My Project: Brash Lonergan adventures

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,202

    I was told that he was inspired by James Garner. It didn't take much of a thought after that to guess that Marina was inspired by Ursula Andress

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982
    edited September 2020

    Thank you so much for the posts, Dart.  And thank you for the interest.

    On Inspirations, I find it useful to think in categories.

    - overall, in terms of style of storytelling, tone, target audience, and characterization, I am definitlely inspired by the old newspaper comics, movie serials, and scifi TV shows from the 1930s-1950s.  For me, the king of them all was Flash Gordon with Buster Crabbe.  But there were many similar.  Some examples are Crash Corrigan, Rocky Jones, and Commando Cody. 

    - comic art style - My initial style for the Brash and Moxie figures and their spaceships and environments was the old newspaper style.  Examples of style include Prince Valiant and Archie.  Hopefully, in the range from completely realistic to completely stylized, Brash and Moxie are more realistic than Archie, Betty, and Veronica, but more stylized than Flash Gordon and Dale Arden in the comics.

    - wavering on comic art style - Stingray? - when push came to shove, I admit that I have had second thoughts on the newspaper comic art style.  Perhaps I am reacting too much to the pursuit of realism elsewhere, but I find myself wanting to be even less realistic.  Rather than have the audience being amazed at how close to a photograph or a live action movie the story appears, I want the audience to know at the outset that we are embarking on a fantasy adventure.  I want the art to convey the same invitation to willingly suspend disbelief as phrases like "It was a dark and stormy night" and "Once upon a time."  Looking like claymation or puppets might be better.

    - Stingray?  Thunderbirds?  Captain Scarlett?  - The puppeteer storytelling by Anderson is wonderful and I love it.  I have the same love for it that I do for the claymation and puppets of Christmas specials and Mad Monster Party.  Have been modeling and rigging similar figures.

    - At the moment, Brash and Moxie are still Flash Gordon, not Captain Scarlett.  But I am wavering.  The claymation style figures that I have modeled and rigged are for a different project... ...at the moment.

    - Story Backstory - Following the advice of "write what you know" I would like to have the backstory be like old, old Westerns in space.  You might remember the TV show The Big Valley with Lee Majors, Linda Evans, and Barbara Stanwyck.  Many of the episodes used frontier legal issues and financial issues as backstories.  Just move it to space instead of Stockton California.

    - Film Noir - sometimes summarized as a woman with a past dooms a man with no future.  While Brash and Moxie are not doomed, the "guest stars" for each episode could have some problems.  We can take turns on which gender dooms which.

    - James Garner Connection - anti-Flash Gordon.  Characters like Flash Gordon, Crash Corrigan, Bruce Wayne etc., were often rich, successful, sophisticated, connected to social elites, etc.  The classic detectives like Nick and Nora Charles, The Saint, The Shadow The Green Hornet etc. were often sophisticated or had fancy gadgets, penthouse apartments, or cool sports cars.  In contrast, James Garner's TV show detective Jim Rockford was none of those things.  Nor was Colombo.  Rockford lived in trailer home and the messages on his answering machine were bill collectors.  My Brash character is more like Jim Rockford in this regard.  I want his spaceship experience to be like a trailer home in space.

    - Moxie - I want Moxie to be more Lois Lane and less Dale Arden.  Moxie is a career woman.  Yes, she can kick butt and take names, but no, she has no interest in that - unless she has to.  She is a sophisticated urban woman with a successful career.  She likes being a woman.  She likes the attention of men.  She likes having nice things.  She can live without them, but she likes having them.  She and Brash can take turns saving each other in the nick of time.  If I was going to cast her, maybe Eva Mendes?  https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0578949/

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,202
    edited September 2020

    Wow! Cool Stuff!

    Diomede said:

    - Stingray?  Thunderbirds?  Captain Scarlett?  - The puppeteer storytelling by Anderson is wonderful and I love it.  I have the same love for it that I do for the claymation and puppets of Christmas specials and Mad Monster Party.  Have been modeling and rigging similar figures.

