PRE-PRODUCTION PROPOSAL DOCUMENT

(Download original:) Project Proposal – Mortimer Kane

Project Proposal: 2D Hexapod Rig

Overview:

For my project I will be creating a 2D character rig suitable for animation in ToonBoom Harmony, using a character that I have designed myself. It will be capable of the basic movements of a quadruped, and I hope to allow for facial animation and more complex movements as well, depending on time constraints.

I will then create a demonstration video of the rig, wherein I animate the different movements it is capable of, so that I can showcase my abilities to future employers as well as using the rig myself for animation.

Rationale:

I have chosen this project as it is appropriate to my career aspirations; I intend to become a 2D character rigger for television/film or games animation. This is the best way to ensure that I have the skills necessary to achieve my goal.

I already have a considerable amount of experience with 3D rigging in Maya, as I was the Lead Character Technical Director for both the Kino and Short Film Production projects I was involved in – this project combines my experience of rigging with my love of 2D animation.

The reason I chose a hexapod (six-limbed) creature to rig rather than a simple tetrapod is that I wanted to be able to showcase a slightly more complex rig, as this could prove useful for my career; there are multiple examples of cartoons with rigs that have extra limbs or more complex aspects – see Rick and Morty, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, et cetera.

Of course, it is not always appropriate to use a rig – some animation styles are more suited for traditional hand-drawn animation. However, in this case, use of a 2D rig is suitable for the style of animation and character I hope to showcase.

Objectives:

My objective is to create a functional, easy to use character rig that is suitable for animation and can perform a variety of poses. The character I am rigging is a dragon and therefore has some more complex mechanics than a regular creature rig would have.

The minimum I intend to achieve is a rig with the ability to walk, run, sit, lie down, jump, fold and unfold wings, and perform a basic tail movement, all from a side-on view. If possible, I would also like to include facial animation capabilities.

If I have time, I will also be implementing the above movements from a front view; I would also like to include some more complex movements, particularly regarding flight, but this all depends on how much time I have left as I need to consider quality testing, any unforeseen technical difficulties I may experience, and actually animating the rig to demonstrate my work.

The main challenge of the project will be ensuring that I use the appropriate rigging methods for each movement; I will need to be careful to avoid the animation looking like a paper cut-out. To combat this issue I will be using a variety of methods to build the rig: for example, using bones for basic limb rotation, and then, for more complex movement like the wings unfolding and mouth animation, drawing each stage of the movement and storing it so that I can swap between them in animation.

The final product of this project will be the completed rig itself, as well as a demonstrative video showcasing the different movements it is capable of.

Demo video format: 16:9, 720p (1280 x 720p) .mov or .mp4, codecs Pro Res HQ or H.264 and audio AAC

Technical Details:

The programmes I will be using for this project are:

Clip Studio Paint – for drawing the character itself

ToonBoom Harmony – for rigging and animating the character

Adobe Premiere Pro – for editing together the demo footage of the rig

Ethical and Legal Implications:

As I am creating the character design myself, there are no legal or ethical issues regarding that. However, I will need to ensure that I am appropriately crediting all reference footage, tutorials, and other materials that I use to assist me with this project. I will ensure that I do this by keeping a document listing references for all of the materials that I have used throughout my work.

Research:

I will have to do research in multiple areas for this project; I’ll have to research the best methods for specific types of movements, as well as researching the anatomy of various creatures so that I can depict walk and flight cycles in a believable manner. I will also be looking into the various softwares used for 2D animation in the industry.

Project Plan:

References:

“M. Night Shaym-Aliens!” (2015) Rick and Morty, Season 1, episode 4. Adult Swim, 4th September 2015.

“Three’s A Crowd” (2014) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Season 4, episode 11. The Hub Network, 25th January 2014.