Monday, 20 June 2011

Project Summary - Evaluation

I have learnt a lot from this project and year as a whole. I initially started the year eager to help out as many groups as I could but quickly learnt I was underestimating how much work would be involved and had to make some tough choices as to who I could and could not help. This was a major lesson I learnt, so I have always started thinking before rushing in and promising to do work which I would underestimate in terms of time scale. I learnt it is better to promise less and over deliver, than to promise lots and under deliver.

I quickly became a member of Andy's group 'The Deep' and also signed on with Kofi's project 'Heroes 1.0'. For Andy I agreed to model and texture characters, as well as do some lighting, animation and whatever would be needed. For Kofi I agreed to model his character (model/uv map/texture) and also help out where I could in terms of modelling, uv mapping etc. I also made my services available to other groups, letting them know I could UV map if possible.
I did all the work that was asked of me to a good standard and tried to always deliver as fast as possible. Being efficient and quick was a priority of mine.

It got hard to balance things at one stage, with the dissertation and IPP as well as everything we had to do for the films, but the scheduling we did and developed during Jared's unit came in very handy and allowed me to work on certain things during certain days. The stuff I learnt during Dan's unit at the beginning of the year has also helped me greatly and got me started on my journey to become a good rigger, it was just the right unit at just the right time. It allowed me to learn something new and push myself to become better. It was and probably still is the best thing I did all year. Even though my rigs were not amazing I learnt lots and got my skills up to a decent level for me to build off in my own time.

Working with groups has been quite fun and interesting, especially for such a long time. There were times I wished I had more control but quickly realised it was not my vision and just had to do the best I could to bring the director's vision to life.

The communication has been great this year, the group which is quite big has always been able to stay in touch and I have always kept people updated on my progress via our facebook group or my blog.

My strengths have been my speed, efficiency and willingness to learn and constantly better myself. I never settle with what I have now, im always pushing myself to reach a higher standard and I have definitely wanted to impress my group members and fellow workers.

My weaknesses have been scheduling and artist blocks. The scheduling took me a while to develop and even when I did sort out a timetable I still sometimes felt a bit overwhelmed. I also had art blocks which would prevent me working to the best of my ability but I found the best way to get through them is to surround myself with people and gather inspiration from my fellow peers. It helped a lot to see the great stuff that was being done and eventually pushed me to work harder. I guess I just need that creative energy around me to allow me to push myself.

It has been great working with everyone this year, and I cannot wait to get into the industry.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Shot 25 Final Lighting

For the final lighting, I actually decided to use a part of the light rig that Keith made and used for the other scenes. This is mainly because I wanted to keep continuity between the lighting in the various scenes. So I imported his light rig, deleted one of the directional lights, and added a new spot light to bring out the eel and child. I think it works well like this creating a dark mysterious look.

.

Shot 25 Lighting Development

Here is my step by step show process for the lighting of scene 25. Keith asked me to light the scene so it could be rendered later during the day. Time was of the essence so it had to be done quite soon. Here I went with the idea of less is more, so I only create as many lights as were necessary, 2 directional lights for some simple lighting of the cave and 2 spot lights for the light coming down the tunnel which is whats illuminating the eel and child. I showed Keith my inital tests, and he said they were just too bright and after going through some other scenes and renders, I understood if had to be much darker and more atmospheric. I then deleted 1 of the directional lights and dropped the intensity down on the spot lights. I had shadows being cast from one of the spot lights, using ray traced shadows. I think the lighting is decent, and a lot of tweaking will be done in post so all that is needed is a good base which I think im close too having.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Shot 16_Eel glow spheres added

Some shots of the orbs being added to the mesh of the eel in Shot 16. I was asked to do this by Keith as he desperately needed to get onto lighting and rendering the scene. As mentioned before it was a case of importing the orbs into the scene, then manually placing them all and finally using the wrap deformer, making sure to select the orb first and then the mesh.