    There's also Supercar (1961–62) and Fireball XL5 (1962), where we can really see the strings!

    I never knew of any of these until my brother just turned me on to Stingray. We almost never see the strings in Stingray, but I love it when we do. It drives the point home that these are marionette puppets, not claymation. I love the stories and acting, and the music drives me wild - all those drums! Even the Action-Station alarms are various drum beats!!! LOL  Genius!

    Diomede said:

     

    - At the moment, Brash and Moxie are still Flash Gordon, not Captain Scarlett.  But I am wavering.  The claymation style figures that I have modeled and rigged are for a different project... ...at the moment.

    - Story Backstory - Following the advice of "write what you know" I would like to have the backstory be like old, old Westerns in space.  You might remember the TV show The Big Valley with Lee Majors, Linda Evans, and Barbara Stanwyck.  Many of the episodes used frontier legal issues and financial issues as backstories.  Just move it to space instead of Stockton California.

    - Film Noir - sometimes summarized as a woman with a past dooms a man with no future.  While Brash and Moxie are not doomed, the "guest stars" for each episode could have some problems.  We can take turns on which gender dooms which.

    - James Garner Connection - anti-Flash Gordon.  Characters like Flash Gordon, Crash Corrigan, Bruce Wayne etc., were often rich, successful, sophisticated, connected to social elites, etc.  The classic detectives like Nick and Nora Charles, The Saint, The Shadow The Green Hornet etc. were often sophisticated or had fancy gadgets, penthouse apartments, or cool sports cars.  In contrast, James Garner's TV show detective Jim Rockford was none of those things.  Nor was Colombo.  Rockford lived in trailer home and the messages on his answering machine were bill collectors.  My Brash character is more like Jim Rockford in this regard.  I want his spaceship experience to be like a trailer home in space.

    - Moxie - I want Moxie to be more Lois Lane and less Dale Arden.  Moxie is a career woman.  Yes, she can kick butt and take names, but no, she has no interest in that - unless she has to.  She is a sophisticated urban woman with a successful career.  She likes being a woman.  She likes the attention of men.  She likes having nice things.  She can live without them, but she likes having them.  She and Brash can take turns saving each other in the nick of time.  If I was going to cast her, maybe Eva Mendes?  https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0578949/

    This is top-quality writing here!

    I am still discovering my story - slowly. I do get particular scenes that come to me that are part of that story, but in that department - as they say in screenwriting class, i'm just spinning my wheels - but that's okay with me because I'm still testing, experimenting, learning.

    They say to write everything down. At work I cannot do that, and it's rare to find an opportunity at home too. I have several journals around so they're always in reach, but my hands are always (literally) full! LOL

    Rosie just gave me a new little journal because my juices have been flowing lately. So we'll see if I can finally get my outline prepared with the cool stuff that's been rattling around lately. It helps that I've been making cool new friends here - one is an old fighter pilot who is now nearing 80 and still does aerobatics in the coolest old planes ever! Rosie doesn't like the idea, but I'm going up with him some day. He and a couple other wartime pilots and sailors and their stories have really been an inspiration to me, even though that has scarce-little to do with what my story will be about! :)

    I love your analogies! 

    Rosie was sold into slavery at a very young age and forced to fight in the pits. Dart has a strong connection to animals, and lives in the wilds. Stark contrast between the two situations. In an entirely odd sort of way, these paths lead them to the same place at the same time. Dart has been around women before that left a bad aftertaste, while Rosie sees men more as either a master, an enemy or both - so it certainly doesn't look like a love-at-first-sight sort of situation! But the situation does force them to be together. Not together, together... just together! ;)

    In a sort of psychedelic oddyssey meets Twilight Zone, the excrement hits the fan and everything goes on a rollercoaster ride through time and space.

