The Animation was done in Maya. Since animation wasn’t part of my specialization we didn’t want to make it to complicated and time consuming, so we opted for the standard skin bind with corrective blendshapes instead of a muscle rig.

The animation process was straight forward. I started by blocking in keyframes, in this stage I could change and try out different movements without having to redo a lot of work.
once I settled in to a animation I liked I started to tweak with the animation curves inside maya to get the right interpolation between keyframes. Some stuff had to be tweaked when I saw the interpolated animation but it was still true to the initial block in.
Here’s a video of the animation progress:

Kinda as a spontaneous last minute thing I decided to make his “fat sack”/chin a simulated ncloth so that we got some interesting dynamic wrinkles. There was no problem with the simulation itself, I got it looking as i wanted right away. However merging the simulation with the skin bound animation was a little bit tricky, but after some trial and error I got it to work.

Creature Animation Topology

I’ve finished the creature retopology. It took a little bit longer than expected and as a result I’m 3 days behind schedule.
But I’m happy with the fact that I took the extra time and got it right instead of rushing though the process. The retopo was done in Topogun, and now I feel like I know the ins and outs of the application. During the process I tested baking out displacement maps and did some simple joint rotation tests. I didn’t experience any larger complications, I was just slower at retopologizing than I expected.

Creature look development meeting

On Wednesday we had a look development meeting where we reviewed the creature design. We asked students both from our class and the second year to give us some critique on the creature sculpt.
Eventually we got a list of changes that we tried out, some didn’t work but most of them made the design better.
We are having these meetings every Monday so we can get some fresh perspectives and ideas of our work.

lookDev before and after

Ready for production

Today we finished up the set. Kim managed to build a awesome cage that will add to the look and story of the sequence. We’ve also fixed all the clothing for our actors and we feel ready to shoot the footage tomorrow.

Micke in his costume Kim adding fake blood to our scenBloody cage

Creature proportions and anatomy

This is the creature sculpt I’m been working on this week.
There’s still some work to do before I can say that the proportions and anatomy is 100% done. So tomorrow we will have a look development meeting where we go over the design and list the changes that needs to be done. As soon as that’s finished I will start to work on the details, such as scars, skin folds and other nasty stuff.

It was a fun challenge to figure out how the skeleton and muscles would work and I’m pretty happy how it turned out in the end.

3D sculpt coming along nicely

So I’ve started sculpting the creature and it is starting to shape up. Once I got the main proportions in I gave the model to Kim so he could start working on the rig.
Right now I’m working on the anatomy of the creature, trying to make sense of it all. Even though it’s a completely made up animal it still have to make sense and have a natural look to be able to fit into the world of our short film.

Speaking of fitting into the world, here’s a size comparison to a human. I wouldn’t like to confront it in real life!
Scale of our creature compared to a human

Milestone 1 Delivery

Yesterday we presented Milestone 1 “Feasibility and planning”.
We showed our concept art which Kim made, featuring the head design made by Rebelkimy. We were heavily influenced by other movie monsters but we tried to add some personal touches to it.
We also presented our storyboard and research.
The overall feedback seemed to be positive, so we won’t need to do any major overhauls.

If you want to view the milestones documents you can follow this link.

This is a demonstration of our 2D concept in 3D. We used this scene to test the creatures volume and motion patterns.

Welcome to the Creature VFX project blog

Welcome to our project blog!

This project will be execute by me (Robin Perdén) and Kim Lindqvist. I will be specializing in modeling and sculpting. Kim will be specializing in shading and texturing. The rest of the tasks in our project will be distributed evenly between us.

We are currently in our second week of work. The past week we did preparatory work. We have finished our concept art (thanks to Rebelkimy for letting us use her alien snake head design). We’ve also written our project plan, we have researched how to build our pipeline and some technical tests about panoramas, RED material and dynamesh.

But most of the work last week was about how to get footage in a scenography that we liked. We ended up building our own set which took too much time, but we think it will be worth it. We took some test footage at the location to figure out the framing and timing of the shots. The results were pleasing and we believe our scenography will suffice.

Concept art of our creature.