.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Quick Render Test_Shot_25

This is just a quick and very rough render test to make sure everything in shot 25 was working after I had cleaned the scene, clearing a lot of junk out of the outliner and cleaning the hypershade out. As you can see the orbs work very well, giving a nice diffused glow and all the textures are working perfectly. The next stage for this scene is for it to be lit then rendered.

.

Glowing spheres on Eel - Shot 25

Whilst cleaning up shot 25 to be used as a master scene, I linked all the textures for the eel and then noticed that the glowing orbs were not connected to the rig, nor were they even in the scene. I got quite concerned so they are a big part of how the viewer is going to identify the eel, and mentioned this to Andy. We then called Clym and asked if he had attached those orbs to the mesh, and he said he had not. It was then a case of how to rectify this, and he suggested using the wrap deformer, to attach the orbs to the main body, as they would then follow the mesh.

So what has to be done for all shots including the eel is to manually import the orbs, and then connect them to the existing mesh using the wrap deformer. It is an easy fix, however quite tedious, as I began with shot 25. I had to go in and manually move each orb to the mesh, then attach. Its going to be worth it in the end :)

.

Eel Glow Intensity and Colour change animated test

Andy asked me if I could test out the eel's glowing orbs to make sure they could be controlled appropriately for the animation. I then quickly made this test in maya, testing the intensity as well as the colour change. (Andy wants the orbs to change colour as the eel changes moods). I simply said its a case of key framing the flow and diffuse colour attributes in the attribute editor, which is straightforward. I carried out this test, showed it to him and he was glad it all works fine.
video

Shot 25 Clean up and Master scene creation

I was given the assets for shot 25 Andy, who asked me if I could clear up the scene, clear the the outliner, and re link all of the textures so that it would be good to go for lighting/rendering. When organising the scene and trying to link textures, I noticed the hypershade was extremely cluttered with nodes that had been imported with the various models. This happens when everyone has various different scenes with animation/rigs and they all create individual textures but then forget to clear the scenes before exporting out. So this has resulted in a massive amount of unused and irrelevant nodes/shader networks. I solved this by deleting all unused nodes under the edit menu in the hypershade, as well as manually going in and selecting specific nodes. After I was done, only the relevant shaders remained, and I also suggested that perhaps the scene could now be rendered on the render farm.

I asked Keith to give it a shot, and he got back to me saying the test frames he sent to the farm came back fine and it worked well. It shows that having the right scene with only the necessary nodes is how to go about using the renderfarm. Anything excess or unused is going to cause the render to fail.

I also told Andy that this scene should perhaps become the master for the ice cave, seeing as it is already clean and ready to go. He agreed and Keith has now started using this as the base for his lighting.

Artefacts when rendering

After doing some test renders of the environment using my newly created lighting I started getting this problem of artefacting throughout the image. I could not figure out why, and I began testing out the render settings, shadow samples but that did not prove any success. I then inspected the outliner and it was extremely cluttered and I began noticing duplicates of objects and then went into the viewport, switched to wireframe mode and began moving pieces around. The conclusion...there were duplicates of everyting in the scene aside from the kid, this happened because I Ben forgot to delete the entire environment when giving me the animation. So when I brought the animated kid into the lit environment, all objects were there twice. So I then had to go in and delete all the irrelevant meshes.

Interior Lighting More development, step by step

Here are some more step by steps shots and the finalised lighting. I tried using final gather but as soon as its added, the render times increase so that was not an option. I went through many little tweaks to make sure the lighting was just right, with enough bounce and I also ended up creating a light for the water to get some of that blue creeping in through the windows. All in all I think its decent, I showed it to Andy and he was happy. I created a dimly lit setting whereby the light is designed to keep the eyes focused on the child in his chair.

.

