For no particular reason, I set out to practice making a walk cycle in After Effects a while back. I didn’t have any character to start with, so I threw together the retro looking farmer character you see here. He actually started off in an early sketch as an even more heavily stylized, ambiguous humanoid, but quickly evolved when I got into Illustrator. Once I had the character in place, I decided to take the whole thing further, and build the walk cycle in the context of a old-school animation. To achieve that, I brought in a film preroll (which, if you look closely, you may notice includes flashes of my website logo), film grain and scratches, film reel sound effects, and throwback, Ren and Stimpy inspired, music. I mixed eras up a bit with some 3D elements (which I built and rendered out in Cinema 4D), though rendered in a low polygon style, to make them fit with the 2D look of the central character.
I’ve continued my explorations into “Low Poly” modeling and rendering, and above is one of my sample renders. True to my Mexican roots, I started this scene with a sombrero, and ended up rounding it out with a maguey (agave plant) and a nondescript bottle that we’ll just say is tequila. Personally, I’ve become a fan of the style, and the abstractions and the overall minimalist aesthetic it introduces. Plus, I won’t lie, objects are just way easier to build when you’re not worried about realism or any type of strict precision. However, I’m finding the simplicity of the forms ends up placing more weight on proper lighting, which is an interesting challenge in itself.
More explorations into low poly 3D likely coming soon.
I had been meaning to do this for a while, but I finally recently dove into trying out a “Low-Poly” style in Cinema 4D. All that essentially means is reducing objects to stylized and simplified forms, composed entirely of flat sides. It turned out to be very simple to achieve. I plan to use it in a few projects soon, but for now, I’ll leave you with this animated GIF of one of my early tests with a low poly object and a deformer: