One of our ideas involved the character running in a comic way- legs pushed forward, body bend back to avoid a fall.

This is going to sound like an odd reference, but the Parrot from Spongebob Square Pants (1999 -2017). We wanted to add a kid like element- as if it it was a class project put together. Another reference was the chicken characters from The Muppets (2012).

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The Parrot from Spongebob Square Pants (1999-2017).

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The chickens as seen in The Muppets.

Cassie also suggested that we look at a advert for Good Mythical Morning Chicken. The chicken here looks like a ‘bad’ model- made up from different feathers and fabrics.

The Gorilla- vector/ layered

We decided to keep the gorilla in the MashMob style as we liked it best here. However, we had a few ideas about bringing it into 3D- the use of thicker layers, further apart give a nice depth of shading.

Jack found this nice example, for our niice board, of my favourite character. Sherlock Holmes.

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The use of thicker shapes creating depth here.

Another style we looked as was creating a 3D character but keeping him flat in colouring- using toon shader in C4D or Maya. This is found in a few different clips we found- another from our niice board of a turkey on a treadmill.

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I love his little run cycle.

Another example of this was used through Monkey Tennis and their work. This advertisement for a health film gives a nice flat feel to the overall piece. Something we could play with in our gorilla designs.

VM i velfærdsteknologi by Tennis Monkey.

The Dinosaur- we wanted to go with a clay like look to this character, done in 3D, much like many old stop motions shows including Pingu (1986-2006), Morph (1977- 2015) and Wallace and Gromit (1990-2005).

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The lines on the character show it is made from clay. (Pingu, 1986-2006).

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Smoother shapes but with ‘finger’ marks-showing the characters were once malleable. (Wallace and Gromit, 1990-2005).

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Again, the same textures as above. (Morph, 1977-2015).

The Octopus- 3D stylised.

One of the styles we wanted to include was this 3D ‘smooth look’ as seen in many animations nowadays, including the likes of Warner Bros Boss Baby (2017) and Storks (2017).

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If you look at the skin textures in the human characters from Storks (2016) you can see this consistent texturing- giving a gentler character.

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Again this texturing is shown in Boss Baby. Warner Bro’s animation has really changed its personal style.

We found more emphasis on this style from the likes of Monkey Tennis, a company that I will refer to in a separate post due to the volume of work the we looked at. They have the same smooth look to their texturing- with slight break ups to give a slight rubber look. Below is some of their work.

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I love the colours in this- the actual elephant has moving textures on his body. (Monkeytennisanimation.com, 2017).

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Polygon man one. (Monkeytennisanimation.com, 2017).

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Polygon man two. (Monkeytennisanimation.com, 2017).

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Another clay like man- similar to what the octopus may look like. (Monkeytennisanimation.com, 2017).

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Again the break up of textures on this model make it feel malleable. (Monkeytennisanimation.com, 2017).

Below are a few other references from our niice board. I really like the cactus- reminds me of the polymer clay I used to use as a kid.

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Courtesy of Cecy Meade. (Behance.net, 2017).

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Work from El Grand Chamaco. We really like the gangster models.

Reference

Monkeytennisanimation.com. (2017). Monkey Tennis Animation. [online] Available at: http://monkeytennisanimation.com [Accessed 10 Feb. 2017].

Behance.net. (2017). Behance. [online] Available at: https://www.behance.net/cecymeade [Accessed 10 Feb. 2017].

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