Interior Lighting

I was asked by Andy to light the interior of the submarine for shots 35/36/37/38. I tried to keep a moody setting, keeping it quite dimly lit. I ended up using 1 ambient, 1 point and 1 directional light however more tests are needed.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Unhatched - Beak texture

I finally got round to creating a finished beak texture for the bird in 'Unhatched'. This has taken me longer than it should have as I was so busy juggling all the work I had to do. I did apologise to Tom for the slow delivery and he said it was ok, although I still felt bad. Here is the finished beak, and it has taken quite a while to get right because of stretching within the UVs. I guess this is why Tom passed it onto me to get done, he was having trouble and it was quite tedious getting it right because of stretched UVs. I finally managed to get a decent look and added a simple border colour to match other parts of the texture. I also asked Tom what he thought and he said it was great, so all is well in the end.

Kid pyjama texture

Full shot of the new pyjama checker textures based on the original concept by Andi.


Here is the finished textures for the child, using the colour and pattern layout originally created by Andi in the final concepts. I had a little trouble with the seams, but using the warp tool in Photoshop allowed me to place and tweak the pattern as needed. Its quite a powerful tool and one I dnt normally use but in this instance it came in very very handy. I showed this stuff to Kofi via our facebook group and he was happy with the result and said its good to go. I have enjoyed texturing this kid :)

Kid_new_texture_test

Here are some work in progress shots of the kid's new texture. I have made the top in Photoshop, recreating the original pattern created by Andi. I then transformed the pattern into place to fit the UVs. There is a bit of stretching but not much can be done about that now, so I tried my best to get the pattern placed well. I think what I have so far is good as the seams look like actual seams in the clothing. Before going any further I showed this to Kofi and he was pleased with the look and told me to finish the rest, so I now need to do the trousers.

Monday, 6 June 2011

To do list - This week

Next few days -

Finish the beak texture for Unhatched.

Finalise the texture for the kid in Heroes 1.0

Attempt to light the exterior for shot 39.

Carry on with working on the showreel

Finish the E & E work before the group presentation on Friday 10th and the summative/ individual hand in.

Lighting scene 35/36/37/38 - Render Trouble

Today:

So I went into class and showed Andy what I had done so far for the lighting of shots 35/6/7/8. He liked it and asked me to continue tweaking them aiming for a more darker, and dimly lit scene. I did have trouble importing the animation Ben did, because he is using Maya 2011 and I was on 2010. For some reason 2010 would not allow me to import the animation straight in from 2011, so what to be done and my way of fixing this was to first open the 2011 scene in 2010 and then resave it. This would save as a 2010 file which could then be imported in my final scene. A simple enough fix but when one does not have time to spare, every minute is costly.

We also had trouble rendering today as the render farm was not working for us, meaning we have now started taking over machines in the prototyping lab as rendering locally is our only option. We have notified Alex, and he came in to help but not much was done really, so we just had to resort to rendering locally which of course is a major pain in the ass. There is a lot to be rendered and with no working render farm its going to be close.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Submarine Interior Lighting - Shots 35/36/38

Here is the start of my lighting for the interior of the submarine. The goal is to keep things quite dark and dim, trying not to over expose things. I have started by using a simple directional, and ambient light which is working well so far. I also have tested out final gather which is just not an option really because after testing it out, the render time increases dramatically. So thats out of the question, however I am starting to get some nice results without it, using just the lights and raytraced shadows. I will keep tweaking and show Andy what I got, some feedback would be good as I could then take that onboard and develop this further in the right direction.

.

Kid - Texture variants

After getting the initial feedback from Kofi that the child's textures were not right and too bright, making it look like candy I said I would do some colour variations to see what he likes. I did these tests to show some various mixs using colours from the same palette. He saw these and was not that keen and then said to perhaps try using the colour pattern that Andi had used in the final concept. I said that was fair enough and I will try to get a test of that done as soon as possible. This kind of feedback is useful and Kofi has a clear vision in mind as director, which I am happy to follow and bring to life.

.

