Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Pre-Production: Barnabas Costume Tests

Hello Everyone,

Apologies for the delay this goes out to my Polydoodle Partners Chrissie and Sammy more then anyone else. Been sick the past few days, got flu from somewhere, argh its irritating. Anyway one of the things I have been gradually posting up is the costume tests for our characters. After doing one it didn't feel right not to do all of them. Besides I also would like to explore costume options before settling on the design for the turnaround and thus the 3D model. This is what inspired me to try and get these done before tacking turnarounds...

Anyway after my posting the Benjamin costume tests my partners Chrissie and Sammy had a few scaling and asymmetrical requirements not in the design. I went about this just by explaining that these costumes are not to show scale as these are just to explore colour and alternative details. The asymmetric details are something which is not entirely needed until after the models are made. I find it easier to build 3D models symmetrically as it allows me to duplicate sides. The asymmetric details are added after everything has been painted and properly staged.

Anyway below are a couple of costume variants for the Barnabas form.
The animation is made from 4 costume variants mixed and matched to make 10 alternative designs using interchangeable parts. The dummy itself was chosen in the earlier weeks from a massive selection of forms. All 3 of us came to agreement on how it looked but it has since changed a little from what it was. The final turnarounds will feature some of the characteristics of this dummy but may not be exact. The arms are a little too long and the back is arched a bit too far back. All of this is crude for the costume tests, refinement is the next step.

The image above shows a number of hat variants which I created to explore mainly the size of the hat, I added some signifiers for the direction of the weave and in one particular case (Hat 3) some minor wear and tear. I wasn't sure if we wanted to keep Barnabas's suit pristine or a little battered. Thinking about it a little more I imagined Sammy saying to me he has to be "particular" ha-ha. Benjamin is our scruffy one so I envisioned Barnabas adhering to his fathers regime eventually by growing up and adopting professional formal attire.
Next came his suit which I tried to keep separate from the jacket, but as the design was significantly different (lower or higher moving lines) I found myself having to merge it with the jacket after adding colour. These designs have to be interchangeable and if the jacket design is different they don't fit or details are lost. I tried a couple of tie/bow tie tests before trying it without. Again I wasn't sure what to adopt, I think Sammy will probably like to keep as many things consistent as possible so a bow tie might be the final answer here.
For the Jacket I was largely looking at Chrissie's lovely research boards which were actually invaluable for the alternate designs. I actually liked the idea of the handkerchief  in the pocket, a part of me wanted to make the polka dot red like the boys bow tie only make it faded to show how time as faded Barnabas. I kind of thought it was poetic, it may still be something ill consider when I knock up the final turnarounds. I liked the longer Jacket from the image above, I think it suits his frame quite nicely and it was inspired again by Chrissie's research!
I knocked about a couple of ideas for trousers but to be honest there are only so many things I could think for a pair of trousers. You either have pockets, no pockets, a belt maybe, baggy, tight, but that's about it. I had originally knocked in braces but to be honest I don't think it would read very well under a closed jacket. The differentiation would largely be by the colour and the design of the trousers. I remembered that most suits have running lines down them that are faint... You can actually find these in lots of modern suits too... I tried that for two of the pant designs...
Then I sat down and played with the shoes which was initially a little difficult as I was drawing them in perspective or trying to. I found the shoes getting progressively bigger but the socks probably had the most variation. Sammy and liked the one up one down for Benjamin but Barnabas. I wanted him to be a bit more turned out and professional. I kept his designs as symmetrical as possible. I drew polka dots on to one pair of the socks just because I wanted to see how that looked. It was fun but I think it would work better on a handkerchief.
The last of my individual designs was the coat tails which I found differentiated significantly when looking at some of the coats undertakers wear. Some of the designs had double coat tails while others had a single... I also wanted to consider the option of not having coat tails but just an actual coat. I actually found these quite fun to draw from the original sketches. It was also cool to see how they all looked on alternate suits. Benjamin has something similar but his are actually longer then these... I attribute that to Barnabas's height more then anything.

The image above shows the initial 4 costume tests with their alternating colours. Just like Benjamin I tried to go very washed out but I didn't want to stay in the black/blue territory for tests. I tried faded out browns and reds in the name of exploration. I was surprised to find that I liked the brown in the longer coat. You will also notice the line design I dotted throughout a couple of the colour tests, I did this just to see if I would like it with alternate colours and I do. That being said I'm pretty sure the black/blue will be the colour of our undertaker... I mean undertakers wear blah DUH!

It was nice to sit down and try a couple of things out for this post, again these are mainly so I can try out a few things before committing them into turnarounds. I will also follow these with a little concept art, it bugs me that I haven't done any yet. This stage in the process allows me to see what I want and what works. I have found that a number of these designs work, I have also found a way to signify the fathers loss of colour and enthusiasm in life (handkerchief - faded), its subtle but I think this will work and we will see how things go from there!

take it easy

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