Tuesday, 10 February 2015


Jacob model with a basic sub-surface scattering, I'll tend to lean towards a more off white cyborg-skin tone in some areas. Also need to add some mechanical fittings around the body to connect to the rig and the machinery, mainly arms, head and spine.

May not even use this model yet, I want to for this keep the face and perhaps shift the weight towards and actual fetus, but i need to compare the two. This was an original I was using for the pre-visulisation but maybe there will be less appeal in an another form.

For more origins revolving around these foetus's as they develop and a glimpse into their past;

Some backstory to the Short

I started making a short portraying the activation of a fetal worker from standby and follow his programmed duty  to maintain the this autonomous facility of unknown origin. (this would be discovered during a much longer film) After making a repair, this unit noticed something in a reflection.
At this point I have to mention some backstory, most of the feti bred for the facility have had genetic adjustments to eliminate emotion and most other functions. The scientist however enhanced the brain to act as a micro-processor for the machine components to use and make complex decisions. This being the most effective method of the time period, before high end computers were being developed. The idea thought up by the ludicrous scientists put in charge of the program, this facility was in desperate need to be built to accomplish there aims. Each of them however had their own ideas and agendas during construction. But neither disagreed on the sole crucial element; Drone-workers, mindless slaves that can maintain and monitor one of these vast industrial complexes while using a minimal amount of power.
So, normally one of these workers wouldn't notice a reflection or anything close to thought past their protocol, but some feti with genetic defects slip through the screening process and occasionally one develops small independent thoughts and emotions. These are called awakened, they are connected still, but have noticed that they weren't meant for this life, their deeper natural DNA speaks out and they become aware of their surroundings.
They have not escaped yet or freed by others, these are called Strays and they may get a mention later but its not vital to this short.

This main protagonist we follow from being rigged to task now suddenly finds itself staring deeply into a window reflection, slowly feeling what he may have become in a another life. From here the story develops into it finding a smile and not moments after caught out and chased through to its' inevitable demise.

To get some much in a short space, I may adjust certain timing and scenes while keeping the focus on the smile and chase beat to demise. I felt to start with that i could get the quick rig and straight to action with fades to pass time. Though after the opening scene I found my self holding parts for longer to emphasize the emptiness and lack of human interaction. I had made an animatic lasting 4 minutes showing only a fresh fetus being born, having sockets being implanted and woken up right at the end. What i'm trying to convey in roughly a minute could be too much.

After this idea becomes to take hold this animation may have taken on its initial intention in a better way, enhancing the emptiness with drawn out dark scenes with low light. I wasn't sure at this point, so looked for soundtracks, after looking through a few different genres, a sparse piano piece came up that ties into these ideas. Later I may add a more progressive sound track building up with each beat. I have looked into Olafur Arnalds before for inspiration and I love the contrast it provides, juxtaposing a grim unknown existence to a beautiful violin solo for example. Or the build up of an underlying orchestral resonance finally peaking at the moment of hopelessness for our character. This can be too much though, it could be the off beat that brings the animation together. A moment of silence upon being backed into the corner, could bring his situation to life much more.
I still may completely change the sound track though, this works for now until the pre-vis sheds light on other areas.

Once a defective unit is discovered they are quickly captured and eliminated by the controllers and security units. They are then sent to a waste disposal area to leave the facility as detritus. This is sometimes not the end however for a mangled fetus, a more hardy specimen may survive their capture/screening-process to be picked up by a Stray Collector on the outside. Then they can be indoctrinated into the ways of these humble creatures of the outside world. Where the lack of gene therapy and hormonal treatment causes them to grow and form mutated/deformed versions of children. (Slightly resembling the disturbing aftermath of the Chenoble residents) Still fairly weak yet supported by mech-suites built form junk, scavenged machine units from the facility and other materials that were discarded.


Basic early lighting on the pre-vis to get an understanding of what the end results might look like, Lighting i've come to realize is really important on this, the low level highlights to pick up details on various objects that add depth to a scene. The mood is determined by this to, in an enclosed facility all the light is artificial, everything is in a place by design. Lighting is key, though some scenes are very lacking in the final result i have a good idea of what to aim for.


Some way to go still, the animatic is a more in line with some of the shots in some areas. No real sounds yet, just a base tempo sound track to give you some idea of the feel of this short.

Why am I doing fetus robots...

'Roach' was a really nice, simple Pixar short style piece, friendship with two quirky yet simple characters and serene setting. 'Doodles', exciting, bouncy and fun short, with a big twist and a cheers at the end.... then why did I chose to do fetus robots... Who doesn't like a challenge?!

After a long time thinking about the direction to go in for my final piece, I had two perfectly good animations planned out, could have done either one and yet fetus robots screamed out in there muffled croaking murmurs. So sadly, instead of a sensible, or be it achievable 3rd project i am now doing fetus robots. I have been drawing these and creating their world for years and now it just seems kind of silly not to do it. One last waltz with these creatures and maybe they'll show me why I've been so attached to these weird abominations of biology and machine.

Challenge 1 : What the hell is a Fetus Robot?

Challenge 2 : How on earth can I condense films worth of ideas into a 1 minute short complying with the original designs and Lore?

Challenge 3 : Why should anybody care?

If I can hit those three challenges with solid answer, I can't go wrong. Others are bound to come up, but they will most likely fall under these three.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Street Fighter YogHURT edition

For an exercise we were given a saxophone character to learn some After Effects techniques, I came up with a fight style concept and landed on a street fighter parody idea. After creating my own opponent 'Creep' to battle the 'Sax' I tried to keep the animation as close to the super nintendo format but change the feel to include these characters.

Street Fighter - Yoghurt edition
(Inspired by street fighter 2 turbo and their variations of the game)