Our brief was to chose a form media or text to transcribe into CG allowing us to interpret it in our own way.

The text we chose we can transform it into something new using the it as a spring board of inspiration, however some elements will have to show relevance the material that was transcribed. For this project I chose to do a character design and modelling pip-line as I have yet to model one of my own designs over the duration of the previous projects. My initial idea was to do a creature based design, so my research began by looking into mythical creatures where I found myself being drawn towards aquatic creatures which led me to look into the Kraken.

'The Kraken' By Alfred Tennyson (1830) Below the thunders of the upper deep; Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea, His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee About his shadowy sides: above him swell Huge sponges of millennial growth and height; And far away into the sickly light, From many a wondrous grot and secret cell Unnumbered and enormous polypi Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green. There hath he lain for ages and will lie Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep, Until the latter fire shall heat the deep; Then once by man and angels to be seen, In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

Extract from 'Seafaring lore and legend' By Peter D. Jeans (2004)

'Kranken, Legendary sea monster long feared by sailors. Seamen from northern Europe and Scandinavia believed Kraken would think it is a small island. It would then grab the vessel with its tentacles and pull it under the water, devouring all men on board. The Kraken of legend was probably a giant squid. Alfred, Lord Tennyson penned a short poem entitled 'Kraken' in 1830 about the hideous beast.' (The Dictionary of Nautical Literacy By Robert McKenna, 2003)

I found that a lot of extracts from sailors accounts of seeing the beast are quite vague and many speculate to be a giant squid. However what they actually describe seeing is tentacles rising from the water to pull the ship under, not seeing what is below the water.

From reading the extracts I began sketching out ideas from what first came to mind. At the same time I was trying to find a different way of interpreting what the kraken could be, for example instead of the monster approach most commonly used, it could be a smaller creature. I also looked into the idea of a steam punk interpretation of it being a machine created by pirates to scare other sailors.

Creature Silhouettes

From looking into pirate ships I began looking into figure heads which lead me to a humanoid type character, combining a woman with a squid or octopus. As I began to sketch my ideas out it turned into a theatrical style that worked well. These designs became a more interesting interpretation of the creature, creating a character with a story and personality.

Character Bio: Molishka is sea royalty, she roams where ever she pleases as other creatures flee at her presence. She despises sailors and land walkers as they invade her aquatic kingdom in ships. When she is aggravated she has the tendency to have an explosive temper and has been known to sink passing ships crossing her path adding to her decorative collection of ships on the seabed.

Head and Body Turnaround

Head UV Mapping

Body UV Mapping

Shoulders and Bottom Tentacles UV Mapping

Head UV Texture

Body UV Texture

Shoulders and Bottom Tentacles UV Texture

To wrap the tentacles around her head I started by selecting all the vertices on the tentacles, right the way up to the forehead of the character. Once the vertices are selected a lattice deformer can be created around the selected geometry. Selecting the lattice geometry and the base lattice in the outliner the deformer can be scaled and rotated to fit around the geometry without deforming it. If the base lattice is not selected the geometry will be deformed when moved. Also the deformer must be around all the points otherwise they will not be effected by the deformer. If some vertices were not selected when the lattice was formed they can be assigned to the lattice trough selecting the lattice and going to edit membership tool and select vertices you wish to be effected.

Once the lattice is in place the number of divisions in the lattice need to be increased, the more divisions there are the smoother the movement will be. Once created joints can be placed inside the tentacle, the more joints there are there more control you will have over the movement. When the joints are in place, select all the joints and the lattice and smooth bind them. Now the geometry can be moved by rotating the joints individually. When you are happy with the position, the history of the object can be deleted which removes the lattice then the joints can be deleted.

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