Acting Assignment: Luthor Jr.

This semester had the particularity of being the most diverse when it came to assignments. Traditional Animation had assignments involving lipsync, so it became a voice acting and acting class where you had to come up with your own designs, Storyboard asked for more layout elements and character designs, Layout had a strong element of cinematography, which meant learning film appreciation and composition, the Toon Boom class was a short film production, Life Drawing focused on colors and Acting had a character development assignment.

We had to chose an animated series (existing or defunct) and come up with a character that would fit the tone of said series, while not being against the story structure of the series. It had to be a secondary character.

Our series of choice was Young Justice. A series about legacies, rebellion and breaking from the mold of our parents and mentors. What we proposed was the dark mirror to the protagonists: A group of younger villains, trying to show they’re better than the ones who preceded them.

With that in mind, I offered my take on what would be the younger mirror of one of DC Universe’s most famous villains, Lex Luthor.

Alexander Luthor II’s stat sheet:

LuthorJr

He presents himself as Lex Jr., a younger, more laid back leader and more approachable than his dad. He wants to show that it’s time for a new wave of villains, because he feels the old ones are out of touch with the realities of the new century. He’s all that his dad was never able to be or have. He’s handsome, admired, loved by the press, stronger, smarter and thanks to some genetic modifications, he has flowing red hair. More Richard Branson than the Wall Street tycoon that Lex Luthor is portrayed as in the modern interpretations.

He wants the heroes dead and out of the picture, and the world to know it was his idea and his methods that led to their demise. Villains are the new heroes. Villains can be popular. Greed is good and all the moral codes are a thing of the past.

However, deep insecurities lie deep under his mind. Is he just being a young version of his dad? Are the “improvements” added to his genes what makes him great? Is he just being used by his dad?

The final look of Lex Jr.:

sketchbookstuff0320

I played with the colors of the older incarnation of Lex Luthor, back when he was a mad scientist wearing robotic suits. And making the face as smug and punchable as possible. The red hair was another element from the old comics that amused me, so I threw it in.

Character Design: Cthulhu the Has-Been

This has been the big commitment of this semester. It’ll end with a full character pack and my first sculpted character (this time for real, no ZBrush). I struggled a bit to convince Graves to let me do this humorous take on Cthulhu (“Cthulhu has been done to death”). Thankfully, my pitch of making it along the lines of a Monty Python sketch directed by Alex De La Iglesia worked.

The Pitch

Return to R’lyeh

In the late 1960s the cult of Cthulhu was on the top of its popularity. Also were LSD, heroin and mushroom consumption. That meant that during the invocation of Cthulhu, things went wrong and when the tentacled god was awaken, he was brought to a world that not only didn’t fear him, but that offered him to corrupt himself beyond his wildest dreams. Without respect, power or wealth (all the money was wasted in wild parties and the cult ended in decline because of competing cults that don’t promise to bring horror and death), so… Cthulhu fell through harsh times.

Now, the end of the world is coming. He’s supposed to be the harbinger of doom and his remaining cult members are mostly nerds and malcontent office drones. His cult is not fit for what’s coming, and he definitely isn’t fit either.

Devouring pizzas and souls alike, he has gained lots of weight, which leads him to a vicious circle of self-loathing. He dreams of being on top of this plane of existence, of filling this void in his soul with, well, souls. He wishes someone else could take his place in this “whole end of the world affair thing”, because he’s started to believe what others say about him… that he’s a has-been, old, a one-note joke about tentacles.

The Reference

My first task before creating the character was to imagine it being played by the appropriate actor. I chose Santiago Segura, because I loved him in both Torrente and El Día De la Bestia. He has this ability to play charming scumbags which fits perfectly with the tone I’m aiming for.

For the texture and style of the character, I studied (stared in awe) some artists who have this kind of irreverent approach to monsters for inspiration.

To make it “feel real” I used some abyssal creatures for reference.

The Roughs

The first sketches begin with his pretty face, where I discarded some interesting ones that could’ve been a nightmare to assemble.

Then I get to the body. I checked lots of “People Of Walmart” for reference.

And here’s our champion:

Now, we play dress up:

And here’s the sidekick:

The Cleaned-Up Design

For the final design, I handed in the pack with Cthulhu in all his glory.

Coming soon: The sculpted character.

Sketchbook + Cazadores de la 22

This post is short and sweet, because this wasn’t that interesting a week sadly. No food-truck chasing, crazy life drawing sessions or outdoor sketching. I’ve been a bit locked up for my current project (with certain pauses to hang out in old buildings and get some sun every now and then). But first, some color sketches from last week!

And now, for a taste of the main show…

Los Cazadores de la 22

Second Semester: Character Design – The Chair

This was my favorite assignment this semester: The Transformation. We had to choose between a Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde (instant transformation) or a From Cradle to the Grave (not the Steven Seagal movie). My first idea was “Dr. Jekyll is balding and applies a shampoo that goes wrong”, but Graves questioned my medical accuracy on the subject (I think it was flawless because I’ve seen it in Chuck Jones’ cartoons). My second idea was “Dr. Jekyll finds out he’s turning into a robot”, but he mentioned Rob Liefeld and we had an argument over the usefulness of pouches. The third idea was “I’ll draw Madonna”, which didn’t work out too well. Finally, I came up with the idea of a life spent in jail. He approved it, not knowing what I had in mind…

First Semester: Character Design

Character Design is a more experimental class, so I get to draw crazier stuff.  Most of the assignments involve shapes and playing with Sculpy, which makes it sort of like Kindergarden, except that you shouldn’t ask Graves to help you to go to the washroom.

First, we have heads from random shapes:



Then, we get the first head rotation:

Later on, we play with Sculpy:



Then, we draw the heads:



Now, we get into some full body stuff:



And when you have the power, you get the characters: