Obstacle Course – Concept

The last project of the trimester is a 3D animated scene where we have to animate a character in the style of a unique individual of our choosing.  Oh and they have to navigate an obstacle course using various principles of animation and weighting.  The character I chose is Mr Bean.

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As excited as I am to be doing a childhood hero, I’m also apprehensive as this is technically my first ever experience of 3D animation.  And Mr. Bean is a very complex character to animate, all gangly and moves with weird weighting and balance.  Not to mention he can stretch out one simple task for an entire 15 minute episode and I have to get him through an obstacle course!!

One step at a time I guess, and my first step is by completing a rough concept in 2D using simple shapes to get the character moving through the obs course in as Mr. Bean like way possible.  In order to do that I gained as much reference material as I could, even making a short video detailing the various body mechanics of Mr. Bean.  Once I was happy with the amount of reference I had I then began plotting out the obs course in 2D.

I’m not a fan of 2D but I did my best to get certain Bean behaviors in the concept, like his gangly loose hip first posture he has.  His chest is slightly puffed out, his head slightly tilted upwards and on an angle, his arms never quite fall back fully always remaining slightly in front of his hips, and of course the most iconic pelvis first giving him a proud yet comical look.

Pose

Here is the finished concept I did:

After viewing it in class most of the feedback I received was quite warm with people commenting that they could clearly see some of the behaviors of Mr. Bean even the awkward ones like him crawling underneath the wall backwards.  Also the sequence where the character realizes he has to cross the plank over of the void received some compliments from my peers saying they look forward to seeing his panic attack in 3D.  I did however get one bit of critical feedback though, and that was it would be beneficial to have the character ponder more at the wall instead of going under it so fast.  Have him ‘figure it out’ as it were.  So thats it for this step, next step is blocking.

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