SSS_kid_tests_Heroes

Kofi has asked me test out SSS for the kid's skin, and try to create a basic shader and light setup we could use. Her I have used 1 directional light and tweaked the individual SSS layers to get a decent look. I told Kofi the shader was sorted and I only used 1 directional light to try and match the light source of the room. The problem however is that the SSS will need new lights for each and every scene as the kid will be in different places, I explained this to Kofi and he said thats fine. I did say however it might be quite a long process and mentioned perhaps just using a blinn or a simple shader would be beneficial. He said perhaps but first he would try to tweak the SSS.

Monday, 30 May 2011

The Deep - Shot 39 - Refinement

After showing Andy the original pass of animation for this scene and mentioning I was having problems with the camera sway from side to side during the keyframes he said I should try using 'Camera and Aim' in maya as I can individually control the positioning and center of focus. I said sure, and was interested to see if it would make a difference in any way as I have not had much experience with the camera and aim. After testing it out, I was amazed to see the difference and superior control, it really helps and gives great control as both elements can be keyframed separately. I have found it so much more useful I think I will use just the cam and aim for any animated camera movement in the future.

I think the new camera movement has been animated better, and I tried to give enough time between zooming out of the sub and switching focus to the iceberg. The focus was the easing in and out, which I think I nailed.
. video

Heroes - Sho 13 - Refinement

Taking on board the crits I got from both Dan and Clym I have tweaked the animation, working on the timing more. I have kept his head down longer now and bring it slowly up, when his eyes give away that he has just spotted something and a light bulb went on in his head. I also added some movement to his back and foot. This is because Dan said, as he would raise his head other parts move too, so I tried to show that. I am not the best animator in the world but I think its ok, whether its gna be used or not will be seen.
. video

Heroes - Shot 01 - Refinement

I have tweaked the animation here, adding more blinks to show a surprised/alerted reaction to being woken up. I worked on adding blinks and a slight drop in his eyes at the end to show his tiredness. I am not too happy with this shot but I really struggled with it, so I will just show Clym and see what he thinks. Some feedback is going to be needed for me to progress forward.
. video

Unhatched - Bird Beak

I was asked by Tom (director of 'Unhatched') if I could make a beak texture for his character model as he was having trouble with it. I said sure and would be glad to help. When I opened up Maya and Photoshop, and having everything set up I began painting an initial area for the mouth but found this to be quite troublesome. This is down to the fact there is stretching occurring in the UVs which is causing some serious problem. I suspect this is why Tom asked me as he was having trouble. I will get this done but it is quite tedious getting this right.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Polaroid Textures - Done

I was asked by Andy to create textures for the polaroids. He told me they had to be blurry and out of focus as at the end of the film he has a panic when looking through his photos and not finding any that are clear. I used the storyboard to guide me in setting up these shots because I tried to see where the camera would be facing and what kind of shots would be taken during the chase sequence. I made these in Photoshop, using a few blur filters and paint overs to get the desired out of focus look. I think they work well.

.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Deep_ Shot 39

Heres the animation of the camera I have done for shot 39. I am having some serious problems with the camera swaying inbetween keyframes and I was unable to find a solution. I tried controlling the swaying by adding more frames but that just made it worse, im gna ask Andy what he thinks would be best and see what he thinks of camera placement too. I followed the storyboards and tried to keep to it as best I could.
. video

Heroes 1.0- Kid Textures

Here is my first attempt at the texture for the kid. It might be a little bright but I simply followed the colours Kofi had showed me through facebook. He wanted a sky blue/white combo and I tried to get that. I made the textures in Photoshop, creating the pattern and then using the warp tool to place them. It was fairly straightforward and easy, I think the pattern works well although the sky blue maybe too much. I will show Kofi and see what he thinks.

*Update* After posting this on the facebook group, the response I got from Kofi was that its too bright, looking like candy and he said to tone it down, perhaps try a darker variation. Looking at it now, I see what he means and it could definitely do with being darker.

