For my short animation assignment I was given the character of an elegant cactus. My initial thoughts were heavily influenced by Disney's 'Fantasia', in particular the walking animation of the mushrooms, and before I had decided the look of my cactus, and the dancing movements of the hippo ballerina, as I initially planned to use a much dumpier cactus.
My cacti's silhouette mimics that of a woman in a dress, with a bud/flower for her "head" and a leaf growth on her torso acts as an arm. Originally I wasnt sure how the cactus would move, as having it in a pot would need hopping motion, which in itself is not very elegant, or the pot would have to have similar feet motion to that of the mushrooms in Fantasia. In the end I decided my cactus would up-root itself from the pot, the bottom leaf walking similar to the mushrooms of fantasia, and would have a few roots acting almost as a trail for the dress like shape of the plant.
Initial planning sketches for the elegant cactus assignment.
My initial plan for this animation was to have it dance along a conservatory windowsill, however after extensive searching, not being able to find a suitable windowsill and becoming afraid the animation would be too boring, I found myself looking at other rooms, trying to reflect elegance in the setting as well. I had found an assortment of images to use as background and after talking to Meg, we decided the below image would be the most successful because of the many areas present in the scene that my cactus could interact with, before exiting the shot and moving to a different scene. Originally the image had a brush in the pot the cactus is planted in at the start of the scene, which I photoshopped out to give the cactus an included feel to the scene.
Starting pose of cactus in the bathroom scene.
I chose this photo for the next setting as the colours are similar and it has a very cubic feel to it so the setting flows, plus the large front on window was perfect for the continuation of the cacti's dance, but I had to remove the hare ornament and wanted to lighten the image so it better matched the colour scheme from the first setting, so again photoshopped the image to work better for what I needed.
Original 2nd scene image
Photoshopped 2nd scene image