I've been carrying out some tests as to what type of animation will best suit my duck movie. While I'm quite fond of the visuals created for the concept art, the idea of doing a whole film using traditional, hand-drawn (or even digitally drawn) animation is more than a little intimidating. So I decided to see if the characters work using 3D CGI, and after piecing together a basic model for the duck...well, I'm not really any further along in making my mind up.
There's something notoriously tricky about converting a still drawing to 3D. That old Simpsons episode where they do a CG Homer is a prime example of that, even though his character design is dependent on fairly basic geometry there's something not quite right about seeing those characters as anything other than drawings.
Perhaps a better example would be the action figures. South Park's characters are as basic as you get in terms of design and still the 3D figures have a slightly disproportioned, 'unofficial' quality. Believe it or not, all the figures in the still above are officially licensed toys, not ripoffs.
While I've done my best to replicate the proportions of the 2D design (working from a front view and profile view, lined up so the proportions match up, which is pretty hard when you know nothing about this type of thing), there's that unplaceable absence of character in the 3D translation.
Although that being said, it is early days and this is my first attempt at a character model. Doubtless better textures and some fine-tuning will help. Obvious flaws to work through are the mismatched and improperly-mapped fur textures, as well as the woefully modelled wing and beak. So I won't rule this out just yet, but will reassess the situation once I've added enough detail and just made the whole thing look less, well, rubbish.