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.
Recently I’ve been working on modelling the environment of my scene and on blendshapes for my character. The entire animation will take place only in one room. There are two floor lamps, but the main source of light is going to be a window on the right. I want to set this to be happening around the dusk time, so there wouldn’t be too much light coming in, just enough to lit the scene. There are photo frames laying around everywhere, the idea is to put the pictures of the main character and his dead wife in it, to foreshadow, give a hint to the audience. Below you can see a screenshot of me working on blendshapes. As it’s a rather sad story a lot of expressions will be portraying sadness, hopelessness, anger, despise etc.
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.
My progress since last week in modelling my main character, Shaun. I still need to model his shirt, add details to his belt(right now it just looks like his shirt is ending there) and add a tie to him. Next would be unwrapping, texturing and rigging him. According to my timetable I should already be doing that so I’m a week behind. There’s also only two months left till the deadline so I might used my backup plan and used a prerigged character for my female character. I’ll probably make the final decision by the end of next week. I’m still not sure about his eyes, as they do look kind of creepy in my opinion, however a similar design worked well in “Hotel Transylvania”, where Dracula’s eyes were similar. Another good example from that movie is Johnny, who also has long, narrow eyes). This short clip gives a good example of how many amazing expressions Sony animators were able to achieve with this character:
It clearly doesn’t just focus on facial expressions, as there’s a lot of running around and body movement but in my opinion the expressions that character makes make the entire scene much more enjoyable and interesting to the viewer, therefore I would argue that they play the major role in making us, the audience empathise with the character.
Hotel Transylvania – Johnny
Hotel Transylvania – Johnny 3
Sources: image 1: http://www.visualhollywood.com/movies_2012/hotel_transylvania/photos/
image 2: http://pixshark.com/hotel-transylvania-dracula.htm
image 3: http://hoteltransylvania.wikia.com/wiki/Dracula
image 4: http://pixshark.com/hotel-transylvania-dracula-bleh-bleh-bleh.htm
image 5: http://pixshark.com/hotel-transylvania-johnny-stein.htm
image 6: http://hoteltransylvania.wikia.com/wiki/File:Johnny_broom.jpg
image 7: http://www.rotoscopers.com/2012/03/14/first-official-images-of-hotel-transylvania/
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.
Yesterday I finished my model, or at least I think I did. Had few issues with mirroring geometry(at the end deleting history worked. Too bad I spend almost an hour on trying to figure out what was wrong). His nose isn’t perfect and it looks different to what Andy originally did on his model. Also eyes of my Average Joe turned out to be smaller than there were supposed to be. I feel like I should paint him now, but I want to start working on blend shapes now. Also I’ve decided to use Sketchfab to show my progress, as well as posting few screenshots. However it seems that embedding sketchfab’s models doesn’t work on WordPress, so you still have to click on a link.
Not smoothed version: