Sunday, 9 December 2012

Unit 7: Narrative - Charles Character Rig w. Pose

Hello Everyone,

Got quite a few posts to make over the next few days before we hit D-Day so I thought I'd start off with a bit of a bang. The rigging process has been rigorous and it has been quite a love hate relationship... that being said I did get a kick of enjoyment as each piece fell into place I was just a little annoyed by the admin we had to undertake to scale it down... Made me think I hadn't done a good job. I did get a bit of a kick when the face shapes started working (especially after Alan gave me a scare telling me to remodel all of them again in Maya - "no thank you").

Anyway I know it may have not worked as perfectly as I had hoped but then again I don't think anything ever has happened to me like that and usually when it does something else goes wrong to balance it out... Still it was rather nice to see it work when I conducted my own personal renders, it restored my faith that I had actually done it right.

If Charles could actually speak I'd like to think he'd call me Dr. Frankenstein... and yes you are welcome that I brought you to live my minion MWAHAHAHA... (cough)

You may have to look carefully at the image above mainly because the wiring is actually there and so is the rig... vaguely. The eyes are my business partners favourite bit (I have inspired him to get working on 3D models with amazing eyes lol). More then that I love my skin shader (still gutted that I couldn't have it for our animated short but these are harsh times...). Luckily it doesn't stop me from doing my concepts and other posts using it. If we had another week or so I would have insisted that we rendered him in mental ray...

Next comes my Rim Shader comparison I thought it was worth mentioning the decision we were advised to consider through our discussions with Alan. The shader is slight but it is there and I have to say when I was slapping it on I wasn't sure but after playing with poses and other bits and pieces in Maya it really has clicked. I was also working out which colour I wanted to adopt for the most part then I had to decide how much of it to actually coat him in. The rim shader is mainly used for painted worlds much like ours....

Next is a 3D profile I conjured up showing the various elements of our Character, this plots Charles from Joint to IK then to wire before demonstrating the pose in a solo Render. It was also a perfect excuse to get to grips with posing his rig (going a little further then animating him in part 1 of our short). He's quite cute here even if he looks a little terrified (that's what his story is about sadly but we'll get to that on the day of the crit). Its nice to know how to do nice renders now I will defiantly be doing occlusion in future projects no doubt!

Next I flashed back to a few of our earlier pose concepts devised by the skilled Anita Gill it was the perfect excuse to test out my newly crafted rig on our earlier ideas of Charles. While I am a little disappointed to report that I could not replicate every single one I replaced the odd offender with what I would consider to be a pose Charles would adopt all the same. I'll leave you to guess which pose it actually is just to see if you are paying attention lol. I think if there was anytime for a drum roll I think it would be now :P

There they are in all of their glory altered slightly for dramatic effect... I think most would agree that he looks simply amazing (even to my impossible standards). Part of me is sad to see him go when this project ends but at the same time I'm a little glad that this level is possible from me... I think I'm slightly more confident then I was. Plus a child is really not my idea of a good time I love states of depression and grizzly murders so I am constantly in awe at what I could achieve if I were to consider those projects in the near future....hehe.

Well that does it for this little post, I have quite a few others on there way including the delayed blend shape post which I will be creating a little video for. I am also going to be reconsidering my animation reel of Charles (thinking about making him do a run and jump in various render passes).

Hope everyone is having a good night out there, cant wait to see everybody's stuff I'm sure Thursday will be a good day for us all to part for a brief rest.

Over & Out,


  1. Well done, Smokestack Studios - really looking forward to Thursday! :)