Monday, 27 September 2010

Limbless Wonders

Perhaps I'm more evil inside than imagine, but while thinking of different ways the battle between my character and her hair could be choreographed, I suddenly got the mental image of the hair grabbing her hands and pulling them clean off from her body, essentially rendering her almost helpless (or at the very least, having a huge disadvantage). Naturally I don't want this to be a horrible, gory affair, far from it; my aim is to create a quirky, comical, cartoony animation where the violence is lends to the humour and is anything but realistic. Keeping that in mind, in order for limbs to be torn off without bloodshed the character would logically either have to be a doll of some kind (which I don't want), or never have arms to begin with, only hands. I remember a scene from the opening cinematic of Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc where the limbless hero Rayman is fast asleep and his friends are trying to save him from the bad guys by lifting him out the way by his hands. Since his hands seem to only be attached to Rayman's body magically, the weight of his body proves too great and the hands pop loose. (Skip to 2:12 in the video below.) This is naturally played for laughs and is intended to make the situation more dire, but in a way that's fun to watch rather than scary.

Below are more examples of magically limbless video game characters that I think will make useful references should I decide to go down this route with my character design.

(Rayman - Rayman 2: The Great Escape)

(Dimentio - Super Paper Mario)

(NiGHTS - NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams)

(Miis - Wii Sports Resort)

I especially like how NiGHTS and the Miis have no arms to speak of, but still have legs connecting their feet to their bodies. I think that if I do decide to make my final character design have floating hands, I may still give her legs so I can demonstrate solid walk and run movements. My goal in this project is to develop my skill as a character animator, after all. I need to focus and ensure my character design doesn't hinder my animation and what acting the character is capable of by being too weird.

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