This is a first pass of the mouse model for our short film. While thinking about the design for the film, I wanted to keep it pretty simple and graphic with a nice flow through the body and face. I’m a huge fan of clean design, and had been spending a lot of time watching some old Pink Panther cartoons with the kids, including one of my favorites “Think Pink“.
I love the design of The Little Man. Especially the way the head and body act almost as one.
I had a quick chat with character designer and good friend Sheila Bailey about the design of the mouse, and she quickly sent over a couple of sketches. One of which absolutely nailed the intent of the mouse, and I quickly got to work modeling a version in Maya.
Taking inspiration from Sheila’s drawings I began modeling the mouse and while adding a hint of innocence to his look. I loved the general shape, but wanted to make him a bit less “sly”. My wife and I also worked to give him a name.. we couldn’t just keep calling him “The Mouse”, so after much discussion, we ended up with the name Robyn. The name is multi-layered.. first, it’s the name of her brother. Second, we think that at some point in the future he will get eaten by a bird.. most likely a Robin. Third.. it’s just a cute name.
Robyn was modeled in Maya using polygons. This screenshot is from an earlier work in progress – just trying to get the flow working around the mouth. It’s pretty low resolution, but in this case, I really wanted to make sure the deformations would stay smooth.
After a little bit more work and a slight expression to show the cuteness, I sent along a 360 render to the team for review.