Still got one week until the course ends and the final presentation.  Which gives time for improvements.

  • Fix DOF to be more accurate (obvious problems on eg. the feet)
  • Grading could be better
  • Interaction, is it possible to render out some extra debris around his feet?
  • Obvious flaw where the tail moves over the small tree branch.
  • Postmortem ( Mandatory )
  • Improve Presentation
  • Fix black square artefacts created by the Zblur node.



Here is the shot and the breakdown, It ended up looking okey I think!
The two weeks I just waited for breakdown renders I should have added in some foreground elements.
I learned a lot and now I just want to keep creating, time for the next project!

one week left


Puppet / the animation rig.
A animation friendly real time rig. from which we can later store joint transform information to drive the highress bindrig and geometry.

LOD A Bind rig
The lod A bind rig drives a highress version of the model.  it contains deformers and psd correctives etc.

Muscle rig
The muscles are rigged with a ribbon-like setup, with one insertion and one orgin. Ulna, radius,scapula and the patella bone also has its own rig. Goal shapes are used to get the muscles into their correct shapes during flexion and extension.

All the muscles are simulated with nCloth and the bones are used as collision objects.
the nCloth muscles will jiggle and collide with each other and the bones.
To help guide the muscles another set of skinned muscle objects was required, which then was connect to the nCloths inputMesh and controlled with the input attract attribute.

The fascia was simulated togheter with the muscles. With a negative pressure set the fascia squeezed all the muscles togheter and gave a nice sliding effect when the muscles moved.  The fascia was then cached to drive the final skin.

Simulating the whole character at once would be pretty heavy so the simulation passes was splitted up into upper body and lower body. It was then later combind with a wrap deformer and some weighted blendshapes, togheter with the highress bound and chaced out face.

The skin was then simulated from the cache with self collision turned on for dynamic wrinkles.  To get the final look two passes of different self collide width scale was cached,
to give some nice wrinkles around fingers and so forth. everything was then wraped togheter and cached as a final.

Scripting power
Every step was scripted and worked within my pipeline, it was easy to export and reimport my latest assets .Everything could easily be rebuild if the joints needed to be replaced or the model needed to be changed etc.


At the moment I’m caching out some breakdowns on my muscle system, the rendering is now done and most of the composition. What I’ll need to do is to create some particles for the atmospheric effect.

meanwhile I have been looking a little bit at fabric engine and mayas plugin Splice.
I managed to recreate my “flex expression” to a splice node, which is pretty convenient.
It’s kinda simple, a set value (min – max) triggers when the input transform is changing speed fast. So if something is going in one direction then suddenly speeds up or change direction or something that would make the nCloth behave weird the value triggers.
I plugged the .output value into the color of the sphere in this example..


Final Cache

Here is the final cache. I combinded everything in a seperate scene with the wrap & blendshape deformer. Then I used the cache as a rigid and simulated my nCloth.
I’m almost done rendering out everything in 1080 resolution, with all the different passes. What I want to do next is to composite everything and start making a breakdown, it would be nice to have another “breakdown shot” that shows the muscle system better etc.

bake cache bake


This is a little program I scripted. It saves the joints animation values to a file, that can later be mapped to another joint or back to the same skeleton. It was a while ago I did write this script and to be honest I think it could be done muuuuuch better. Like saving out the transform or the whole skeleton or save down the values with the API which is a bit faster.

But anyway this is what I will use for now. I’ll save all the data from my animation rig which I can then later use to animate my highress bound. The blendshaped face will be cached out and wraped togheter with the skin parts.


Okey the old skeleton bake didn’t work like I wanted and was toooo slow. So I scripted a new animation bake, which bakes a skeleton and then constraints it to animate another skeleton. works great.

Muscle rig


Final Muscle rig



















Tomorrow I’ll create the final goal shapes for the leg. Then I’ll start working on the highress bound, like correctives and flexshapes for fingers etc.
Planning to finish upp and assamble all my caches before friday!
I’ll also have to setup all the cloth objects etc and cache them out, but that should take a day max.. Then it’s time to tweak the shaders and render everything out!

Dynamic rnd

Rough test. I think the skin sliding is kinda cool, but I’m not liking the jiggle dynamics.
Will have to keep pushing that.

Had some troubles earlier this week with intersecting muscles, this really gave my pipeline a chance to shine. I just had to go back to modeling fix my intersecting muscles and then rerun my scripts. Everything connected up fine, sdks, correctives (as the topology wasn’t changed), skin, joints and muscle rigs (ulna, radius, scapula).


fascia test for upper body.. Using nCloth pressure attributes to tighten the muscles togheter with the fascia.  Have started animating a quick idle for a character breakdown.
Will simulate the shot 1 upper body tomorrow, then keep working on the idle and hopefully start setting up the muscles for the legs.

A bit too clothy.. Will keep playing around until I get something that looks better.


Starting too like the feel of the skin. Want it to be a bit rattish. This is a render version of the fascia with the skins textures. The difference from the fascia and the skin is the self collide attribute. Will make another solve with the skin over the fascia, to simulate wrinkles.