After getting into a really big halloween mood I started to watch typical horror films and anything else to do with that day of the year, even my doodles started to become more halloween themed which began the basis of my character designs which will be uploaded in the next blog post. When I think of the holiday Halloween, it always reminds me of the 1978 John Carpenter horror movie of the same name starring Jamie Lee Curtis; I watched this film and all of its sequels many times whilst growing up and eventually developed an unhealthy fear of the movies antagonist 'Michael Meyers' (pictured below).
The fear I used to feel when seeing this character (and having nightmares about him) is what I want to try to convey through the main boy character in my animation piece, its a feeling of being completely helpless, vulnerable and in danger and is absolutely terrifying.
As well as looking at traditional slasher horror movies I also looked at many modern horror media types that I have known over the years. I specifically picked out the Nintendo Gamecube re-make of Capcoms Resident Evil 1 solely for it's impressive camera work which gives the whole game an incredibly theatrical feel to it, which for a game that relies almost entirely on its story telling and visuals is a life saver because it truly keeps the player gripped and on the edge of their seat as they work their way through the game.
The video above shows a piece of the gameplay from Resident Evil 1, not only does it show the camera work which is incredibly useful from a cinematography point of view, it also demonstrates some very nice lighting both from external sources outside the windows as well as internal ones such as candles, lamps and hallway lights.
Another source I looked at for inspiration was the animated movie 'Monster House'. This movie has been a favourite of mine since it was released and being as it's all themed around halloween it's perfect as reference for my own ideas.
This trailer for the movie shows many examples of the different colour schemes and how they differ from day to night as well as some interesting character designs represented in a style that almost looks like they were made out of clay. The trailer also teases some of the horror elements which for this film are generally lighter and more audience friendly due to the fact the film is aimed at a younger audience.
Above is an image dump which shows a lot of the sources where I took inspiration from when coming up with the idea for my animation piece, it includes horror films from the 70's as well as classic tv shows, more contemporary films and animation as well as video games. I've also been thinking about a possible visual style, even though the animation would be done in 3D in Maya, it could have a clay look to it to make it feel slightly more organic and natural.
Another source of inspiration, mainly in terms of it's visual quality, is a short animation called 'Alma'. It's an animation which creates its scariness by playing on the fear of dolls sitting up on shelves looking down on you almost as if they are alive. I also found the texturing work to be very impressive and every time I watch the video it always inspires me to improve my skills as a texture artist.
Alma from Rodrigo Blaas on Vimeo.