.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Heroes_Shot_28

Shot 28. This is the kid showing his dismay at nothing happening after he tries to destroy the factory. I tried to show this by having him looking and then dropping his head down and shoulders, creating an arch in his back. I think it is ok but could perhaps be pushed more.
. video

Heroes_Shot_14

This shot is another camera move. It is a simple zoom in of the posters to show the kid has just found inspiration from his heroes and is about to take action. I think my timing is right and allows enough time to focus on the posters.
. video

Heroes_Shot 13

Shot 13. This is the shot with the kid being quite sad and feeling like theres nothing he can do, until inspiration strikes and he gets an idea. I tried to show this through his head down and shoulders dropping. His head then quickly tilts up and through his eyes we see he has thought of something. I think his head perhaps is a little fast and that may need to be tweaked. I will show this to the rest of the group and see what they think.
. video

Heroes_Shot_07

This shot was fairly simple, just the camera slowly zooming in on the window. I kept the window central and I think the timing is spot on.
. video

Heroes_Shot_01

So this is my first bit of animation for Heroes. It is shot 01, where the kid is waking up. I animated him sleeping and then slowly opening his eyes, but after getting feedback from Clym and Kofi, he needs to be surprised and alert as if something as woken him up. I will work on this and try to improve, I am still struggling with the graph editor and I find animation quite hard.
. video

Heroes_Shot_05

. video

Monday, 16 May 2011

Bed_Uv mapped

Here is a snapshot of the child's bed in 'Heroes 1.0'. Kofi, the director had asked on the facebook group if someone could do this as soon as possible, so I decided to help out. This was fairly simple in terms of mapping because of the simple nature of the models. I did this as quick as I could and handed it back to Kofi. He was impressed with the speed, and I just felt glad I could help.

Shot_30 - Hands_SSS

Here is a quick step by step of how I handled the animated scene for lighting. Since Kofi had asked me to use a SSS shader for the hands, I had to create a specific light setup to make sure it was correctly illuminated. I used 3 spot lights and after a lot of tweakin on the SSS shader (subdermal, epidermal, back scatter layers) I got to a decent result. I could only go so far, as Kofi wanted to light the environment, so once I set that all up I passed the files to him. I also textured the TNT box, making sure the 'TNT' was clear and visible for the shot, so the viewer could quickly identify the scenario. I UV mapped in maya, then went into Photoshop and quickly created the texture. After showing it to my director, I got the greenlight and received good feedback.

.

Shot 30 - Hands

Here is a step by step of how I created the posed hands for Shot 30. I spoke to Kofi about this shot, and since the hands are simply pushing down onto the detonator we both agreed that I would build the hands, pose them in Zbrush and then animate them simply in Maya. In the end however I decided it would be better to create a quick rig for the hands in maya, as I felt quite confident and also decided I could utilise the skills I learnt in term one during Dan's unit. So I simply created a decent enough model of a hand, created the skeleton, bound it to the skin, and painted the weights for the fingers. I found this quite fun and, out of all the rigging I have done, painting weights definitely has to be something I have quickly learnt well.

Once that was in place, I then proceeded to bend the fingers in the desired position and lastly duplicated it over (remembering to cleanly delete history, unbind the rig and freeze transformations).

Shot 30 - Demolition

So here is a playblast of my first shot for Heroes 1.0 (shot 30). I was speaking to Kofi, and he basically asked if I could set up the SSS shader as well as light the scene, the two go hand in hand really, so I told him I would take care of it. Here is what my animation looks like, I tried to incorporate a bit of anticipation with a slow ease in. I think it works well, and I also added some follow through with the up and down bob at the end. I showed it to both Kofi and Clym and they said it was good.
video

Assigned Shots for Heroes 1.0

I have been assigned shots that require animation for 'Heroes 1.0'. I spoke to Clym and Kofi who were deciding who gets what shots and said I would be happy to do some, although bearing in mind my skills are not the best I should be given some of the easier ones. This is only because I personally do no want to let the group down with bad animation in some of the key scenes.

