I find it interesting that if you google define the word “character”, “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”, is the first definition, before “a person in a novel, play, or film.”. I find it more interesting to toy with this first definition of the substance of a character, rather than the second which suggests more what they do/look like.
What I find really great about our “synapse” characters, is that we aren’t designing them in characters in the way I would assume to do before this project, because we don’t really have to! I think it was an important revelation to design the characters based on what’s necessary and don’t give them any unnecessary features that are there just to be there, and aren’t functional. “Form follows function” as Sullivan said! Who knew a Bauhaus architecture quote would apply to an animation project, artforms truly overlap themselves.
Anyway, the manifesto behind our character desgins is that it isn’t really all that important for our synapse characters to have any features or “personality” in the traditional sense. Usually, I’ve designed characters in a way that really focuses on appearance, morals, aims, goals etc. So this is a really interesting way to work because it’s different and new for me. We are designing them as “characters” in the sense that they have character, in that they have purpose in the world and they do have personality to an extent. They react and express themselves through light and they change according to the state of mind their environment changes into.
Our aim for the synapse characters is to keep them really abstract and anthropomorphic, and our group have been making great contributions to this general aim.
These are Bradley’s and Alistair’s synapse designs! Viola also contributed but I didn’t manage to get a photo. I think we all worked in a way that we had the same goal in mind, and our synapses came out looking considerably from the same world (which was crucial for the “character” brief).
The synapse characters and neutral, worker-type entities in their neurological world.