Monday, December 01, 2008

Skeleton Jack and The Temple of the Terracotta Squid

This post details me and my adventures in The Faculty of FCM and The Project Of Yearly Finality!

Concept Board

Character Design

  • Skeleton Jack

Clearly an homage to Samurai Jack, this oriental treasure hunter is as bad-ass as (that was a mouthful) Genndy Tartakovsky's popular Samurai Jack.

The origins of Skeleton Jack is of yet unexplored and we just have to assume he doesn't eat very much. His anatomy isn't too accurate in the concept board.

Limbs and any articulatory appendages are simplified in order to ease animation.

Lookie, its little ol' Samurai Jack.

  • Gui the Temple Apparition

The powerful apparition which guards the Terracotta Squid. Contrary to what the top image would convey, Gui is not a wugui, therefore is perfectly as untortoise-like as you can not imagine.

Later, I came up with one of those hideous ghost demons that you usually see on Chinese New Year. After a few more sketches I decided to ease my workload by simplifying Gui into something less hideous and slightly more appealing but still maintain a certain level of menace.

I also experimented with a dragon/serpent design but decided that with my inexperience, I would have problems animating the damn thing.

  • Little Baby Guis

Creepy little creatures that are supposedly offspring of powerful ghosts. Only two made it into the treatment so far as having more may convey a sense of "he doesn't love that one as much as that other one"-ness.

  • Temple Guardians

Mechanized guardians of the Temple. Design greatly influenced by robots from the Samurai Jack episode "Samurai vs. Samurai". They have blades for arms and uniform roughly similiar with the Terracotta army armor theme.

Background and Prop Design

The treasure was initially a fruit, a gold ingot and a ruby squid. But ruby squids don't really fit in an oriental setting. Terracotta it is then! Though it's not reaaaally that valuable. Then again, that might explain the ending.

The temple design was based upon a few reference images of pagodas which I didn't save because I sketched on the spot.

I always loved those curvy hills that you see in a lot of "China" tagged images so that's what I plan to use as the main background scenery in the animation.

A treasure hunter, Skeleton Jack, clearly an homage to the Genndy Tartakovsky (I can't get enough of saying that name) TV series, Samurai Jack, finds the Temple Of The Terracotta Squid, grabs the goods, becomes hunted and a spoilerific ending ensues. Now don't tell anyone about the ending. It's only between you and me.

Longest. Post. Ever.


IGGABYTE said...

Using awesomeface other than on protagonists is bad copypasta.

NightShadow said...

but but he is protossgonist.

ZSL said...

I'm more curious as to how you made the ghost's "tentacles" look 3d.

The cartoon was badass and kicked butt, but I cant wrap my head around the tentacles.

I understand movie clips and masks pretty well cause I've been using this software for a long time, but those tentacles swirled perfectly. And even showed sort of a 3-dimensional perspective as they flowed making him seem like a cone.

I can only assume you either found some neat trick using movieclips, used that new flash thing that lets you put 2d objects on 3d perspective, or that you made his tentacles in some other software and exported them as a vector sequence like alot of people do with swift 3d

wow i talked alot and said nothing of value

NightShadow said...

ZSL you are absolutely correct. I did make them in 3DS Max and imported .pngs with an alpha channel in them. I then proceeded to Trace Bitmap on each 'tentacle' frame and as a result, converted them to a vector format in Flash. Glad you liked the tentacles. Heheh.