Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Concept Sketches: Dr. Cortex

Hey, it's David.

We wanted to start taking you through our build process for the characters of LAN'ded to give you an idea for how each of us work. I guess no two projects are ever truly the same in this line of work, so of course, no two builders can be either. Even when they work closely with each other (I say this while we are 600 miles apart...) and learn the same techniques together, creativity and personal style come in to play to produce a different work of (hopefully) art.

There are a ton of different ways we go about designing a new puppet character. Sometimes we have a well planned out idea, while others (as was the case for Melody the Music Note) are constructed simply from scratch- grab the foam and glue and go!

I personally didn't know as much as Kyle about the LAN'ded project when things got started. I was invited in after the characters of Cortex and Wally had been established. I was a little apprehensive at first, because I didn't want to step on the toes of the artistic vision. Lucky for me, the toes handed over a blank canvas. Here are the original sketches I drew up quickly while we were chatting about Cortex and Wally my first night on the team...

While the two look pretty similar, for the one on the left I went with a bit of a Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future feel, without wanting to over doing it. For the one on the right, I started with the head shape and went from there since I already had an unused foam head (almost two years old actually) sitting around that I though might work.

The next guy may look a little familiar too. As I experimented with ages and shapes, something resembling Albert Einstein came out. I think a little too much Waldorf crept in too, which was completely unintentional. As you can see, I couldn't get away from a lot of the same ideas: big round eyes with eye bags, big ears, and the same balding hairstyle. I decided to trust my instincts and make them my major character traits.

With these traits in mind, this drawing became my jumping off point (below). The result will probably most resemble him, but of course things change as you start to build. Aaron (creator of LAN'ded) really enjoyed the idea of having a hint of Christopher Lloyd in the design so I went with that. I also opted to use the preexisting head, after all it was perfectly good and had been waiting long enough to receive a face and body!
There were many other versions of Dr. Cortex I discarded over the course of the design process. A couple of them were awesome characters (some of my favorite designs in a while actually) that I know we'll end up using in the future for other endeavors. They just didn't find their way into this particular project.

Check out tomorrows post for Kyle's original designs of Wally and his battle with the obstacles of building on the road.