Saturday, November 17, 2012

Original Crash Bandicoot Character Rotation

Check this out Crash fans! Behold! Look what I discovered today! This my friends is the original five pose character rotation for Crash Bandicoot! Yes indeed! The authentic one and only rotation ever created for Crash back when he was Willy the Wombat in early 1995. The date on one of these poses is February 1995. And all the drawing except for the 3/4 front view are the actual artwork and not a photocopy.

Rotations are a standard necessity in animation production for character designs. This is what I did for Willy/Crash using the 3/4 front view as a starting pose. The drawing is based upon a clean up I did of the sketch Naughty Dog sanctioned as the official look of the character. The images were used to create the CG model of the first Crash. They're primal in the creation of the final version of the character in his earliest days.

This is the first time these images have been seen by anyone since the very beginning of Crash and the first time they've been published as far as I know. Hope you enjoy them!







15 comments:

Gabriele Fiasconaro said...

That is AWESOME! Finally we see some cleaned-up original concept arts from the original game! New developers should use this to build the next gen Crash Bandicoot model for a possible future game. Did you do rotations also for the other characters?

girlday said...

Finally, after months of researches, that Crash concept art (the second one you posted and used for promotional images) is finally on the Web!
Great job as always, Charles! :)

Pat Caldora said...

Charles! This was the picture I was talking about! The second one in the rotation circle! I love every bit of it! The way Crash looks is a masterpiece!

Were the other characters needed to be rotated too like Cortex and Tawna?

Charles Z said...

I knew you guys would appreciate this.

Pat, the second pose in the rotation is a line clean up I did off of a Joe Pearson drawing. This was the image that was approved as the final Willy the Wombat.

I found more concept development art of the original Crash and will follow up soon.

Pat Caldora said...

Ok Charles! Also, I can see that the second one in the rotation was based on this early concept of Willy/Crash:
http://crashmania.net/images/1/art/concepts/characters/crash-01%5B2%5D.gif

Charles Z said...

That was a sketch from Joe Pearson. He came up with some designs based on sort of a cookie cutter pose of what was happening with the look of Willy at the time. ND liked the one that's in the rotation and that became the final version of Crash.

This was a challenge for me cuz essential information about how a character works was missing in the sketch. The rotation was important because it was the beginning of making a concept that was in many ways non functional, functional. That's why they're important to the production process.

Gabriele I didn't do many rotations at all. Maybe for Cortex, not sure. ND didn't place an importance on them. They should have. They were looking for concept so most of the time that's what I focused on.

Gabriele Fiasconaro said...

Well I think that they don't needed every character rotation because of the PSONE software limitation. they took the design from the varios concept art and made the final model with the limited poygons they could use. For Crash was different because is the only character that the player see for the entire game and in every position possible so they needed to know how to make it look like in every position, but for the others it wasn't necessary.
That's what I think.
However during the development of CNK did you participated in the change in the look of the main cast like Crash having different colors or Coco being so different or that was a decision made by the 3D modellers?

Charles Z said...

That's correct. Still, there's other considerations for rotations on your main characters. Even if the PS1 was limited. For example there's the franchise. Rotations are important for style guides that are used by companies that license the property. Or provide basic information on the design theory of the characters. Especially for PS1 since the modeled characters were crude. In any case, it is what it is. Everything worked out alright.

For CNK I primarily developed concepts for new characters. Changes made to established characters were done by Vicarious Visions or maybe by Universal.

Gabriele Fiasconaro said...

Well maybe they didn't expected such a success for their game so they didn't think about toys or thinks like that.

However are you happy with the changes made for the main cast in CNK or do you think that they should have maintained the old design?

Pat Caldora said...

Coco was the one who needed a new design in CNK. She changed from a little girl with overhauls to a teenager with new clothing.

Hey Charles, how was it to design Crunch Bandicoot, the newcomer into the universe?

Charles Z said...

I think they were anticipating success with Crash. Universal Studios was backing up the project and a brand new Sony video game technology was there to support it too. There was high expectations for Crash from the beginning. Outside of the game production itself and the publicity ND was good for, the property could have been managed much better by Universal. That's one reason why it's not continuing today. I feel it could have been managed better.

I didn't design Crunch. CNK was the last I worked on Crash. Universal wanted me to design Crunch and other characters but negotiations didn't work out.

Gabriele Fiasconaro said...

I can only immagine your version of future characters like Evil Crash, Nina Cortex, The Evil Twins, Ebenezer Von Clutch and the others. Universal rushed every Crash project from Crash 1 to the last one, and I think that that's one of the problem of Crash.

Charles Z said...

I really would have liked to continue working on Crash at that point. I regret that it didn't work out. Universal had their issues and also I didn't manage negotiations well. They went through a lot of different heads of their interactive division over the years. Some were good some not so good. Much of my info came from what I was hearing through different sources. A meeting I had with one of the presidents of the division was particularly disappointing. I think some of them didn't really know what they were doing. That's my impression from the little exposure I had to that side of things. Still there was great success with Crash. Hopefully some day Activision will see what they have and revive Crash.

PJunus said...

Looking at all these drawings of Crash makes me wish I had an artbook to hold in my hand. From character progression to environments to the designs of evil critters and obstacles, I would pay $100 to flip though glossy pages of them D: Also thank you very much for posting these types of references! I've always found myself trying to screencap and draw his low polygonal version but this would help much more!

Charles Z said...

If it was within my power to publish a book on the art of Crash I would. The next best thing is to get it out for all to see. Glad you're appreciating the images.