I remember you pointing out that bendy was out of character more often than the other toons because he was a demon and the whole story with joey, tricking the lil devil, etc etc. So i was just wondering how the other toons could be out of character?
Ah. The term I used is not “out of character,” but “off-model.” There’s a huge difference.
“Out of character” means what you think it does – a character doing something or behaving in a way that, based on all of their other actions and other context, would never even cross their mind.
“Off-model” is a term used to describe a depiction of a character that is not visually in-line with what the character is supposed to look like. In animation, games, and other visual media, characters are given “model sheets,” which are basically drawings of them from all angles and with various expressions that show what the character is supposed to look like. Here’s an example:
Above are drawings that were created for the original model sheet of Sonic the Hedgehog. He’s got a very distinct look to him, and as you can see there are even notes of how to draw his features included – you may not be able to read Japanese, but some of those notes say things like “don’t give him a brow ridge when his eyes are wide.”
Because of that note, if an artist were to give Sonic that brow ridge when he’s not supposed to have one would make the drawing “off-model,” because it’s not following the character’s model sheet.
Note that different incarnations of a single character might have different model sheets. Here’s Sonic’s model sheet from Sonic Underground:
See how it’s very similar to the original model sheet of the character? Now, here’s a frame from the Sonic Underground show where Sonic has gone almost completely off-model due to shoddy quality assurance:
See what I mean?
When I talk about the characters in the Toon Henry AU going “off model,” what I’m referring to is how those characters are supposed to look versus certain expressions they make and things that happen to their anatomy when forced to come face to face with things they would never encounter in their cartoon episodes. One might say these are things that would be “off-model” for their episodes, and in reaction the toons themselves go off-model. (You wouldn’t ever use the term “off-model” for an episode plot itself, though – a better term for that would be something like “off-style.”)
For instance, Bendy’s eyes – when he’s stressed to a degree that would never happen in his cartoons, his expression warps to match his mental state, and his eyes bug out in a way that you’d never see on screen. He may also get kinda drippy, and his entire physical form starts to match the “Bendy” model sheet less and less.