Lip Synch, Character Animation

I knew immediately after being briefed on the project that I wanted to design and animate my own character. I felt using a pre-made model in Maya would be challenging but would not give me any scope to be creative. I was glad of some guidelines, in that the character needed to be “humanoid” in appearance. When hearing the actual dialogue, “Maybe I should go back to making noodles” i felt this would confine the possibilities too much, in having to be somehow connected to noodles.

I began to develop ideas around this framework, one possibility, as obvious as it may seem now, was to have an extravagant gourmet chef, trying his hand at something different, then having something disastrous happen to him in the kitchen. It was then I realised the necessity of having an anterior action of the character to set him up for the line.

Another idea was to have a rather pompous judge figure, complete with wig, to be taken down a peg in the courtroom. I imagined his hammer breaking or having him fall off of his seat. Unfortunately I don’t think this character would fit into the context of the quote, nor match up with the sound of Jack Black’s voice in the Kung-Fu Panda. Above is a montage of the sketches I have made so far. I have tried to concentrate on the faces of the characters, as I think this gives an immediate depiction of their background and some personality.