Monday, 13 July 2015

The Snazzies: "Tim" Saggy Model Complete

Hey Catherine,

*Drum Roll* Okay this is the concluding chapter to Tim's development cycle. Its been a long journey with this guy but now I think he is at a place where I am happy and I'm sure you will be too. There are a couple of final updates to post on here just to "complete the thought" but for all intensive purposes he is now "Complete". I hope you enjoy this post so without any further ado I give you the completion of "Tim".

The image above shows the mouth shapes for the "Tim" Saggy believe it or not these cover most of the mouth movement of a standard CG character. You also mix and match these mouth shapes to get different results. My CG Arts teacher only ever used these to create phoneme movement. Anyway I thought you'd want to see them in all their glory. I didn't animate any videos to them but I think the pictures give you the idea.

The video above is a quick run through "the basic 3" facial emotions package on the "Tim" Saggy. I recall telling you over the phone that these are the 3 that are covered by the fee you paid (Angry, Happy & Sad). If you need any more expressions beyond these there will be an additional fee per expression. For the beginning stages though I am sure you are happy just knowing that the characters are starting to be completed.

Last but not least you have another small (quick and full) animation of the Tim Saggy moving through expressions as he gazes around. Please forgive the speed of the animations I made these less frames in order to get them rendered by the end of business hours Monday. Tuesday I want to get cracking on the "Stitch" character which Ross has started just to get that one rolling. I am aiming to have Stitch done by the end of this week.

Anyway I will provide this post link and the link to your model in the email I send.
1 down!! Woop Woop!!


Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Snazzies: "Tim" Saggy Baby Steps

Hello Catherine,

Apologies for the delay in getting a message over to you I know I said to you I'd have "Tim" done the day before yesterday but there have been a couple of hurdles. The minute I started moving forward onto the eye blinks the model went weird. I spent an entire day trying to correct it myself, when I couldn't I consulted a specialist (who I know from Uni days) and thankfully he fixed it today. I will continue and hopefully finish Tim tomorrow.

In the meantime -

I think you will agree that we have made it pretty much through and I think you will concur that this render is as sharp as it can get. This is with a basic 2 spot light setup (the same I have been using for all decent looking renders). This rendition is full A4 so you can actually download this and print it without losing any resolution. I thought it was time that I gave you a workable image while the rig is still taking its final steps.

The video above is the stress test render I conducted which took roughly 11 hours to render (7 seconds in total) but I thought I had kept you in suspense enough its now time to see the little guy move. I have showed it to Ross and to his aesthetically high standards he said it looked simply "amazing" which I do concur ha-ha. The animation in the video is crude its just control tests don't worry future animations will be better.

The second video (Brief walkthrough) is something I advise you watch if you want some more technical know-how. This one is totally aimed at you Catherine so check it out some time if you want to know how we will be animating this guy using "controls". I kept it brief and down to 10 minutes I realised that up until this point you hadn't seen Maya (our animation package) so it gives you a little look around how the future will be looking!

I thought I would finish the thought with another little pose which I knocked up while rigging I thought you'd get a kick out of these. Once he is fully rigged knocking up poses for your various presentations will be easy. After the rigging is complete on this guy I will get him over to you and I am so sorry its taken even longer. Luckily its fixed now so hopefully tomorrow night I will be sending him over... then fixing the next lol.

I hope you enjoy the post!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The Snazzies: "Tim" Saggy Skinning Complete

Hey Catherine,

Apologies on the delay of this as I told you on the phone there were extra difficulties due to the nature of the rig. This is not a normal set of principles so I felt my way through this one. BE WARNED this post is going to be a bit technical in nature so please wear your crash helmet and protective cup! The good news is I only have to finish the rigging and get some face shapes and your good to go! Please click any of these to enlarge.

The image above shows the original Saggy diagram I knocked up after my initial attempt (which resulted in failure). This surprisingly wasn't far from the mark the main issue was the arms because the belt is a little twisted. There were also unnecessary joints which I removed as I went along. We also added a joint in where the left side arms connect just to give a little extra twist in the rotations of the left hand belt.

The close up animated gifs above show you the functionality of the rig rotations (which essentially create your characters movement). When we get down the line we will probably think about adding FK functionality but for now this should suffice. I created a series of animations to test how the skin weight reacted between their joints. Having an effective rig means having decent skinning so the joints know how to move between each other.

The animated gifs above this show the legs, head top and head bottom joints being rotated. The joints are skin-weighted between each other to create a realistic crease/fold or any surface deformation. One of the other factors for this process taking longer is also because this is higher poly then we had originally planned. Higher poly means there are more points to accurately weight and of course we have to trouble shoot their influence.

The animated gif series above shows the rotations on his left and right forearms, wrist & arms. There is also an arm span test which creates a kind of clapping animation but its to test his arm reach. Last but not least there is a test to show his shoulder rotations from where the belt connects to his base. I think you will agree it is nicely divided. I will also note that these were rendered out "unsmoothed" just to save time on the rendering.

The single animated gif image above is just to show you how the his right belt arm coils (it does this better then the side with the buckle). We believed that it makes more sense that the side with the buckle is more rigid because he actually has a metal hand with a single metallic digit. Originally the belt buckle had multiple joints but I removed them because it was more believable that metal wouldn't bend (the exception being his finger).

Last but not least we have my diagram of the final result through feeling my way through this character rig. Obviously we still have the eye-blink and tongue influence to add but that will be much easier. The core elements were the trickiest as you can see throughout this post. I'm expecting things to go more smooth now then they have been. I just thought id update you just sorry I wasn't able to sooner.

Please let me know when you have had a chance to look!