Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Butler and the Detective

Hello there!! At the moment I have given myself a task to keep me active. I am currently working on my own project where I can concentrate on character design and also take my time with developing the characters. It's a theoretical short film about a Butler who is a criminal master mind and a detective who has spent the last 10 years hunting the butler down. I don't really have much of a story but I have enough to explore the characters. Maybe one day it will be a real short film but at the moment this is not financially or logistically possible for the foreseeable future but at least it is a cool little project to keep me creative.

 So here is a bit of development so far

The Butler

After doing a few more similar designs I decided this was not the look I wanted for this guy.  I did a couple more head drawings and was feeling a bit more happier with the shapes

After doing these I still was not feeling the design so I did another set of heads but this time kept in mind that I want him to look very creepy, smug and snake like... you know... like a criminal mastermind :)
I was happy where these where going so I picked one and then moved on to visualize the whole chap and came up with this

The Detective
I already had an idea of how I wanted this chap to look so it didn't take me too long to find the design I was happy with

This was the first drawing I did and found it wasn't what i wanted.
After a bit more of a play around i came up with my detective

I then added a bit of colour and set a scene

With all of this designing I was getting the itch to sculpt one of these guys. So I picked the detective :)

I did a quick head sculpt to see how the design translates to 3D

Happy with this I decided it is about time that I try making a full body maquette as I have not done this before. Doing character busts has become a bit of a comfort zone habit so now its time to change that.

Here is the armature. I used some hard packing foam to bulk out the stomach and then wrapped it in a kind of rough masking tape to the plasticine something to stick too.

After I blocked out the main shape I found I wasnt really feeling how it looked so I took to photoshop and did a bit of layering with the drawing to see where I was going wrong. I also did a bit of jiggery pokery with the actual drawing to change the pose to be more suited for sculpting

Thankfully this helped me out quite a bit and got back on track

So that's where I have gotten up to with documenting this maquette. I have gotten further with it but I'm going to save the rest of the progress photos for when it finished.

In other news, the series that I did some work experience on at Aardman has been on the TV over the past few weeks which means I have had the pleasure to see the sculptures I did all finished and moving in the episode 'Swimming' from 'Shaun the Sheep Championsheeps'

They dont look like much to excited about but at least I know that they originated from my hands. The original sculptures will have been doctored to how the animator needed to do the shots, so they added arms and glycerine for water (I think)

I managed to take a really crude photo of the TV paused but at least you can see the characters. I have got a photo of the actual sculptures from when I finished them but I don't think I'm allowed to post them so these will have to do :)

I hope all is well with everyone! Until next time!


  1. I love the direction your stuff is going in, It reminds me of Coraline. Great work man!

  2. But this is brilliant character development, Ben! I love how fully thought through each character is! LOVE the results! Fantastic work!

    I would love to see the story you would write to tell through these guys.

  3. Very nice character! Great work.

  4. Interesting shapes. Top work, Ben. That Butler needs a right good slap ;)

  5. man! You have been updating this thing like crazy! Very nice work ben! Love it !

  6. This guy is great. Id love to see him in motion.