I am almost done with the rigging phase now, the only things I have left now are the blendshapes and the displacementmaps that are going to be driven by them. I’ll only be the few we need for this project, about 5 to 6 blendshapes and probably a couple more displacementmaps. Hopefully by the end of the week I’ll be done with all rigging.
The first thing I started to rigg was the wings, wasn’t that much of a hassle as I first thought it would be, fortunately our animation didn’t call for any folding or excissive fanning. Right now all the the feathers are driven by curves and IK splines which in turn are driven by one hair system, this has the advantage that you only have to tweak one node and it will affect all the feathers. The wings themselves are simple IKs and then the feathers are parented to the closest bone. We will propably add some wind to feathers to make them abit more alive. Here is a little video of the dynamics in action and the controls:
The rest of the rigg is pretty straight forward, arms are ik, I added a extra joint in the forearm to simulate the radius bone. I made some driven keys for the fingers for faster animation, so if one finger curls it affects the others to some extent, I also added controls and finger curls for each individual finger for more control. I also started with the nCloth, right now I’m testing out different settings with a lowpoly mesh, when I’m done with that I’ll save it out as a preset, add it to a mesh with abit more resolution and then we will simulate with that. And lastly I’ll constrain a high poly mesh to the midpoly one, hopefully this will cut back on the time we need to simulate and produce some cool results. Here is a video of some of the controlls and the lowpoly nCloth in action:
Started to with the rigging yesterday, I decided to start with the lantern, the chain in the lantern is driven by a hair system and a IK spline. I put the joints in the at the pivot where each link would rotate and then skinned one link to its own joint. Here is a picture to illustrate.
And a little clip to show you the staff in action:
I plan on incorporating alot of dynamic secondary movement in the rigg to give it more life, and hopefully speed ut the process of making an animation that looks and feels “real”. I will include controls to animate everything by hand if need be though.
I’ll starting on the wings today, they will be driven the same way that the link chain is, one hairsystem for all the feathers, the tip will be dynamic and the rest will be joint driven. I’ll probably throw in some driven keys for fanning and such and be done hopefully by the end of today.
Yesterday I started to retopologize the last pieces and the body was first, I also plan on doing more sculpting after I’m done with the rig. I embeded a picture of the topology and where it’s at the moment, I tried to have an edge flow that could maintain the volume of the bones and larger muscle groups, hopefully that will give some good deformations.
And a small progress picture of the current model, I’ve sculpted the smaller folds and hopefully nCloth will do the rest, the folds are in seperate layers so if it looks strange with the dynamics I can always dial the folds down:
So here is an small update on the character, I’ve been modeling alot these weeks. Gave the character a brand new pair of wings and designed some of the accessories on him. The only items left to do is the actual skin on the character and the cloth. Hopefully by the end of the week I’ll be done and start rigging.
I plan on adding smaller details later to really push the realism, such as smaller feathers on the wings and some wrapping on his body, alot will come later when i start to rigg and texture the character, there will be alot of bouncing back and forth between the two. I’ve been regularly inserting the character into the scene to see where I need to add more detail and where it might not be as necessary.
Here is a picture of the current model:
After alot of discussion between us concerning the design of the character we finally arrived at a decision and I could start with my basemesh. This was yesterday so I’ve put about a half day of sculpting into it also. I still have a couple of more days of sculpting and modeling before I move on to rigging.
I’ve decided to model and retopologize first and then rigg the character instead of rigging our basemesh, this incase something goes wrong or we decide to change some proportions, which would have meant that I wasted alot of time rigging and Ludvig would have animated for no reason. Now we will know that the rigg works and hopefully not waste any time!
After our research and preproduction phase we got together and made a more complete schedule which we will be following starting today.
Finally here is a screengrab of the character in its current state, alot of work to be done!
While Anneli and Ludde been working on the environment I have been busy solving some of the problems we will most likely encounter in this project. Most of the problems lie in the rigging department, so I’ve been looking into some Pose space deformers and how we will handle the cloth of the character.
I was concerned at first of using ncloth so instead I tested to use dynamic hair to drive the joints in the cloth pieces, but the result wasn’t that appealing. Instead I tried ncloth in conjunction with a skinbinded mesh and that looked alot better. So for now we are going with that.
Here are some videos, the first one is hair driven and the second one is ncloth with joints.
I’ve also been building up our 3D scene in Nuke so that we can place our actor card and asset cards in the correct places. Here’s a little shot of that.
Finally I’ve been modeling the basemesh for the character, once it’s final and accepted I’ll start rigging it.