Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Major Project - Preparing for Production

Two things to show today. Firstly is the monk, this time in full 3D. I've put some preliminary textures / shaders on him to get a better idea of what he will actually look like in the final animation, however I will be refining those and also adding a bit of sculpting to the monk too. Nothing too drastic, but enough to make close up shots look just as interesting.

So I've rendered a quick turnaround of him, both with the full costume on, and his body. Don't worry, he is still wearing pants! This also doubles as a lighting test.

I've just noticed that there seems to be some flickering, which is strange as there is no glow or final gather. I have a sneaky suspicion that it could be the depth map shadows!
Anyway, a final turnaround will be made once the final textures and lighting is sorted, and that will be posed and include wireframes and clay etc.

The second thing to show is the design of the kitten. I went to the tutorial meeting yesterday, and we were mostly talking about the kitten; what aspects work, and don't work etc. The latest design I took to show was this.

While I thought it was one of the better ones, I feared that in doing so many variations in front and sides, I had probably lost something from the really early sketches. However I was still happy with the overall shape and pose.
But basically, most people seemed to agree that the blue shaded kitten here was also a most successful shape. In some areas more than others.

The only problems being that it is clearly posed (not a default pose) and didn't have a face.
My attempt at neutralising the pose (by tilting the head back down) and adding a face went a bit wrong as you can see below.

In the end we came to the conclusion that I have all the right features of the kitten, spread across several versions, so my main task was to merge the best bits into one design.

I've gone with the black and white cat design as a base to make the tweaks and this is what the kitten has finally turned into.

If you compare the two side views, I've made tweaks to the tail, the eyes, the nose area of the face and defined the front legs better.
The head in the front view changed quite a bit, but really all I've done is realigned the features with the side view better, which has forced the shape of the head and ears to be a bit bigger, which I think has helped in improving the proportions from the front.

The last few tweaks while minor, have seemed to show how really tiny mistakes can have a big impact on the shape. I am about a week behind behind schedule (nothing unusual there!), but I am confident that the kitten is now ready to be modeled in 3D. While the monk translated perfectly, since this is my first attempt at a quadruped I expect I may find other oddities in the shape that will only reveal themselves when seen in 3D and will just fix them there and then. So for now I will start blocking out the kitten, and if I do make any little changes to the design I think they will be easy to re - tweak in 3D.

So you know where I'm at in my schedule, I planned to start animating in 2 weeks time, but I may have to postpone that by (hopefully no more than) 1 week to catch up with everything else. That's modelling, texturing, rigging, adding sound to animatic, and storyboarding the intro sequence.

A Flock of Pixels.


  1. Keep up the good work... the kitten is looking much better! :)

  2. Saw this, thought of you!

    Also - I keep meaning to comment re. your idea of the 'open credits-style' establishing narrative for Saint Anthony - I think it's a good plan!