    I try to keep from being too realistic looking - but it is kind of a photo-realistic style. For example, Rosie's hair is kinda like yarn. Rosie and Dart are probably the most realistic looking beings. Much of the environments and props are pretty realistic looking too. Hmmm...  Well, at least "I" like where I'm going with it. I just have to hope that my audience finds it at least remotely enjoyable! :)

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,202

    My render just finished. Here's how I'm working now:

    • Set up the scene
    • Animate
    • Render characters to Alpha, with stage hidden
    • Render stage through same camera(s)
    • Render to sequenced images
    • Use DJV to play them back for review

    Wow! The render that just finished looks really cool!!! ;) 5 seconds at 30fps

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,202

    Using DaVinci Resolve, I can just drag in my folders that contain the folders that contain the images, and I can further organize them inside DaVinci using "Bins" (imaginary folders - only created within Resolve), so that workflow works really well for me. Once in a while, at least one layer of Rosie's hair will fail to render for a single frame. If you've seen the little glimpses of her in my recent videos, that's what that jitter is in her hair. It's easily resolved by simply setting the timeline to that frame (I use Infanview to find the frame by opening an image in the sequence and using the mouse wheel to run through), set the filename to replace the bad one with it set to render the current frame only, and render. Repeat if there's another missed frame.

    In the middle of all of this, I've been establishing the dialog I need, but not writing any of it down isn't helping! LOL

    I'm also running the beats of the soundtrack through my head, trying to compose - again, without writing. But once I set up my keyboard and guitar, I'll be able to jam it to the beats of the movie - likely beginning with the drum track (I love my drums most of all!)

    Speaking of which, my band has been cancelling gigs that aren't taking any measures to protect their public or themselves, yet others are then taking all of the neccessary steps and replacing our cancelled gigs, and then some. I have three back-to-back shows next week! Yikes!

    Do you know anyone selling time for really cheap - like free with a PC+ membership?

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982

    RE: Your Band - so glad you are still able to get gigs and that some places are taking appropriate precautions.  Be careful out there!  Wish we could get a Carrarians fan club to rock out at one of your shows.

    It is great that you have acquired so much film-making skill.  Very inspirational.  You've developed your workflow.  You've got Rosie's character down and her backstory.  The Art Studio Forum thread you have started is most excellent.  I'm watching even if I don't comment often.  Stay motivated!

     

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982

    Here are some concrete examples of some of the sources and imagery that I referred to above.

    Newspapers ran black and white comics during the week and color panels on weekends.  

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    tt02 flash gordon color sunday edition 1953.jpg
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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982

    And of course there would be parallele comic books, or comic books that collected the newspaper panels in a single volume.

     

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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982

    You can see above with Flash the basic comic hero style.  The proportions are idealized humans, but proportional none-the-less.

    Here is another newspaper hero with a similar comic style.  Prince Valiant.

    Black and white daily edition and color Sunday edition.

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    tt06 prince valiant st louis dispatch.jpg
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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982
    edited September 2020

    Another familiar comic style used by many artists in many different comic strips was perfected by Dan DeCarlo with the Archie, Betty, Veronica / Riverdale high school kids.  I always thought that Daz's The Girl 4 looked very much like Betty and Veronica, while Victoria 6 and Michael 6 were closer to the Flash Gordon / Prince Valiant styles.  Hopefully, my Brash and Moxie meshes are somewhere between.

    Here are some examples of Dan DeCarlo's stuff for Archie along with a loarger cover by Craig Yo.

     

    tt08 dan de carlo archie betty veronia.jpg
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    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982

    Here is a Brash mesh WIP in which I started adding bones to the face to aid expressions.

    The intent is for it to be between Flash and Archie, but closer to Flash.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982

    But the concept is not the same as Flash.  Flash is just one of many inspirations.  On the heroic side, here are some examples of Crash Corrigan and Rocky Jones.

    tt04 crash corrigan.jpg
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    tt07 rocky jones space ranger.jpg
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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982

    And here is Rockford's trailer home and an example of one of the phone messages.

