Thursday, 9 December 2010

The start of the rigging process.

The start of the rigging process.

This actually isn’t the start of the rigging process. I started testing the character as I built him up testing weighting methods and testing the arms and legs and hands to make sure they will animate properly. One of the main things the character really needed to do was to hold fruit and grab sticks.

So I made a basic hand rig and basic weighted it and made a little video to show how the hand will grasp things. This hand will be able to spread open better once it’s fully rigged later and it will have controls for each segment of each finger later.

I have more rigging that I have done so far, I have made a stretchy spine with top animation and bottom animation controls, shoulder joints with animation controls and an ik/fk blending arm with controls. I was supposed to do the skeleton, joint orientation and basic spine and tail setup for end of term which I achieved but instead of doing the tail I decided to take on the arm as I know I’ve had problems before with arms so I wanted to get what I considered the hard part out the way. However I have ran into some problems getting the joints in position which is proving to be difficult in finding a solution this is a problem I had last time I made a rig for several weeks. I intend to look at how I managed to overcome the problem before and start over again and build a new arm. I’m going to take my time to understand this fully again so I can make the rig work properly rather than rushing it and having a half done rig. I will post some videos of the parts of the rig working as an when I have it all working smoothly.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

the last trophy

The last trophy.

Ok so I was supposed to blog like 2 weeks ago but have been working constantly through from the modelling of bap to the rigging of Bap. As I know how long the rigging is going to take, taking the whole process into account and my previous knowledge from last year not being that great despite building a rig for my negotiated project. I remember that took me ages because things kept going wrong, that I couldn’t account for, but I got there in the end. I hope this time with a much better plan of attack, better resources for reference for the rig and the right method I should be able to get my head road the maths, which essentially is all the hard part is. But for me I know I will have to take my time to understand and learn the process, otherwise I will not learn anything to be able to create a nice rig for the animators. As baps rig is ape rig essentially, but needs to be able to have ik and fk on just about everything which makes things harder, and a tail with ik and fk maybe and I may also need a reverse spine. I think the only thing I’m looking forward to is making the blend shapes for his face as I have some limited experience of doing that in spring of second year in my free time and I quite enjoyed it, but that’s a long way off it seems at the moment and I know that will take a lot of time also. Anyways I’m getting ahead of myself, what I mainly wanted to show in this blog was the last of the work on bap modelling wise from the 20th November to the 26th November.

Once I finished the main modelling for bap, Simon asked me to do some hair. Simon did a quick initial sketch of what he wanted the hair to look like in 2d and I modelled what I was asked in maya.

As me and Simon were working quite closely on this, we soon realised it was appearing a bit demonic so Simon did some more reference through sculpting this time though.

Simon pulled out the stops to make some reference for me quickly overnight like the machine he is. Basically I couldn’t read his mind for the final design and look of the character. I had no real reference as to what he wanted on the few character designs that existed so I really needed that. Once I had the reference I used this to guide my sculpting in mudbox which I thought would be a lot easier than maya for getting the rough shape and it did make my life indescribably easier. Working close by Simon changing his mind like a hair stylist trying to pick the right design for his model, made sure that the design was developed how he intended.

I first took the character and duplicated him, and the chopped away all the faces I didn’t need and put both copies into mudbox I used the whole copy just as body reference and the second to pull out and sculpt the hair how Simon had designed it.

(photo's of work in progress)

I used the grab tool to get the desired length, the foam tool to get thickness, the knife to create hardened edges and the smooth for obvious purposes. I created variations in size and length to give certain randomness to it, to make it feel more hair like.

Once all this had been done the fun part came, I had to re-topologize the mesh to bring the poly count back down to a workable and animatable amount of polygons. Once the topology was all sorted I put the pieces into Maya separately to soften down any overly sharp vertices. Once in place I duplicated the arms and legs across and scaled the parts up accordingly to fit. I matched the texture lamberts so you can see once baps textured his hair will blend nicely with his skin.

There is still some more tweaks and adjustments that need to be done to the hair on the back and a little more may be needed towards head but due to changes all the way throughout the modelling process I have ran out of scheduled time on this for now. I will have to come back to the hair later anyway as I think it will be classed as like an accessory on the character as it will lie over the top of the main geometry but I will have to wait till I finish the rig now.

