This week we have been putting everything together. We have set up the rendering layers and passes, refining the facial capture to make it work with our film and finally rendered everything out. Since we are a bit behind schedule the alien needs more work. So this week we will push the last shots to the same level as the first. These shots below are the ones that are about ready for re-render in higher quality.
I have been working with the animation for the character, and if I can say it myself I think it looks good! The animation was done with facial capture and then refined in maya, might have forgotten to mention that. Will have to keep working to get all the shots together and add some extra features which I have shown in the previous posts; Fleshy Eye and Sticky lips.
During this week I have been creating most of the blendshapes for the astronaut, they are almost all done with the blendshapes except for some small issues which occur when I throw them into faceshift. Most of the blendshapes work together except for the mouth area because of all the blendshapes which have to work together to make it look nice.
Next week I hopefully will be done with the blendshapes and have started recording for the first clips of the film.
Last week I forgot about the inside of the mouth, so I had to model and texture the gum and teeths fast this week. Didn’t put a lot of detail on them since they won’t be that visible. Then I created the helmet of the spacesuit and am currently working on the suit. The suit won’t need as much detail as the helmet because there’s no close-up on it. I will post images of it soon.
Another thing which I have taken a look into, sticky lips! Currently it doesn’t work automatically in how it sticks together so that is something I will have to take a look at next. I don’t want the effect of it getting the same stickiness in the end as it is in the beginning; a little bit of the effect can be seen in this video, but most of it has been removed by hand. Not complicated but would be tedious if I have to check the whole animation and create the effect manually.
Something I noticed on my fleshy eyes was that it didn’t keep the thickness of the eyelids and just pushed the vertices away without thinking if there was a thickness or not. Luckily it wasn’t too hard to solve, threw in a lattice which then helped me avoid the problem.
I have been continuing work on blendshapes. Currently most notable thing I have taken a look at is fleshy eye, as can be seen in the gif above. It will help me out when creating the blendshapes I want, but as it’s at the early stages some refining will occur.
Will have to look up sticky lips aswell and add it into the mesh aswell. Most of these functions will either be implemented into the blendshapes or be used in post when I have all the animations set.
This week, the sculpt of the head has begun and we have also taken texture references.
We got access to a room where we could take photos for textures for our model. Therese, a classmate of ours agreed to assist us as texture reference. The room was set up with 3 lights, one on each side and one in front of her so we could get a uniform lightning on the face.
The photos were taken with a polarizing filter on the camera which got rid of unwanted reflections and highlights. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the scene bright enough, which means the quality decreased a bit. We might end up reshooting if the quality isn’t good enough.
This week we got the opportunity to discuss the storyboard and previz with Mattias Sjöstedt. With his help we managed to improve the previz, which you could see in the previous post.
The first shot with the tentacles in the foreground, which we have tried out our pipeline for this project.
Linus: The reason we chose to create the tentacle first was to get the opportunity to go through all the stages in the pipeline quickly to encounter all possible issues early on. In the draft above I have sculpted a highpoly model and transfered it to Maya, and painted it in Mari. We have set up SSS(Subsurface Scatter) shader and rendered it with Mentalray.
Anton: My work with the tentacle is a simple rig which was aimed for snake/tentacle sort of animation. The only drawback with the current rig, it can’t twist on selected joints. This I might have a solution for but it isn’t a major part of this project so it has to wait until I got time. We also added a blendshape to give the holes a breathing motion, this hasn’t been added yet in the video above.
Anton: Here I have created a rough test on my pipeline for getting my blendshapes out from my jointbased rig in Maya and then import it into Faceshift. There it can be driven by an actor to give us the facial movements we want. The eyes, brows, and mouth are the only parts which are driven at this time.
When that’s done I will go over to Maya to give the final touches to the animation. That will problably be a challenge in itself.
We have now updated the previz! Take a look!
Anton is currently trying out his pipeline where he creates blendshapes with a joint-based rig. Meanwhile, Linus will start working on the head of the astronaut!
We are currently working on a more detailed previz which we will be using throughout the project. Basic models with basic animation which will then be replaced during the projects course.
Meanwhile, enjoy this video of me playing around with Faceshift!