Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Character Production #04 - Pose Test

Over the last couple of weeks since the interim critique i have been working on a mixed bag of subjects to complete my 3D illustration. My main focus now is to complete the modelling of the project which involves the completion of the environment, and setting up the composition for the illustration by posing the character and tentacle. The tentacle is fully rigged and ready to be posed, with the character on its way.

I have prepped the character for rigging by laying out the UV's, deleting history, and making some final adjustments to the model. I have decided now not to use nCloth as i believe it will become some what of a hindrance in the pipeline of posing the character. Instead i will bind the night dress to the arms and legs, and will cut out the torso. I have also added some seem lines along the night dress to make the more seem less, a stage i was going to create in texturing the model, however is seemed just as easy to model them.

For the pose test i created a simple set of joints and a very basic IK setup on the legs. I then smooth binded the joints to the geometry and without any adjustments to the weights of the bind i then rotated the joints into position. This test enabled me to work out the positioning of the joints, and how much of the model needs to be skinned in the proper fashion. The next stage of the character pipeline will be to bind to body to the joints correctly, and to create a facial expression via wire deformers and blendshapes.

Character UV's
Night Dress Seem 1
Night Dress Seem 2
Night Dress Seem 3
Character Pose Model
Pose Test 01
Pose Test 02
Pose Test

Friday, 20 April 2012

Tentacle Production #02

After some r&d into the production of the tentacle (as seen in a previous post), i have now moved onto produce the final model for the tentacle, which is now in the early stage of its rigging and posing process. After some earlier tests looking at how the geometry would deform using nonlinear deformers i discovered that the topology for the tentacle would deform well. I then went onto create a set of joints for the tentacle and begin the binding process. The tedious task of painting weights for all the suckers soon made it clear that this wasn't the way forward in the pipeline for creating the tentacle. After a short break and some advice, i was then directed to rig the tentacle using a lattice deformer, which i had used before, and then create the joints and bind to two together - a much more simple task to complete in comparison to painting weights. As you can see in the images below this technique will work very well as there is a lack of deformation within the geometry. Now its onto creating a set of controls for joints so i can pose the tentacle in a more art directed fashion, which will then be followed by the creation of the texture via sub surface scattering.

Tentacle Model
Tentacle UV's/WireFrame
Tentacle Sub-D Preview
Tentacle Rig (Without Controls)
Tentacle Pose Test
On a side note from production i have also been working on the 2D concept which i will then be translating into 3D. A rough line work has been proudced, and some of the little girl in the scene has been painted. The next stage will be to complete the environment and then work on the lighting within the piece.

2D Illustration
I have also commisioned an illustrater friend of mine Rake to create a quick poster for the project, with the key theme being the general idea that has been driving the project, which is a horror illustration through the imagination of a child.

The Toilet Terror Illustration

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Branding #02

A side from production i have also worked on some personal branding, to prepare myself for the real world of CGI. I have been working on a design for a business card that people will remember, which doubles a way of giving people my contact details, a mini CV and portfolio. Below is a dummy version of what the card will look like, so there are a few typos and the folds have been scored slightly of but the general idea is there. You can also see the final design for the card which should be batch printed soon.

Dummy Card
Business Card Design

Tentacle Production #01

The production of the tentacle in my mind has was always going to be interesting as it has involved various different techniques within Maya that i do not use on a regular basis, and some techniques that i am yet to use, some of which include sub surface scattering, and the possibility the Maya to Mudbox pipeline. Another interesting area of the tentacles production will be the texturing stage, achieving a wet look via render layers could be quite fun. As you can see below the modelling stage is on its way, but the only image that is final is the WIP 02, as the rest has been a test to develop a pipeline of how to create the tentacle. 

To create the tentacle for this test i simply duplicated the section of four suckers, and capped the end. I then had to taper the tentacle so if was wider one end and thinner on the other, i was always going to produce the tentacle this way - however i did not realise that the suckers underneath would be stretched and thinned out of proportion. To achieve the result seen in WIP 05, i still used a lattice, but instead raised the number of lattice points, and scaled each one separately, moving into position, then shifting the lattice points back up the model to squash the suckers back into place. A rather tedious task, but still one which works - plus it also added some irregularity within the suckers shape and the curve of the tentacle which aid in creating a less low budget CG look.

I then applied some non linear deformers (twist & curve) to attempt to achieve a naturally curved tentacle. I only spent around 5 minutes playing with this, but I'm sure after some further adjustments and some rather tedious work, this pipeline of posing the tentacle may work. The next stage of the tentacle production will be to model a final tentacle, lay out the UV's and attempt to pose the tentacle via a rigged system.

Tentacle - Non Linear Deformers 01
Tentacle - Non Linear Deformers 02
Tentacle WIP01
Tentacle WIP02
Tentacle WIP03
Tentacle WIP04
Tentacle WIP05

Environment Production #01 - Sink & Toilet

Production has begun on the environment, So far i have modelled the sink and have begun work on the toilet. The difficulty in the production has been to model the props so that they match the 1960's design, but have a modern aesthetic. I think they work as a design, and hopefully will render well. To achieve maximum smoothness i will be using the smooth tool, and render using mental ray and the sub-d preview, as the models are low poly and there is quite a jump to high quality. To finish the models off, the sink needs a plug with chain, and the toilet needs a flusher, and the toilet seats need attaching.

Sink Model
Sink WireFrame
Toilet Model
Toilet WireFrame

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Character Production #03 - Minor Update

A minor update on the body model. After viewing the silhouette of the character, it became clear that the eyes were far so bug like and petruded too far out of her face to remain cute. With the general rule of thumb that the larger the eye the cuter the character, i have attempted to maintain this idea by keeping the size of the eye the same, but squashing the eye so it sits more flush to the face. I also re-sculpted the geometry around the eye by bringing it all forward and further flattening the front of the face. Overall I'm rather happy with the model as it is, with just some minor lumps and bumps to sort out. I will now move on to lay out the UV's for the character, replace the eyes, and bind the geometry to a some joints for posing.


Character Production #02 - Near Complete Model

With production well on its way, the character of the illustration (the little girl) is in its near complete model stage of its pipeline. Since the last update on the character i have added the toe/finger nails, smoothed the geometry in the face, modelled the nightie, added in some rough eyelashes which will be further refined within the texturing stage of the pipeline. I also began work on the hair, although after a few hours of attempting to rough it in with geometry, i was going now where. Since the start of the project i imagined the character to have dynamic hair, which would be created via the Maya hair system, however i stumbled up on an image which can be seen below, which i thought would work really well for the illustration, and overall style of the piece. Once the hair was modelled, i would then have to reposition it once the character had been rigged and posed, so i made more sense to go back to my initial idea of using dynamic hair.

Near Complete Model
Geometry Hair
Moving on from failing to create the little girls hair, i then decided to take an overall look of the characters silhouette, a stage that i missed in pre-production. Overall I'm pleased with the out come of the character so far, the character profile is my favourite part in the silhouette as i feel is displays the age of the character well, however some parts of the character than will need working on include; her alien like bulging eyes, and the curves of her body as they appear too developed for a child of her age.

Character Silhouette
I have also re-worked the name of the project, going from 'Dont go to the toilet at night', to a more refined, easy to say, straight to the point 'The Toilet Terror'.

Project Brand