A quick post before the final hand in. As I wasn’t satisfied with my final animation, and my character in general, over the last few weeks I was working on improving it. One of the changes that I did is slightly remodelled character’s head and his face. I’ve also gave him different eyes. As we can see his faces isn’t as “boxy” as it was before. His face looks smoother, at least to me. Removing few edges from his face and keeping it quiet low when it comes to edge count also helped when it came to creating blendshapes, something that I’ve struggled with with the previous model. The eyes bring completely new appeal to the character, actually having an iris makes him look more alive and in my opinion is just more aesthetically pleasing to everyone. Their shape changed as well, as you can see below. They’re much more spherical than before.
In my research I found that exaggeration plays an important role in animation, it’s even considered to be a part of 12 basic principles of animation. Realism can be considered to be dull and static, especially when it comes to movement in animation and exaggeration takes it to certain extremes to make it appear more entertaining and exciting, especially when characters are designed in a cartoony style, rather than photo-realistic. I’ve noticed it in my work from my undergraduate degree when it was lacking exaggeration and the results weren’t as good as expected. But exaggeration doesn’t always improve the work straight away.
For my final project I’ve decided to design a character with exaggerated facial features, and while large eyes and bigger, overemphasised eyebrows bring some results and make a character look more interesting, more appealing, but in my design I was too concious and instead of focusing on one style, I was trying to balance between photorealism and cartoony, caricature style. This started to cause some issues when it came to doing blend shapes. Getting some particular mouth shapes turned out to be harder than I’ve initially assumed. Character’s high and emphasised cheek bones give him some charm, make him look slightly different than a typical character, but they also limit some of the facial movement. That’s something that I didn’t considered while designing the character.
This is a recent a progress I made with my character. His skin looks slightly different on these screenshots than it looks in Maya on the PC, which is slightly worrying me. I’ve added an extra paint layer on which I’ve added some pink onto his face, to make it look better as the colours seemed to me to be very cold before. I mainly painted in “Flatten to UV” mode, as it is probably the easiest and quickest way to do it in Mudbox. His face seems to be a bit to shiny, I’m guessing some lighting setup was also imported from Mudbox, but I think I can go around it in a final stage, when I set up my own lights in the scene, so I’m not too worried about it right now.
So last week I’ve started working on my final project, a short animation in which I’m going to show everything that I’ve learnt about facial animation this year. I’ve got to admit that it’s going a bit slower that I’ve planned, as always I have some issues when modelling character’s head. I should get it fixed by the end of this week. Plan for next week is to have this character finished and show some progress in modelling female character.
To be honest I should be much more further than I am at this point, but I feel that this character will be finally finished this week. I spend too much time playing with vertexes and moving them around and at the end I undo everything and come to back to the starting point. I’m still not satisfied with its mouth, maybe adding some edges around would help. In some places his face looks like it’s “stretched” and I’m having problems fixing it. Also it kind of looks like his wearing glasses or googles which isn’t the look I was going for. It especially looked very bad around his nose but I managed to fix it, as you can see on the last picture. I will keep playing with and I think I could do his neck tomorrow and then start doing some blendshapes or rig him.
This is going ot be a rather short post. Recently I’ve started working on my character’s head. After getting a similar shape to what it looked like on the drawings I’ve started modelling eyes and eye sockets. Here’s few screenshots and renders of what it looks right now. Usually when doing eyes I extrude faces few times, pull some of them back and just play around with them. That’s the technique I’ve used for my previous models of this character so you can see some results in my previous posts on this blog. This time I’ve decided to do something different. I’ve deleted 4 faces and created a polygon pipe instead. It had 8 sides, which is important when I bridge them with the rest of the head model. You can see the result of this on my first screenshot. Eyes still need more work but I think I’m going in the right direction.