Saturday, December 25, 2010

3D Evolution of Yik

This was one of the original versions of Yik. What you draw in 2D may have trouble evolving to 3D. The secret is not to get too attached to the original output. It probably won't be the best you'll ever create.
This is what he looked like when I started doing the first round of Blend Shapes (creating the eye blinks, lip and cheek movements). Basically you move the little dots and it deforms the geometry.
Speaking of Blend Shapes, that was a fun time in my life. It was major crunch time and I finally got my buffer head attached to my character in the scene, however, every time I'd move any part of the face, the head geo would move up off the skeleton slightly. Rigging made me realize that I'll be a really great mother if I ever get the opportunity. No matter how much of a little a-hole Yik was being, somehow I still loved him to death.

What I must have done accidentally is move the buffer head. Big no no. In the end Greg Berridge helped create a really great solution. We duplicated the yellow buffer head which you see as the red head. We still used the yellow buffer head as a parent to the facial blends. We used the red head to counteract the movement of the head off the skeleton. It sounds complicated but it works.

In the end, because of time constraints, I didn't use any of my blend shapes unfortunately. One of the big realities I often struggled with was the fact that I had to remind myself that I was learning Maya for the first time and attempting to have a finished product to screen at our graduation. Having worked as a Clean Up Artist on several TV series, I take great pride in being a meticulous perfectionist with the animation I hand off to Directors. And of course in Maya when you fix one problem more problems reveal themselves, like blinks crashing into eyeballs that weren't crashing before, fun stuff like that. In the end I had to bite the bullet and ask, do I want great blend shapes or do I want to finish my film.

I gave myself a deadline to have Yik modelled the way I wanted him so I could move on to rigging (inserting and attaching his skeleton to his geometry). The day before deadline I saw the film "Les Metiers: Le Boulanger", fell in love with the designs and wondered if my character would be better as a blob.... Spent and evening creating Mik & Gik, then decided Yik was still the right monster for the job.

Check out the render time on this scene. Fastest renders of in the West. (Click Image to Enlarge)

Weekly Lists: They keep me organized and sane. At the end of 2nd Term I made a new list of everything I needed to accomplish in the next 13 days. Easiest two weeks of my life.

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