My shots are : 1, 5, 7, 11, 13, 14, 28, 30. These shots are not as demanding and so hopefully I will be able to deal with them efficiently. After browsing the shots, I saw Shot 30 was the shot of the builder pushing down onto the detonator and decided I would deal with that first as I had to model the hands too. Kofi also asked me if I could perhaps set up SSS for the hands, which I said I would do as I have dealt with it before.

Iceberg Displacement Test

So Carlos said he was having problems getting the displacement map for the iceberg working properly. I helped him set up the correct process in class, but the result was not what we wanted, as there were seams showing through and it did not look good. I said I would give it a try myself at home, as I thought there were a few things I could try. So I UV mapped the low res iceberg properly to ensure that it would not give any bad seams or cuts through the displacement. I then created the map using maya, using the transfer maps method.

I tried twice but each time the results were not good, I had to go back and check the search envelope to make sure it was not the reason for the displacement looking like it got cut off, the second time I made sure it was big enough but still it came out badly. I referred to my displacement map notes I had made whilst watching tutorials before, I set up the approximation for the mesh and then started tweaking the settings but alas...I could not get a better result. So it looks like the high res maybe the only option for the final shots...I will inform the group and see what Andy, the director says about this.

I personally feel annoyed as I have had lots of experience with displacement maps and it seems there are always issues. I tried the best method and settings but still not joy..Guess this is all part of the learning process.

Polaroids - The Deep


I was asked by Andy to create and texture the ploaroid photographs that the child rummages through in one of the later scenes in the film. I made a quick model with enough res incase they were to be rigged with deformers for some kind of bend, etc. I then uv mapped and texture them really quickly, all that is left to do is get the individual pictures mocked up and applied to the different snaps. I used Photoshop for the texture creation.

HyperShade

I was asked by my director on 'The Deep' if it was possible to create a shader network within Maya and then be able to export and import it into a completely different scene. I thought about this for a moment, then realised it should work, as the nodes will be saved and stored for the shader even though the scene will be completely blank. I carried out a quick test to ensure it would work, and encountered no problems. This is going to save the group a lot of time because it means one scene is created with the final shaders and settings in place, then they can simply be exported into the other shots and just require the textures to be relinked. Fast, efficient and easy.

Shot_04_Finished

This is the finished animation for Shot 4. I slowed down the movement of the submarine and tweaked the submerging of the sub. The initial feedback I got was that it was too fast so this version should be better and hopefull Andy will think its ok.
. video

Shot 18 Finished

The finished animation for Shot 18, I added some movement of the jaw at the end to give a stunned feel and make it seem like the eel is dazed. I think this is one of my best shots so far and works well, down to the subtle movement from his breathing and then stunned movement once he gets flashed.
. video

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Shot_18_tweaks

Here I have emphasised the breathing a little more, by making it more prominent. I also added some head movement after he gets stunned to show the eel becomes dazed and loses his sense of stability. Next up will be to add the mouth movement which should be the last piece of the puzzle, oh and I will tweak the eye to make it open slightly more.
. video

Shot_18 Started

This is my first pass of animation for shot 18. It is basically through the view of the camera as the kid is preparing to take a photo and then flashes the eel stunning it for a brief moment. I have animated the eel gently bobbing to give that underwater feel, I also added some breathing and when the eel is flashed his eyes open and brows raised. I think this is a good start and I will continue tweaking it.
. video

First animated shot underway

This is my first attempt at shot 04/5. It consists of the submarine taking off and submerging underwater. I think this is a little fast and I get a feeling Andy will give me that feedback too, so i will go in and tweak this making the submarine submerge slower.
. video

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Frank UV Mapped

Chris Caldow from 'Patience' had asked me if I would be able to UV map their character for them, as they were in desperate need of the model being rigged so getting the UV maps sorted for texturing had to be done asap. The model came with a few props/mainly clothing so I started by unwrapping the body and the moving onto the clothing. I mainly used automatic mapping, and the selected specific sections of the meshes which I would then unwrap again for a cleaner shell and easier handling of the UVs. As mentioned previously this has become my standard workflow for unwrapping, and as sad as it is, I still thoroughly enjoy UV mapping.

