Monday, 16 February 2009

Captain Uber!

I've introduced you to his arch enemy but thus far you have seen nothing of the epic hero of our story: Captain Uber!

Captain Uber is an arrogant (Accidentally racist) idiot, dwarf...but he just happens to also be able to get the job done (In his own special way and with a significant amount of help from his friends). He fights crime using his Uber powers (Which can be virtually anything) and he is willing to help in virtually any way possible; he'll even take your poodle for a walk if you can't be bothered. Be warned though! Chances are when you get it back it will be pregnant and addicted to meth.

Here are some original drawings in chronological order. I will take you through the gradual development of our wonderful hero and explain some of my design choices (Including an explanation of the word 'uber').

Ladies and gentleman, I want you to look at this drawing closely because it is how I used to draw. I want you to look at it and remember it, because I am now a better cartoonist. I have never drawn a 'muscle man' in my life, so this was a real challenge for me. This sequence of images shows my progress in learning to draw this body shape.

Not much progress here. I drew this the same day and hadn't done any research into how to draw this kind of character or looked at any life drawings of somebody this huge.

This was a significant step forward. I did a bit of research into muscle men - looked at some images and some life drawings and this was the basic outcome. It is still very basic, but it helped me to decide on the basic shape of his head: something that has stuck all the way through designing this character. The muscles are still quite basic but the fundamental design really started to shine through. I knew I wanted his upper body to completely dwarf his lower body and another factor that was very important was his overall stature. Captain Uber is very, very small. He is actually a dwarf, though if you asked him he wouldn't admit it. His head was good here and I liked the design, but it was under developed and I knew it so I decided to work on his head before working on his body hoping that this might help me get the body to work around his head a little better.

I started by trying to basic expression and emotions. This is Uber after he has just eaten a mouthful of jalapenos. His tongue would be sizzling and steam would be rising if this was animated. This was a good step forward, but I didn't like his hair and his mask wasn't right. The taller head shape worked much better though. This was close to the point where I started planning in red so as to help visualise and correct any errors as I worked.

This is Uber getting mad. Although, as you can see: not that mad. His head was now too tall and needed bring back down a little. His hair was also still not quite right. One thing I really want across all the characters was a 'lack' of costume on the face. I really like it in cartoons when a characters face looks exactly the same in their hero costume, but nobody recognises them. I think the audience likes to feel they are a bit smarter than the towns folk because it makes them feel good about themselves and it also makes the cartoon not seem as childish.

This was a good step in the right direction, but the hair wasn't right. I lifted the bottom of the mask to allow for a nose, but at the same time it accidentallybrought more life into the eyes. This was something I noticed and started to reign in. I also like the blank expression here, it really describes the character I have in mind for him really, really well.

This is Uber thinking. He looks slightly mad because he finds this particular activity (Thinking..) really difficult indeed. I would love to start a shot on this expression and have it zoom out to him holding a book the wrong way up or attempting to read a chart at an opticians or something. This was a good design for his head and I liked it so much I decided to make it my final choice. It has weight and depth and lots of flexibility.

As you can see here: lots of flexibility. This is an expression we briefly see when Captain Uber gets 'Perverted' by Pervert Man. This is a significant part to the plot of a movie that will never get made, instead it will be supplemented with a trailer.

I recently went back to Captain Uber's body shape and this was a good step forward. The lower half of his body isn't right at all. I need to make sure the bottom half of his body emphasises the fact that he is actually a dwarf. Work in progress really is what I am trying to say. I think I will definitely doing him in red, white and blue as a spoof of Captain America. This a simple mechanic to help people to recognise the genre. I am definitely going to design a logo for Captain Uber, one of the things I liked most about this project is that I am getting to do a lot of logo and graphic design. It is an enjoyable change.

Uber is a word that a lot of people have asked me about and I never considered that people who don't spend a lot of time on the Internet or in the gaming world might not have heard the word in its modern connotation. It means 'awesome' to the most extreme level. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary it means above, beyond or 'to an extreme or excessive degree'. It originates from the word Uber in the German language, only with umlauts removed.

You can certainly see a lot of progress within this character and he really has become a lot stronger in terms of drawing. I think he still needs a another stage of development to get him spot on a really emphasise both his sheer idiocy and his short stature, but I have to get cracking now so that final touch will have to be done digitally.

No comments:

Post a Comment