(Re-uploaded as I’ve added more thought and influence to my ideas and give some depth to my thought process)
For my animation I need to have a Robot fight a Zombie; before I can get started on the character designs themselves I first need to establish what exactly they are going to be doing and where so that it can all fit together thematically and style wise.
I first did a brainstorm setting out a few basic ideas I would like to explore with my final work looking at the type of themes I wanted to go with for the overall animation; a nice quiet play or something that is fast or brutal, deciding on these kind of themes had to take in account other elements as well before I could finally decide on the main one though as it needed to be easy to model, animate and render unless I dedicated more of my time and resources and that isn’t something I can do.
Of the multiple ideas that came to mind, in the end I had 3 final that I wanted to delve into deeper and expand upon because each provided its own unique way to animate and themes that could be explored;
In the arm wrestle the Zombie arm will contend against the Robot arm, each trying to push the other down onto the table with the first to do so wining the overall wrestle. The good old arm wrestle will give me hard ground to settle the arms on, requiring the animating to be dedicated to the elbow upwards instead of the whole arm with some more focus being set on the hands and fingers; essentially I can keep the arms fixed in the same place throughout the entire animation and not have the two flying all over the scene so to speak. The disadvantages I see so far is in how exactly I can express the differences between the two with both arms generally following the motions: clasp hands together, arms direct side to side, I could expand on this further though with adding some kind of set up to the wrestle before it begins to add some new animations that adds some variety; maybe show the arms get into place, or give some character in the reactions to winning or loosing.
In slaps, two contestants take turns trying to slap the others hand while the other tries to avoid being slapped. Compared to the arm wrestle this game mode makes more use of the entire arms as a whole allowing me more detail in the different types of animation but as a whole the process will be a more quicker set of animations requiring more filler in the entire minute. I like the idea of this animation but in the end it will require two hands for both characters in order to work as intended and without a body to hold the arms in place I don’t believe there wont be problems that get in the way and slow my work down in the long run.
The final idea I like is to take the two characters and instead have them fight each other in some sort of conflict instead have them work together to play a piano, though I can alter this and have the two trying to out do each other to have the best play. This will create a final animation that if accompanied by the right kind of music played in sync with the movements of the fingers could create something that would look artistic and well done.
In the end I will go with the arm wrestle as my final competition; its static nature for the shoulders and elbows means I can dedicate my time to creating some more character in my final designs and pay more attention to the animating.
I believe the setting is just as important for the animation to work as everything else, as it helps to establish the characters and give some more sense to the competition taking place, as such I have continued to explore ideas, this time brainstorming the different and varying location ideas that my competition could take place. One consideration is that all of these locations needed to fit with the fight in a thematic sense
Would either be done on the bar itself, or a table with the bar a clear sight in the background so people have a clear indication of where the animation takes place, this could also be achieved with just having pint glass filled with beer be within sight. I could get away with a simple 2d background of the bar, blurring the details in post to make the entire scene seem focused the arm wrestle.
Set in some undefined quiet street, this could be at night to remove any need for other details except only the really needed ones that give away the location and the scene lit up with street lights that help to focus the wrestle with distant sounds of cars and sirens to add some atmosphere.
Can either be in a exterior car park or in one of the multi-story types, either way this would provide an interesting location to set the wrestle as like with the others this it fits with the theme of one of the common areas you see fight scenes. the only problem comes from the background, 2d cars could be done but it wouldn’t be that interesting to see, and making the 3d would require more effort.