Senior Thesis: Process Journal 1


So far I’ve been concentrating on developing a character design I can use for the 2d element of my thesis project. I have a couple pages of ideas in my sketchbook but this is the one I think works best. I began the design process by drawing a realistic astronaut from reference, then “dumbed it down” to its most basic shapes to make it easier to draw many times. This involved removing details, but I tried to leave enough behind to keep the character interesting and recognizable. In particular, I added the antenna on the left side of the head, and separated the panel from the chest to give the character some extra-mobile parts that could help keep it lively.

I’d like to try to animate it with a limited range of motion to showcase the restrictiveness of the suit, but that isn’t to say I don’t want its motions to be fluid. I’m hoping the thick limbs and the way I plan to bend them will assist in these goals. I’ll have to do some pencil tests to really be sure this is the design I want to settle for.

I’m not sure if I want to give it any clear association with any particular space program, as the nature of the dilemma the character is set to face and how it is dealt with could be taken as less than flattering. I’m not attempting to make a political statement with it.

This is a semi-ambient sound piece I’m composing in Milkytracker for the animation. My entire thesis idea came from a piece of music I had remembered, so I consider music design to be an important aspect of the whole thing. Unfortunately, the piece I had recalled that set me on this path is missing. I can’t find it. Maybe I never really wrote it to begin with and had just imagined it.

In any case, I want to get an ominous, lonely feeling out of the soundtrack overall and I felt a track rich in bass would appropriately generate an ominous atmosphere. This song would be the first piece of music in the animation; I’d use it while showing the ship and introducing the astronaut, so it’s imperative that I capture exactly what I need with it. As it stands I’m not content with it (not that it’s finished anyway), and I may visit some of the Metroid OSTs for inspiration. As I listen to it while writing this journal I can hear a distinct lack of panning.


About torinmurphy

Animator in training. Connoisseur of concepts. Today I live to see. Tomorrow I'll live to show. Every day I live to learn.
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