Sunday, 17 November 2013

Pre-Production: Bernard Costume Tests

Hello Everyone,

This week was another interesting one, mainly because it had us presenting once again only this time to foundation students. I think Sammy realised on the day that I am still a little out of my element in front of a crowd, I tried my best though. Anyway I was meant to do this post sooner but dissertation alterations kind of took priority. I still have a few to make but hopefully it shouldn't interrupt my final anatomy tests for Barnabas. I decided to complete my costume test posts by doing Bernard's just to show a couple of colour/costume variants to inspire when I'm finalizing turnarounds.

When drafting these designs I was looking at Chrissie's research while also conducting a few little google searches of my own. It was nice to explore these choices, I mean it was kind of limiting as Sammy had already pretty much defined the costumes with her animatic. There are only so many options you can create for a standard issue suit and top hat. I guess more then anything I wanted to see how the costumes looked on the dummy forms. Having explored a little I can also say of some things which I will be including on the physical 3D model.

Anyway lets take a look at some costume options for Bernard Bardgersworth
The image above shows the little costume wardrobe animation that I have been accustomed to making for this Unit. The costumes are made from 4 variant costumes which are broken into parts and then reassembled to create different variants. I use this to create 10 additional variants from the primary 4. This allows me to explore the idea of what Bernard could be wearing and what colour combinations may or may not work. These costumes are all tested on a Bernard's early dummy form which was chosen by the Polydoodle Team to base him on at a structural level.
The image above shows 4 hat variants which were altered slightly by design. I didn't want to go too mad with the hat designs for Bernard. I didn't think he'd have too much decoration. I thought I would try a feather just to see if it looked good on the hats. It could be an option for Bernard's hat, not entirely sure though. I guess I'm looking to individualise the hat per character but that may not be possible out side of size, shape and colour. The good thing about these designs are that Bernard and Barnabas's forms are close so any of his hats could work here too...
Next came the Bow Ties I figured I'd work down the body for this post. I went from a small little mini tie to the classic bow tie somewhat like Benjamin's. Of course I also noted the string bow ties which some undertakers wore (these are represented by 3 & 4). I figured that the bigger bow tie would be something more fun and thus not Bernard as he is like the evil father of Barnabas. Putting something funny on him would not reflect his personality no more then an angry face would work on a children's character like Pooh Bear (wink wink - Justin).
For this form I decided to combine the jacket, coat tail and shirt as one, it had proved more difficult to keep these elements separate on other costumes. Again what made this selection difficult is there is only so much you can do with a suit jacket. I played with the coat tails which differ slightly per design. The jacket being buttoned, having an under vest (which some suits had back then), being partially open, etc. Still it was fun to explore the design a little, I actually enjoyed adding elbow patches, never really had an excuse to try it before...
Next came the trousers which I had to keep relatively short to keep it under the Jacket but in front of the coat tails. There was more differentiation in the upper area of the design but I figured Bernard's belly could hang over the upper area of the trousers (kind of like Benjamin). I explored the typical - Baggy trousers vs. tight fitting trousers, I even explored the typical vertical line suit design which was then and still is classic. The good thing about Bernard and Barnabas are that there are no shorts... A bit of a nightmare when trying to try alternate trouser/short designs.
Then I decided to get cracking on the shoe and sock variants. I put a polka dot sock design in just to appease myself more then anything. I had fun designing his shoes more then anything, they actually complement the Bernard body quite well. Combined with the tight fitting trousers they make him look very lanky and tall, perfect for his character. The long shoes also complement his posture which was something I was really proud of. The dummy is a little flawed particularly with the shoulder alignment, but it does what it needs to for costume tests....
Last but not least these are the initial colour tests which created the wardrobe alternate forms at the top of this post. Test 2 is probably my favourite as I love the lanky trousers and the black suit complements everything quite well. We even have little Benjamin's gut which could be attributed to the grandfather, just an observation. I liked the brown suit too but again figured that these are not preferable to an undertaker who would be in black. Still I wanted to explore things and I figured sometimes you have to go radical to explore the possibilities.

Well I am kind of throwing out a sigh of relief right now as these costume tests have been a bit of a time drainer but at least I got there in the end... Its handy to explore as many aspects of your character as possible just so you can rule out bad decisions earlier on. What I have learnt from all of these is that black has to be the predominant colour anything else would not make sense here. Benjamin and Young Barnabas are the exceptions as they are children and are free. It is Bernard who constrains Barnabas's colour which is what Barnabas nearly does to Benjamin... But he doesn't. Its nice even the colours of this short tell a story...

Later people!

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