As fun as it was evolving the character as we went, I still think a more solid set of development should have occurred on paper before we started the modelling. There were many parts of the character that weren’t thought out like, his head and neck movements, the specifics of his face and how it moves also the mouth movement, his hands and feet, his tail and his shoulders and arms going through his head when moving restricting arm movement. A nice looking character but not functional what so ever to start with as I found out when I did test weighting and rigging early on. So me and Simon had to discuss how we could make the design feasible to model for functional purpose for the creature to do what was scripted. I think if the character had gone through proper development earlier in the pre production, taking everything the creature needed to do into consideration. I could have spent more time earlier on in baps modelling concentrating on giving him nice topology to allow for easy weighting and I could have done a better job on the hair, maybe even giving it a little jiggle deformer to it. And I could have started the rigging earlier. And that would have saved me coming back to it later, which I will need to do now once the rigging is done.

All in all I’m quite happy with the way bap turned out; I found I have learnt a lot more about;

general character modelling, weighting, topology, edge flows, stars 3 and 5 pointers, ways of working out 5 sided shapes, types of loops, making topology work with anatomy and allowing for muscle and body movement.

I am looking forward to getting him to the animation stage as soon as possible so he can start being used for some interesting animation and I can do some animation with him for myself.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Baps Development.

Last week I was working on the main body then I moved onto head, hands and feet constantly refering to reference of different body parts from different animals and ideas that I discussed with simon in relation to the ever changing nature of baps design. See below for Last 2 weeks progress.

The begining of this week I did baps face which is all nicely worked out now but may need some more work later when coming to rigging the face.

Towards the end of this week ive been trying to clean baps topology up. I thought I had done the shoulders and legs ok but after another test weighting him and moving the legs and arms iv found I need to re work the leg topology again as there is quite a bit of pinching.
So this work I did in the last 2 days will not be reflective of the photos, but I will show updates in the next week of my progress.

This is something im going to finalise early next week so I can move on to cleaning the mesh up removing any unnecessary edge loops and placing more in were movement is required. Yesterday I got the shoulders workin so first thing next week I will test them to make sure the new topology works then move swiftly onto the legs to finish the model up. In the last two weeks I found I have learnt a lot more about the flow of edges throughout the characters and how this helps define their movement. Also through the constant testing by weight painting ive managed tto learn more about what I need from my topology. And overall ive been been learning a lot more about modelling each and everyday and I hope to keep this up throughout the year. I will be posting more images of bap as he develops further but I will now wait till I have significant development, as there is lots of small chances going back and forth between simons vision of how he wants him to move and look.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

il have a beg and acon BAP please

So end of week blogging for bap well he's changed a lot over the week as i roughed out his basemesh and after putting a basic skeleton on him and a bit of rough weightpainting using the new interactive skin bind tool in maya. I found that bap's topology needed a lot of work to make sure his skin would deform correctly when he moved about. So thats pritty much what ive spent most of the week working on his topology and workin closely with simon on his body shape and proportions and also have had to move the shoulders back from the ears so that when he moves his arms they dont go though his ears. This was one of many things that needed to be changed in order for him to work as a character. I also had to build him a butt as in the original design he didnt seem to have one. So far ive got the topology of his chest and shoulders flowing well and back and next week i will resume work on his legs and butt. And i will also start working on the hands and face soon once the body's topology is all flowing correctly in acordance with the movements he will need to be able to do.

See below for images showing my progress with bap this past week. The first roughed out basemesh with only the left side of the model being worked on as i will duplicate later once the character is more refined. The topology is only set out so to difine the shape rather than allow for good deformations.

I then started to work on improving the edge flows of the character looking at many other different base meshes to see how people refine the topology to allow for good deformations when weightpainting and thus animating the character so that weird deformations do not occur. Also the character has been drawn out longer and more athletic to allow for some interesting movement when running.

Front view showing the improved topology but will rpobably still need working on later.

And here is the back view of the shoulder which still has a lot of work to do once i start correcting the back legs topology.

jingly jingly jingly

Finally got the pocket watch handle and chain attached and moving during the week via parenting in the correct order and grouping correctly and also positioning the ik handle in the correct place so that the chain flows from the top. See below playblast.

The last prop i started work on was a telescope for the hunter to be placed inside his study on the blimp. This is only a rough shape as i have now had to prioritise the character modelling this past week. See Below.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

whats the time.

Below are some images of the low poly model for the pocket watch, once we establish the shots for the watch I will put in more detail like the roman numerals and engraving and glass ect, and the ticking of the clock to be set as an expression. I have also made some dynamic chain for the links of the pocketwatch so that the chain moves realistically but it still needs to be attached to the handle of the watch, I will post some animation examples of this once iv connected it all up. below is just a quick screenshot of the low res watch. Once again also uv unwrapping this as I go. Also the hinge between the faceside and the clockside have been centre pivoted correctly so they can close in either direction.

