Category Archives: Creative Solutions

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Designing the Royal Guard


Using actual photographs of Royal Guards as a reference, we went ahead and started drawing.


We debated whether or not to include eyes or a mouth, as they would only increase the amount of work we’d have to do. In the end we decided that they were unnecessary, and went with the more simplified design. All the emotion will be portrayed through the character’s moustache and body language.

Character Design Inspirations (Royal Guard)

As the Royal Guards were going to be the most abundant characters in the film, it was critical that we got their design perfect.

To begin, we looked at the concept art and final designs of the main cast of HM Spiffing:

spiffing style
Designs and models belong to BillyGoat Entertainment


We also looked at the designs of Aardman characters, which we were told were one of the biggest inspirations for the designs of HM Spiffing:



As seen in the examples shown above (“Wallace and Gromit” (1989-) and “Flushed Away” (2006) we can see that Aardman characters generally have large hands and very cylindrical bodies, and we could easily identify┬áthe features ┬áthat inspired the art style of HM Spiffing.

Utilising our new knowledge, we went straight to creating a design for the Royal Guard. The basic body shape would be similar to Captain English, the game’s protagonist, where they are well built with slim legs, but with more emphasis on the height of the character.




Set Design

As the majority of our cinematic takes place within the walls of the Palace of Westminster, we searched for several photographs of the architecture and interior design of the building.

The deep reds with the white and gold trims were the major colour features that stood out, but the detail of the trimmings, we thought, were going to be very difficult to replicate on Maya. We decided to think of a couple of shots and angles that would let us get away with minimal trim to model.




While researching various companies that had made cinematics for video games I suddenly remembered Blur; they had made the beautiful realistic looking cinematics for games such as The Elder Scrolls Online, Dishonoured 2, Knights of the Fallen Empire: Sacrifice, the “descending into Hell” scene from South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut and most recently provided many of the visual effects to Deadpool (2016).

Their style, though unique, always captures the essence of the original source, whether it be the fantastical landscapes of The Elder Scrolls or the the over-the-top craziness of South Park. We wanted to do as much justice to the source material as we possibly could by adopting the values of Blur and applying them to our project.

Movie References

As we wanted to add as many references as possible, we looked to some iconic movie moments that would inspire us in terms of cinematography and tone.

Apollo 13 (1995):

Apollo 13 (1995): Launch Sequence. The dramatic tilted angles showing off the massive explosion that fires the rocket into space looked spectacular, and we felt that we could pay homage to this great scene by firing Big Ben into space in a similarly compositioned way.
Service Structure falls away: The long sweeping shot of the tower as it is removed from the rocket was epic and awe-inspiring (especially considering that CGI was relatively new technology and this movie was released on the same year as Toy Story).


Maleficent (2014):

Maleficent walking through the tightly-packed crowd, only her crown is visible. I thought this could be a good reference if we planned to add the Queen as a character; we would only have to model her crown as she walks through crowds of Royal Guards.


Shrek (2001):

Lord Farquaad on his way to waterboard the Gingerbread Man. It was the two guards just casually chatting that I really liked about this scene, and we thought it would be humourous if we included two Royal Guards just loitering around and taking it easy, then springing straight back into action as soon as they see the Queen approaching


The World’s End (2013):

The World’s End Gag Reel: Martin Freeman is too short. I thought this would be really funny to emphasize how short the Queen is compared to the guards.