Monday, 22 February 2016

Extended Research: Fabien Mense

Fabien Mense is a visual development artist and comic book author who creates stunning background and character designs. Mense has been a huge inspiration of mine, I love the style that he gives his characters, which really influenced my work for this module.

An example of his character designs that inspired me the most, is Arthur from the Ovalon animation by I Can Fly Studios. I really liked Arthur's design, especially the facial features with his big ears and round nose. The rounded nose made the rest of the facial features softer, which is what I would love to include in my own designs along with big ears. I found that bigger ears on a character makes the design look younger and cuter for the audience, which would work well with the young audience that I have in mind for my animation and designs. I also quite liked the shading on the hair, with the simple division of the tint and shade. Normally I would add more detail on the shading, adding two shades and two highlights to the original colour however simplifying this would aid my characters aesthetic.

I was intrigued with the animation that Mense had created these designs for so I found the animation of the Studio's website. I really liked the camera angles and the lighting in the shots, however some of the animation was a little jarred at times and the character models would be slightly off. I was inspired by the overall aesthetic but I was slightly disappointed that the colouring from Mense's work wasn't taken into consideration as well, as it would have aided the characters.

Particularly, his background work has been a huge aid with considering the use of line and placement within the composition. Even though I had researched into composition and cinematography in COP3, I was still unsure of what components to add into my backgrounds. To solve this problem I not only researched into different cultures of buildings, but also how artists use their lines to add detail to the backgrounds. Whenever I draw backgrounds I love to make it more distressed then it would normally appear; I would obtain this result by adding crosshatch and more lines to the shapes and detail of the building. However for my animation, I knew I needed to add less of this distressed approach in order to suit the young target audience. Mense's work really helped me with his use of lines and colour in his backgrounds. The lines were not black, which gave a softer appeal to the aesthetic, and the use of a soft brush to apply the colour emphasised this approach; it reminded me of a watercolour painting which I quite liked, as well as working with the overall theme and content of the piece. I want to try his approach to soft, sketchy lines within my work, however I would need to keep the black lines to link with my character designs, otherwise my characters would stand out too much from the background.

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