When it came to the animating part of the project, I'd always planned on using a mixture of 3D and 2D . Unlike how some animations move the mouth using a mesh, I wanted to use flat animations on the models.
You can see from the fourth video down an example of this. The eyes are 6 jpeg frames, played in a loop on a flat part of the face. For me this still works and gives character. It feels and looks bit like a victorian puppet at the moment, which is interesting, but not necessarily the aesthetic I want. Speaking to Richard Allen about this, we discussed how sometimes your work falls into the Uncanny Valley, which is to say they look humanoid but doesn't work, and un-lifelike. This can be a big problem because as soon as a technical error becomes the focus, the audience focuses on that rather than the story.
I do feel that the lighting plays a massive part in whether the character works. When it's fully lit, it feels like a model, but once it's partially lit, to look like candle light, it has a really nice atmosphere which is what I was after. This is something I will play around with and test more in the PMP and finalise in the FMP.
At the moment, I feel that the model of Albert has a likeness to the real Albert, but it's not got the Illustrative quality I was after. I think this is due to the muted colour palette and the flat texture on the face and body. I'm going to add pencil marks and shading to the model which should help add definition and bring back the quality from my hand drawn illustrations.