The initial design roughs suggested a more complicated and random positioning of the gems which would be difficult to animate, and stands in contrast with the more patterned composition of the stones on her forehead (which are in turn intended to be a contrast against the more chaotic growths of Benny’s stones).
As a solution we suggest reducing the number of gems and placing them in consistent positions. The pattern chosen here is open to revision, but suggest a good base grouping that carries the design theme of her forehead gems. We can increase the number of gems, but in doing so the chances of position drift also rise, as well as considerations of production time.
The second aspect of the initial design that may be in question was that of her clothing (or lack thereof). Designs A and D suggest various skin-tight options, while C combines a line pattern with nudity, and B suggests nudity but excludes detail. The line patterns in A and C may also serve as effects layers, glowing or pulsing to indicate forces being generated.
Proper background layout for the board that the wasp hacks into. While not based on any particular board, the layout and such is based on a variety of internal computer parts. When cleaned up more of the detail will be apparent. The path of the wasp is largely unchanged, but some of the planes will allow for layering to create a nice depth effect.
The majority of scene 004 (the UAV bug’s infiltration of the base) is unchanged, but we’re suggesting some significant changes to the part in which the bug gains access to the computer. We maintain the same number of cuts, but the action and the camera angles are new. Please click on any thumbnail in the sequence below to see the full frame, and use the controls on the popup to navigate through the frames.
Starting at Scene 004 cut 008, the bug lands upon the back of a server and enters the casing through the vents. Once inside (004-09) it hops from the wall to the motherboard, and from there to the processor, then leaps to a cooling vent in the foreground. While moving on surfaces its actions should be sharp and fast, much like an insects normally is (also conveniently saves on frames).
004-10 displays our new concept for the interface. There seemed to be a general agreement that the “jack” interface wasn’t quite working for anyone, so we’ve tried something new. The wasp’s segmented abdomen retracts to reveal an articulated eye and triple-barreled microfiberoptic relay. Once the processor is targeted, the relay fires fiberoptic cables into the foreground.
004-10A is an insert shot, but it’s a match cut with 004-09 so the added content is negligible. The shot is needed to show how the fiberoptic cables extend from the abdomen of the wasp to connectors on the processor, allowing the Hacker to gain direct access to the network.
004-11 illustrates that the bug is transmitting, as it did before. We’ve added a little animation in the extension of the antennae. The radiating circles are intended as a graphic device rather than a literal visual effect… intermittent light pulses and an accompanying sound effect will telegraph the “transmission” impression.
The final image is a new model sheet detailing the modified interface relay. The wasp design remains largely unchanged, as the new mechanisms fit entirely within the abdomen, which was already designed with articulated plates.
Beginning to address design notes, starting with the UAV Bug and the Patient.
Very little change was required in the bug, mostly changing the stinger to a data plug.
We’ve covered the mineral growths on the Patient with more skin, allowing only the tips to emerge. The skin and the blood vessels glow increasingly bright as the power grows. We’ve also simplified the face lines to make them noticeable but not overly complex to wrap to the contours.
Second round of design based on the animatic, script and board postings.
For our Patient Zero we modified his wheelchair to be a bit more hi-tech and incorporated restraints into his clothing as well as the chair. There’s some question still as to how outwardly “artificial” he should appear… small seams in his skin and technical markings in areas such as the face, tongue or eyeballs might emphasize it in greater or lesser ways.
We looked to a combination of crystal structure and bone mutations which result in skin-piercing spurs (real stuff, very scary) as the inspiration for the primitive growths that serve as the focus and visual cue of his powers. They can be more or less jewel-like and faceted depending on whether we make them more crystalline or more bony.
Next up is Our Lady Of The Jar, who’s psychic stone growths appear more as polished gems rather than painful growths. The pattern of the stones is less random and more spaced to resemble a maangtika or a ferroniere (basically forehead jewelry).
Flowing, floaty hair can be very time-consuming to animate well (lots of mixed wave-forms), so while we want so show that she has a full head of hair, we can trick the amount of frames down by containing it in some interesting way. We might also incorporate the prop as part of the larger apparatus that surrounds here, with cables leading out of the sides or lights that indicate activity.
Our design of the “bug” starts with the basic form of a wasp, in this case Vespa Mandarinia. Also known as the Giant Asian Hornet, it measures about 2-3 inches and is powerfully venomous.
It’s also a good basis for the study of wasp anatomy, since it’s so big that the details of taxonomy and anatomy are readily apparent. Our little mecha-wasp has a similar basic structure and outward appearance, but replaces biology with technology and adds in a few tricks (like retractable antennae and a wide-range multi-spectrum visual array with macrotelescopic depth options.
I don’t know what any of that means, but it sounds awesome.
Another character splash from Fates in-house project, Joe is Japanese, the enigmatic Mister Mountain. As with most all of the Joe character shots, I was trying to be all metaphorical… Yama-sama is calm and cool under fire, contemplative but capable of powerful action…
But if anyone could trim bonsai while performing crane kata and dodging arrows, it might be Mountain.
You like the flag at all? I was being expirmental and trying to go for a bit of quick sumi-e style watercolor effect, basically using the smear tool a good bit.
At any rate, we got the last bit of sound recording for Joe 3 done. There’s a bit of dialogue sync to be assembled still, and that should be it. Be on the lookout.