Friday, 22 October 2010

more modelling of the grammerphoneeee

Below are some images of the grammer phone which was the next thing on my checklist, Which didnt take very long to model due to help from my little new friend nurbssssss mmm. During this model i found myself becoming more and more comfortable with using nurbs as it was useful to get down curvy shapes really easy and quick. Once again the handsome sketch in the background and designs are by royzz, which were quite helpful for getting the basic shape and thinking abt key features on the grammerphone.

When talking to royzz about the designs he was saying one of the features he hoped to add character to the grammerphone was the steam pumps moving up and down like pistons, so i made some blend shapes quickly and also gave the record a little spin, unfortunately i havent got the nib handle moving up and down yet to the rythem of the bumpy surface of the haggered and bumpily surfaced record thats paying. But the video below is just a quick example animation i did to give some life to the grammerphone.

Modelling work so far...

The last to weeks for me have been quite productive, ive done a few low res models and some high res models for the main project, but not in too much detail as the extra detail will be put in later. The amount of detail that will be put in will depend on how close up the shots are.

Below are some shots of the Missile which Royzz designed and made some handsome orthographic views for me to get the base shape down which was really helpful, and cut my modelling time down a lot.
Once i got the base model down me and Simon went over the look of the Missile, and i started to add a few extra features like grenades and patches of metal on the rear of the missile to give it age this will all be highlighted more when textures are added later. I also added a cluster bomb on one side to make the bomb feel more make shift. See image below.

Below is a shot of the high res model once all the accesorys where added to enhance detail. There may still need to be some more detail in more areas later on if close ups are required.

I then went on to uv unwrap the missile, hunters gun and the crate which the missile comes in at the start of the scene. As we now decided to go through a process of uv unwrapping our models as we go to save time. Below is just the missile and the gun to show as examples of the uv unwrapping so far. We have been using roadkill which is free and easy to use and saves a lot of time uv unwrapping as it makes it easier to select seams for the textures.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The final countdown...3rd year begins

When we got back this term, we had to pitch our intentions for the year and any ideas. With the same group prity much as the pitch in 2nd year, me, emma, simon, matt and tom and now roy i think our idea had changed from a game trailer for release the beast to a short animation of a hunter of rair animals and the antics that ensue when his apprentice tries to stop him. I intended to do as much modelling this year as possible on the project and some animation later on in the project. I will also be helping out with rigging and uv unwrapping and maybe texturing and anything else that needs doing.

Wellwellwell for the first week we all sat round and decided on a solid idea which Tom and Emma have refined through a Series of different scripts. Once they got the rough idea and storyline down the more 3D Orientated of use me and Matt.L set about doing some of the low polygon models for the key props. The first Bit of modelling I did this term was the hunters gun which over the last week ive refined and tried to keep the poly count low on. I will also put some more detail in later once we know how close up we are going to be and where the detail will be needed on the gun. Below is a few images of the low poly model. My main goal was to keep the poly count as low as possible and to try not to put detail in places where it wont be seen.

Perspective view

Orthographic view

Also today as we are a bit low on things to start modelling until we have the storyboard finalised tomorrow, Tom commisioned me to make a crate which I am immensly proud of so I thought id put it up here so that everyone can revel in my glory haha Its possibly the best the world. I think its for the super dart which im going to model tomorrow fingers crossed. Fun times will ensue as Matt.L put it, we pull verticies all day long. mmm verticies. But on a serious note I cant wait to get fully stuck into the modelling this term as there is going to be plenty to do, as it looks like im going to have to take on the rigging again but should be a interesting challenge.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

In the summer time

Over the summer I wanted to model and sculpt a character in mudbox. Once I started this I realised that this was quite a big task so i ended up spending most of my time just learning how to best use my graphics tablet to sculpt and the buttons and sculpting tools in mudbox. I did a lot of the modelling for the armour, belt and helmet in maya then brought them into mudbox to sculpt details into them which I enjoyed particulary with the helmet. I used the mudbox body preset for my gladiators main body so I could concentrate on the characters armour, clothes and accessories ect. I did however sculpt some muscle areas on the chect, arms, shoulders and stomach, but mainly just the areas that would be visable through the armour and clothes. As i spent so long learning the sculpting process and learning from my mistakes in terms of aproaching the sculpting of certain areas there is still much to do on the gladiator.

Below is the base mesh for the armour which I sculpted more detail into but cant find the file at the moment but I will post up when I find it.

Below is the Helmet which I spent a lot of time on playing with different helmet shapes, I still keep playing with it all the time and I need to have a clean up on the mask on the front as its all very uneven.

I still have to finish the upper body armour and the belt. I need to work into the muscles more and define them more. I need to make boots for him, shield if i am going to have one and a melee weapon of some sort, I think I want to have something a little more brutal and interesting than just a sword and shield so may make a range of weapons and see which works best with him. I also need to make some wrist armour and knee armour and maybe a arm sleave of armour. And most importantly I will need to learn and re topologise the character before I texture him. This probably wont get done now till we have handed in our major projects and i have more time available as this term im going to be fairly heavily loaded with maya work.

