Saturday, July 24, 2010

headed somewhere

So I've finally decided to make a 3D film for my next school project, thanks to a little encouragement from my professor. I was pretty hesitant about making the decision because I've no experience in rigging or cinematography. I can figure out ways to simplify texture and lighting, and even cinematography for that matter. But the thought of rigging makes me nervous.

I'm planning on a robotic, mechanical character to save time on rigging, but I still have very little knowledge on how I'd go about it. So I'm redoing this rigging assignment we did in class from the Modeling and Animation Handbook, and hoping I'll be able to figure things out.

Here's a little something I quickly doodled as "early concept art" while waiting for Final Cut Pro to render an edit I did for a small intern project. The mustache was a new addition to the character design I had in mind, but I don't know how I'd animate it quite yet. I've never worked with clusters and stuff.

I'm hoping I'll be able to learn something from one of my supervisors here at Humble. I finally got to meddle with some 3D stuff yesterday. I modeled this 2D paper cut-out-ish character using poly planes and used tools like the Sculpt Geometry tool, nonlinear deformers and a few others. It might be how South Park characters are modeled, I'm not sure. I read an article about it once. But I'm pretty sure I took a long round-about method because the texturing and stuff wasn't working as easily as it should've. Anyway, so this character has a mustache and I asked my supervisor if I could shadow him while he animates it. It probably won't get animated while I'm still here though.

Anyway, and here's another random thing I did in Flash while waiting to be assigned a project. It goes by a little faster than I wanted it to but didn't get the time to fix it. I wish these players would let you frame-by-frame the videos.

Also, I found a grey hair on my head today :( And I finally watched Despicable Me! It was awesome of course, except I felt like I missed out on a lot of gags at times cause sometimes there'd be so many going on at once, right after another, and there's a soundtrack playing practically all through out the film. But so entertaining and fun characters!


  1. No need to worry much about rigging. At RIT ther is the Setup Machine which does a decent job of rigging up your character really easily. You just set up a few things like where the body parts are and it does the rest. There's even the Face Machine that'll rig your faces (I'm not sure how well of a job that does). The only thing to concern yourself about is doing some good blend shapes but there's a popular book, Stop Staring, that has a nice little set up that works really well. In fact, I wish I had used it on my thesis instead of just putting joints everywhere...

  2. Ah. I'd still want to make a mechanical character that only moves at the hinges though by parent constraining the joints. Is the setup machine able to do that? And I'm not giving it a mouth, so the only blend shapes I'd have to concern myself with are probably the moustache and maybe the eyeballs because I want to make them cartoony so that they squash and stretch for blinks and expressions.