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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982

    And a WIP for a cut out to see one side of Brash's space pod, which is used to travel between star systems.  His 'trailer home.'

     

  • Bunyip02Bunyip02 Posts: 4,822
    Diomede said:

    And a WIP for a cut out to see one side of Brash's space pod, which is used to travel between star systems.  His 'trailer home.'

     

    Nice !!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982

    Bunyip - thanks for the kind comment.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982
    edited September 2020

    Not Brash and Moxie  (as of now)

    Here is an example of a style which would move further away from the old newspaper Prince Valiant style comics.  I did a comparison of rigging in Carrara and rigging in Studio.  One advantage to rigging in Studio is that it can still be used in Carrara, and the Studio transfer utility can be used to aid the development of additional content.

    morphed to be a meaner / leaner Heat Miser

     

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,202
    Diomede said:

    Here is a Brash mesh WIP in which I started adding bones to the face to aid expressions.

    The intent is for it to be between Flash and Archie, but closer to Flash.

    Ispired by Genesis 8, right? Or perhaps just the way Pixar and other animation rig artists set things up for the animators. In my very short stint trying out Genesis 8 for Carrara and the amazing Janna, I was bumming that I don't have any support assets for them, realizing that I wouldn't be able to adopt them anytime in the near future because of that, when I decided to try posing the facial bones.

    Wow! What a difference! Such an organic method of adding individual character to each person, making them utterly unique!

    That inspired me to inject a Ton of facial morphs into Rosie 5, so I can add all manner of subtlety to her expressions - even when she doesn't realise she's expressing.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,202
    Diomede said:

    But the concept is not the same as Flash.  Flash is just one of many inspirations.  On the heroic side, here are some examples of Crash Corrigan and Rocky Jones.

    ...and that's awesome, in my opinion. They say to "Copy" at first. I really don't want to start that way. My own original IP right from the start.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,202
    edited September 2020
    Diomede said:

    And a WIP for a cut out to see one side of Brash's space pod, which is used to travel between star systems.  His 'trailer home.'

     

    I love this! Wow!

    I used to watch the Rockford File when I was growing up. I don't really remember it much though - except that I know I liked it - that and Columbo, Baretta....

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,202
    Diomede said:

    morphed to be a meaner / leaner Heat Miser

    Perhaps consider making this fellow one of Brash and Moxy's thorn in the side? He looks like a great villain!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982
    edited September 2020

    Holiday Special Heads, Mouths, and Eyes

    Frankly, I am not happy with the base stylized head above or the Heat Miser morph because of the mouths and eyes.  The look that I think I want to hearken to for my extremely unrealistic project could have two base eyes and two base mouths.

    - Base eye 1 - a large flat white oval plane over which a black pupil (and sometimes iris) translates.

    - Base eye 2 - no eye white - just small black eye-specs that are morphed to mimic eye movement.

    - Base mouth 1 - a black and white plane covered by a panel that extends down to include the chin like a ventriloquist's wooden dummy.  The chin slides down to open the mouth and the black/white plane is adjusted for phonemes and expressions.

    - Base mouth 2 - a torus widened in the horizontal direction and smashed down in the veritcal direction.  Torus is morphed for phonemes and expressions.

    Here are some examples of Rankin Bass characters with combinations of each

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    00 fred astaire.jpg
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    00 herbie.jpg
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    00 jessica.jpg
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    00 santa claus.jpg
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    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,202

    TheGirl is such a lovely character! Right from the first version (generation 3, I believe) to all versions since, but I think Girl 4 is my favorite. Hard to say because I only tried the original Girl for a very short time waaaay back when. The Girl 6 is absolutely gorgeous, and I always put at least a touch of her head into Rosie, even if I have to then scale it down a bit. But the eyes look so similar to Rosie and our daughters.... Yet Girl 6 doesn't seem nearly as comic-stylized as the previous two versions.