Final Camera Textures

I was asked by Andy (director of 'The Deep') to texture the camera that the child would be using throughout the film. Once again, seeing as this is quite a small prop and looking through the storyboards, I decided to keep the textures relatively simple and stylised. I unwrapped the camera in maya, grouping together individual meshes, so that they could share the same UV space ( I also grouped together parts of the camera that shared the same material).

The top image is a picture I used a reference as I thought it would suit the model well, going for an overall brown tone with yellow/gold hinges/accessories. I used a metal/bronze texture for the main part of the camera, and then I went in and manually painted in the dirt/grime details. The hinges and smaller pieces were just coloured using a simple blinn shader with fractal node plugged into it. It achieved a good effect. Once this was done I passed the asset over to Andy who was happy with it.


New Uv map for heroes child

The head of the child had been changed, mainly due to aesthetic reasons so it had to be remapped in order for a texture to be created and applied. Kofi and Clym had gone through a few tweaks for the kids head, and as a result it needed unwrapping. I had a look at the map, and I did try to tweak what was left of the original, but decided it was taking too long and came to the conclusion I should just redo it. In all I think I spent maybe 20mins redoing it, which is good and promptly sent the file Kofi's way. I feel like I have defintely had a good amount of practice with UV mapping so far this year, and as result I think im getting much faster and more efficient.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Kid helmet texture

A few shots of the textures for the kid (The Deep). It is quite a simple texture, made in Photoshop. I used a photo of some brass/metal sheets which I layered up with some dirt. I drew up those four holes on the back to give some detail. It is not my best nor most detailed texture work but seeing as our environment for the film is underwater, with a lot of intense/dark atmospheric lighting, it is not even going to be that visible for most of the duration of the film. So the thinking behind it is to give depth which is relevant and not go crazy when the final results will not even display the full thing.

Uv map for kid's head (Heroes 1.0)

Here is a shot of the child's face UV mapped in maya. What I did for this was fairly straight forward, automatic map half the face, and planar map certain sections, which I could easily stitch together efficiently. This has become my preferred method of unwrapping (utilising the different projection methods together). I used to exclusively use automatic mapping, which was quite stupid as the amount of pieces generated can sometimes be extreme. So what I always tend to do now through practice is to automatic map the model, then break down sections with planar mapping for example. I find it to be a great workflow and saves alot of time.

I did this map as fast as I could as always. My goal with uv mapping is to get through it as fast as possible whilst maintaining a high standard of quality. While I do enjoy it, I also get bored sometimes as it is not the most artistic part of 3D. None the less, it usually is fun, the key is to treat it like a big puzzle.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Textures for kid

So I spoke to Andy in class on monday, and he basically told me once I am done with the blendshapes I am to texture the kid. So having now finished the blendshapes and passed them onto Clym, I began texturing. So far I have done the air tank, the head and body. The texture for the body was made using the normal map as a base, and I painted some very subtle tones on the kids head. These two are both quite subtle as I did not want to take away from the simplicity of the model. For the air tank, I used the sub and Andy's drawings as ref, so they look similar. I will see what Andy thinks next. I used Photoshop for the texturing and uv mapped what was needed in maya.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

New blendshapes done

Right, so I have finished the blendshapes for the kid, I used the facial ref sheet Andy provided to create them. I think I have done all the ones needed, although Clym will let me know if anything extra is needed as I am going to pass them onto him now. All that is left is to mirror the left side shapes to create the right and everything will be done. Clym did show me a technique for it but I seem to have forgotten a step so I will ask him to see if he can do it, unless he wants to show me again. Here is a shot of the shapes.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

New blendshapes

So after UV mapping the head, I have now gotten onto work on creating brand new blendshapes for this head. It annoys me because it means I wasted time making the previous blendshapes which are of no use now, but oh well, guess these things happen. I have done quite a few already, mainly with the mouth, I will get the rest done tomorrow in class.