The following image shows how far the gladiator has come its only a mid shot has he has no underwear yet only the belt so it looks a bit silly if I showed the lot. I may make a few changes to the armour as im not sure about the shape,I was going for a early greek armour style.

Friday, 18 June 2010

2nd year life drawing.

Here is some of my life drawing from this year.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

manrig WALKS SO HARD!!!!!!

I filally got round to testing the rig for the walk by animating a basic block through walk which is a bit jumpy and to smooth but thats due to my lack of animation practice and i havent properly thought out the timing i just wanted to show that the rig is able to be used for a animated walk. which it is as you can see from the 2 playblasts below. The first is a slower test walk just to get the basic feel and make sure the joints are all working properly. The seond playblast is prity much the same thing but with a bit more animation to it and all the manipulators removed so its just the geomtry being shown in the animation.

I think this went quite well and I think with a bit more time I could have made a decent walk with my guy. Now the problems mmm oh the list well the problems that I couldnt solve with the rig which I found that I couldn't figure out how to fix without starting the rig all over again was the arms had somehow moved them selves out of alignment with each other which I didn't notice till later in the rig and I wasn't able to fix it then. Also another thing that annoyed me was the right foot when I first tested it worked the same as the left foot, but just as I was doing secondary test when animating the feet for the walk the right foot heelrot y and x and toerot y and x where freaking out when I rotated them. I looked at both feet to see the differences and they were both connected in the same way and had the same channel box inputs all but the right foot had some more rotations than the left foot. This is the only thing that I could think was different and that not freezing this earlier caused this maybe but I wasn't sure and as I wasn't really using these rotations in my walk I didn't worry about it to much. The arms also seemed to remain attached to the top spine control manipulator which was good for basic movement but when I stretched the spine out a long way the arms would move up to far this was due to a incorrect constraint but all the other methods of constraint I tried where much worse and as I wasn't doing a great deal of stretch with my spine I left this as well. The only other thing I can think that I came toa dead end with was hiding stuff away so the rig cant be broken, I got most of the things I didn't want people to touch in a off limits group in the outliner and all the manipulators in another and I put the geometry on a sepperate layer so you could see it but not touch it, though I had some problems with the legs and arms as still being selectable but this was probably due to the way I had heirachied things but as I couldn't figure out a way around this I had to leave it. If I had more time i would go back and sort all these things out, this is something I will probably do in my free time anyways.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Mrrrr stretch

The stretchy was prity straight forward once I found the easiest way of doing it. I originally tried using clusters to control the movement of the back and the twist but this didnt work with my rig. I also tried controlling the spine straight from the spline curve cv's and attaching them to the manipluators but that was an epic fail. In the end I found the best thing to do was to use two seperate joints as control joints and use them in the same way as clusters to control the joints and then attach the control rig to this but I had to rearrange everything in the hierachy to make sure everything followed correctly. But overall once I found the easiest way that worked for me the spine was quite easy to do. Anyways the playblast below says it all really.

The next stage I made sure I had right was the shoulder I wasn't sure if I would need it but it was prity straight forward for this part so I decided to put them in anyways even though I probably wouldn't need them in the walk but I thought as may use this rig at a later date they may be useful. I just made sure I had some distinguishable manipulators from the arm anyways the playblast below shows the range of movement in the shoulder. It will look wierd and disconnected but thats just becuase i dont have any skin on my rig its just basic geometry.

The last main thing to do on my rig was the neck and head. I decided as i didnt require to much movement in the neck during an animated walk so what I did was make a baisc manipulator and constrained the neck and head joints to this and then heirachy the manipulator to the top spine manipulator. I made sure the corresponding joints were connected so the head followed the rest of the body but could still move on its own this took some trial and error but I got the right order of things in the end. Below is the playblast showing the rage of movement in the head.

The last thing i did before animating the character manrig as a whole was to make sure everything was heirarchied correctly and hidden away the bets I could. Also everything needed to follow the main body of the rig when animating so that nothing was left behind. I had to look at a variety of rigs to see how others had done this. I found a way that worked for my rig after a bit of epic failing but in the end i feel my rig was quite tidy. The other thing i spent some time doing was locking away things in the channel box so things couldn't be animated that were not supposed to be on the manipulators i think i did a good job of this but there were still many many things i probably have to lock away but i dont know how to, ive tried locking the geometry so you cant delete it when you select it in the outliner but its still deletable or it disapears so i dont know how to get round that one yet.