Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Hair Attacks!

The next part of the scene finally involves the hair leaping into action of its own accord, forming 'hands' from the ends of its pigtails as it does so. I wasn't sure how to go about this at first in order to get the movement right; I knew it had to be snappy in order to show the violence of the attack, but at the same time needed correct anticipation and build up to pull it off without being too slow. Before I began I asked someone to take photographs of my own hands in various positions/from various angles which I thought would make useful references for the hair hands, which you can see below.

As I was posing and trying to work out how exactly the hands would work best, I realised I was using my arms to represent the pigtails since human arms are naturally far longer than those of my character. It was then I made the connection with the arm positions of ballet (I used to dance regularly before I came to university): the starting position 'bras bas' looks very similar to how the pigtails fall around my character's feet before the hair comes alive. Or at least it would if humans arms where floor length, but you get the idea.

So I thought why not have the hair start to raise like a ballet dancer would raise their arms to second position?

It worked better than I thought it would and made a good starting point for the action. From there I decided the pigtails needed an extreme accented pose before they went for the neck, again to exaggerate the violence and create more impact. Also I wanted to give the feel if a predator leaping into action... Having the pigtails stretched up as far as they can go was inspired by Niche (see below), whose pigtails often spike up into swords ready to attack the moment she gets agitated.

I didn't put a frame in between the peaked pigtails and the throat grab as I honestly felt it didn't need one. An extra frame would have slowed the lunging movement down, meaning less impact and less exaggerated reaction. I did, however, stretch the pigtails so they were far longer then they out to have been on the downward arc in order to make them flow better, and again, more exaggeration on the attack.

Throat grab cleaned up with hair detail added.

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