    Back when I was spending most of my time experimenting (and failing, looking at my renders... Yikes!) with Genesis 2 Females, I made a character based on Ahsoka Tano of Star Wars - The Clone Wars using The Girl 6 as the base shape, and tweaked from there. I was actually working toward releasing a Daz 3D character preset of her named: Sohka. I never did get her to how I wanted her to be. Then that dreaded life thing happened and I was sucked away from anything computer-related, except for the quick, occassional glimpse of the internet.

       

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,202
    Diomede said:

    Holiday Special Heads, Mouths, and Eyes

    Frankly, I am not happy with the base stylized head above or the Heat Miser morph because of the mouths and eyes.  The look that I think I want to hearken to for my extremely unrealistic project could have two base eyes and two base mouths.

    - Base eye 1 - a large flat white oval plane over which a black pupil (and sometimes iris) translates.

    - Base eye 2 - no eye white - just small black eye-specs that are morphed to mimic eye movement.

    - Base mouth 1 - a black and white plane covered by a panel that extends down to include the chin like a ventriloquist's wooden dummy.  The chin slides down to open the mouth and the black/white 

    plane is adjusted for phonemes and expressions.

    - Base mouth 2 - a torus widened in the horizontal direction and smashed down in the veritcal direction.  Torus is morphed for phonemes and expressions.

    Here are some examples of Rankin Bass characters with combinations of each

    Gerry Anderson's amazing marionettes had a really cool speech facility. Like it was latex skin over a mechanical lower lip plate on a hinge or something. Amazing!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,202

    I like that guy's mouth. It seems to have a vice comic style to it.

    In watching Stingray, it got me to notice how many toon people laugh - visually. The audio is a normal laugh, but the character's mouth tends to open and close with each syllable - something I think was genius how well Jim Carey pulled it off in Ace Ventura. Growing up (and I still do) I'd imitate off lip sync. Say yes, but the mouth shape says no, for example, and have the mouth completely miss the timing of speech! LOL

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982
    edited September 2020

     

    TheGirl is such a lovely character!

     

    Agreed.  Here is a comparison of Dan DeCarlo's comic style for Veronica and Betty from the Archie gang at Riverside High and a V4 dialed to 1/2 of The Girl 4 with Carrara dynamic hair rendered and then put through two of the Filter Forge comics options with no other postwork.  It could just be the curve of the face and nose, but I think it is a pretty good match in terms of general figure and face.  

    veronica.jpg
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    V4 Veronica FF Comic Book Filter.jpg
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    V4 Veronica FF Comic Book Filter 2.jpg
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    Post edited by Diomede on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,982

    I like that guy's mouth. It seems to have a vice comic style to it.

    In watching Stingray, it got me to notice how many toon people laugh - visually. The audio is a normal laugh, but the character's mouth tends to open and close with each syllable - something I think was genius how well Jim Carey pulled it off in Ace Ventura. Growing up (and I still do) I'd imitate off lip sync. Say yes, but the mouth shape says no, for example, and have the mouth completely miss the timing of speech! LOL

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    With layers, you can even project someone with the facial control of Jim Carey over Rosie like they did in Clutch Cargo!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,202

    Over Rosie? Never!!! LOL

    That is a great likeness of Betty!!! Awesome style - both of them!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 17,202

    This is what I mean. I just posted a frame of test footage Here in the Howler thread. 

    She's a stylized character, and some things are left a little painterly, but for the most part it's kind of a realistic style. I don't think it'll get in the way though. I'll be using Howler and Fusion to meld everything together in what I think will be fun to watch. I hope, at least! LOL

  • DesertDudeDesertDude Posts: 1,134
    Diomede said:

    Not Brash and Moxie  (as of now)

    Here is an example of a style which would move further away from the old newspaper Prince Valiant style comics.  I did a comparison of rigging in Carrara and rigging in Studio.  One advantage to rigging in Studio is that it can still be used in Carrara, and the Studio transfer utility can be used to aid the development of additional content.

    Diomede, all of this is looking so friggin' awesome!! yes Thanks for all your detailed explanations. Love your characters and inspirations.

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