New character

This is what I was up to this month:

It has IK/FK controls, bendy limbs, stretchable limbs, auto twisting bones for the forearms and the thighs and the twist can be adjusted for the whole limb (twisting from the shoulder to the wrist)

I was testing the rig today, looking for undesired behavior(s) that would require some tweaks before I animate him.

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Lucy Thunder WIP 04

I have posted updates of the character everywhere but here… this should have been the first place updated

*click on the image to see a bigger version*

As you can see on the picture above I have changed the colors of her suit. Lighter and brighter colors were more suiting for this character, she doesn’t look like a UPS employee anymore and more like one of the “good guys”. She also look more sci-fi, which is a good thing as I plan to set the story in a sci-fi setting.

I was finally able to get a render style that I liked and the best part is that it doesn’t take long to render. So for the animations, quick renders = lot of time saved. If i mix this with my motion blur method, I will be able to get great visuals without take too much time to render it out!

Earlier I was planning to get her into Zbrush, turns out I decided not to. I didn’t really needed a normal map and with the render method that I am using, I wouldn’t be able to see the normal map.

As far as rigging goes there are some polishing to do (I want add some more animator friendly controllers and a GUI for the facial animation)
Its almost finished!

The next steps on the list are:
-Model/texture/rig her ship
-Model/texture the environment
-Model/texture/rig the bad guys

I’m not sure yet if I will do these in that order.

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Lucy Thudner WIP 03

Some changes made to the model
new colors (still temporary)
and still testing the lighting

next:
-unwrap the new pieces
-normal maps for the character and most of the pieces

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Lucy Thunder WIP 02

more details modeled into max and some colors added from photoshop

1 more test with the colors and the render style

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Lucy Thunder WIP 01

Some screen grabs pieced-up together of what I have done lately.

I still need to add some clothing details/accessories before I call the modeling finished.

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integration and motion blur technique

here is a video of a 3d integration on real footage i made for school a few weeks ago.

The goal was not to animate the object, but to make it feel like it was part of the scene.
didn’t have a lot of time to make this… sorry for the crappy animation

the rig was based on this rig i did this summer
https://greasymnky.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/turretbot_v0-5/

changed the turret for a camera and made the textures from scratch using 3dsmax material editor.

here is a clean render of the robot without the grain of the video

and a close up

(click on the images for wallpaper resolution)

these two images were lighted only by the HDR data I made from the kitchen.

the motion blur didn’t gave me what I was looking for for this video so i looked at other ways to improve the renders without having to to wait for hours before seeing the results

here is a test i made to get true 3d motion blur (translations and rotations)

made all the renders in mentalray and composited them without computing any motion blur, then went back to max and projected the renders on the geometry from the camera that took the renders (with self illumination) removed the lights and switched back to scanline renderer.
I then used the scanline motion blur to get true 3d motion blur.

this resulted in lightning fast motion blur (about 2-3% of the time it would have taken to get the same results with mentalray and/or camera motion blur) and better quality renders.
this also allowed me to see the resulting motion blur faster and let me more time to tweak the amount to get the desired final result.

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Testing Open Source applications

Lately I have been looking into open source applications to make quality digital animation with a low budget.

I was looking mainly for a 2D package to paint concepts and textures and a 3D package to model, rig and animate.

I looked a Gimp first as a 2D package, but it felt a bit too empty…. so I searched for a solution to improve the application. Turns out that someone had the same needs I have and made a patch for Gimp called Gimp-Painter.

I’m still getting used to the shortcuts (well, mainly remapping them), but every day I feel more comfortable drawing in this package.

This is a sketch I made this morning with the standard (round) brush.

I haven’t downloaded any other brushes yet, but this is something I should do soon. There is also GPS (Gimp Paint Studio) that can be implemented to Gimp-painter, this is also something I want to test soon.

Today I modeled a character in blender3D, and i must say that the 2.5 version is way better looking that the previous versions.
Modeling the body was a way to get used to the interface and to the shortcuts (I changed a few of them to be comfortable)
The head was modeled a few weeks ago (in 3dsmax) and got imported as a .obj to test blender import function.

This is today’s body and the head merged together (no hands… I know)

Luckily the head and the neck had the same amount of vertices so it wasn’t too hard to attach them.

The mouse head was just a import and feature test, but I’m not feeling it… I will probably make a “real” head for this character.

Blender looks promising, but I still have to test the Unwrapping, Rigging, Animation, Lighting/Renderng and Compositing features of the package.

The above character should be a good way to test all these features.

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