Kadij is Killing Me

So there’s this short film I’m working on. A Tron short, basically just an excuse to dress up in cool costumes, fight with cool choreography, and do some awesome CGI. Some of that CGI, though, is really kicking my ass.

The basic plot is that my character is an isomorph, a sentient program being hunted by the Grid’s authorities. Lesley will be playing the strong arm of that authority, a program called Kadij. Kadij arrives via Recognizer and those funky wing things to mess up the fleeing iso.

One of Clu's Black Guards, who forms the basis of Kadij's design.

The basic design wasn’t too hard to lock down. The trick would be making the face unique, while capturing elements of the other baddies from the movies. I whipped up this draft of Kadij’s helmet:

Early draft of Kadij's helmet, showing how it'll retract to reveal Lesley's face.

After sharing the sketch and brainstorming ideas for the rest of the costume, Lesley and I got together at a coffee shop and sketched out this rough draft over top of a photo:

Kadij draft
The first draft of Kadij’s suit

The design was something we were both pretty happy with, and a more detailed sketch followed, but the temporary helmet–which will be a computer-generated element, not a physical prop–pissed me off. It was a bad shape, and there wasn’t much to it. And something about the eyes really bothered me. So Lesley and I chatted, and we came up with a new version of the helmet.

Helmet version 2.

The S&M gas-mask look is a little much. And the eyes… none of the bad guys in Tron had eyes in their masks. Clu didn’t. Rinzler, the corrupted version of Tron, didn’t. Even Quorra didn’t have eyes in her mask. They’re all black facades. And if Kadij is a prototypical Black Guard, then she should have some elements of that design. Frustrated, I brought a couple of renders into Photoshop and mocked up some variants.

Helmets, helmets everywhere... click to embiggen

Immediately I liked the no-eyes options better. Also extending the textured plastic. Also also reducing the gas-mask rebreathers to something more like what we saw on the Black Guards. Once again, I got Lesley’s feedback:

I really love these. My only preference is thus: I’ve noticed that some of those masks have the gas-masky things more inset, closer to the face, while some of them are set away from the main body of the mask by about half an inch. I really prefer the masks where the cylinders are closer to the face. Much smoother looking.

Otherwise, please put it on my face now. NOW. Thank you.

So, thus encouraged, I mocked up another one from scratch tonight. The helmet still has to be rigged, but it’s getting closer to what I’m sure will be the final.

Much better.

SO. What do you think?

Paddle your own canoe, guys and gals.

-Trevor

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About Trevor

Teacher, writer, podcaster. Obsessed with tech and paddling, politics and entertainment. Nerd extraordinaire, and handsome to boot. You can find his work over on the Spillway network and his home on the web, Love.Make.Share. View all posts by Trevor

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