UV mapped kid head

Here is a shot of the uv map for the childs head. There is close to no stretching, and since the majority of the head is hidden underneath the hat I did not really worry about seams. The face is the most important area so that is more or less perfect.

Deadline for monday for the kid

So the whole group was in on monday, and I showed Clym the blendshapes I had done. He was happy with them and then we had a discussion with Andy about the character. He basically said he wants the character finished/ ready to be rigged by monday (7th March), so we can get to animating as soon as possible. So Clym just needs to add his tweaks and we will be ready, as I finished my part already.

Edit* The model is now ready, but because the head was not uv mapped prior to me making the blendshapes I am going to have to redo them once I have mapped the head.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Blendshapes for the kid, progress

So after getting some great feedback from Ben and Andy, both saying how much they liked the hat, I decided to move onto the blendshapes for the kid. I have got most of them done here, as you can see and I need to show Clym to make sure they will be ok for rigging. I have done all of the mouth shapes, and most of the eyes, only a few remain.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Hat finished + flippers

Right, here are shots of the finished hat in maya, with the normal maps applied to the different pieces. I personally think it looks quite nice. I also finished the flippers which were quite simple to do. I will wait and see what the rest of the crew thinks about this, and then next up will be blendshapes for the kid.




The hat in zbrush

So I have started work on the hat, and taken it into zbrush for some high res details to be added. I am nearly done, although I forgot to save the flaps, so they are done but if tweaks need to be done they would need to be made again. This is just another painful reminder why we must save every 5 mins. But atleast I have the final product so hopefully Andy will like it and everything will be fine. For this hat, I just used some brushed to create the stitching and creases, and then stamped a few alphas all over it to create that leathery, beaten up look.

Next up, back to work on the kid.

Right, so I showed Andy the tweaks I made to the submarine and he was pleased with them. He then told me the kid needed to be worked on some more, so Clym and myself have a few things to do (as it has become a joint effort). I need to model the flippers, detail the hat, and create the blendshapes. I will get onto this as soon as possible.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Tweaks to the sub model

Right, so Andy asked me if I could make a few tweaks to the existing submodel. Just small things, like adding the fins at the bottom, the dome at the top and tweaking the sail to fit the section appropriately. I will show the tweaks to Andy and see what the thinks.

Next up, Tweaks to sub model

Andy asked me to make a few tweaks to the current sub, which I will get onto asap. Its just minor things, like adding a few pieces and tweaking the sail.

Review of Kid for Heroes 1.0

Right, so I finished the child for Heroes 1.0. The only problem I had was creating the head in 3D. The original concept I was given was extremely stylised and minimalistic, which may have caused me to have some problems as I am quite used to extreme amounts of detail and creating quite high res assets. So this change of pace has had an effect on me, I was unable to produce a head that I personally found to be acceptable, so there was no way I would give that to Kofi. I explained this to him and showed him the bad attempts, and he understood. So I have passed the model onto him and he asked me to possibly add some wrinkles to the clothing in zbrush when I can. This I will do as soon as I can.

UV mapped Kid

Here are shots of the UV mapped child. As UV mapping is a specialty of mine, I got through it quite quickly with relative ease. These parts of the kid are now ready for texturing.

Kid model finished

So here are shots of the kid model finished (aside from the head). I spoke to Kofi and went back and forth fixing the shape of the model to make sure he was happy with the shape and proportion. I attempted to create the head a few times but I had no luck, because they all came out looking crap. I dnt know what the problem was but I was just unable to produce a good looking 3d mesh from the very stylised concept.