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.
After my last posting (see “One Eyed Monster”), I felt the urge to continue working in 3D space with the scifi theme, but with something more directly retro-futuristic in styling and content. This was the result. I again based my model off an original sketch, but I was inspired by images of old-school tin toys, which I found in a book appropriately titled Robots and Spaceships. The book compiles several examples of US and Japanese space/scifi themed toys from the 1950’s and 1960’s. I combined that with a more contemporary and minimalist aesthetic, like a mashup with a Marc Newson or a Philippe Starck design. Once I had finished it, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a certain pill shaped speaker/ipod dock design, but this, again, was completely unintentional. Trust me, I wouldn’t want to bring upon the wrath of Dr. Dre, since he made it abundantly clear in “Forgot About Dre” that he’s held on to his weaponry from his gangster days in Compton. Word.
I was watching some oldschool Twilight Zone (thanks Netflix!), and I found an episode with a machine that reminded me a lot of Robby the Robot. It looked a little something like this: