Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Joints, Skinning & Rigging

I'm in the process of rigging my character now. Thanks to Super Alan I now have a tidy character with the correct geometry and joints. I've skinned her and added weights and now need to rig. 

I've added her eyes and mouth using a projection to get the spacing right and the next job after rigging will be to do the facial rigging. All the components are ready in Photoshop so I will be aiming to move over to Maya later today/tomorrow. It has taken a little bit of jiggling around to get her eyes and mouth in a position I'm happy with and to make sure they're not too distorted by the roundness of her face. 

I'm going to spend a bit of time listening back to the audio and writing down a storyboard with timings and which phonemes will be needed where. Lots to do!

Monday, 9 April 2018

2D faces into Maya

Today I will mostly be...

...putting these faces into Maya!

I made the pupils bigger than originally planned because I think it makes her look cuter. I've included all the phonemes as well as different expressions. I'm looking forward to animating!

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Alice Faces

I'm starting to work on the eyes and mouth of my character. I've just taken a screenshot in Maya for now and worked over it in Photoshop to see what facial features will work best. I'm using photos of the real Alice as reference. The character is only loosely based on her and as it is very cartoon-y I can exaggerate the face quite a bit to fit the audio. 

Alice in colour!

The main modelling of Alice has been done now and I'm going to start working on her facial features. I'll draw these in Photoshop and then move them over to Maya as per the Poma facial rigging tutorial. 

She'll have a motif on her dress which I'll add on and some accessories, such as a fairy wand and wings and perhaps a cat. These I'll work on after I've finished my main character. 

I will also start working on the background to my animation soon after a very useful discussion with alumni Chrissie Peters. She offered me some great advice about how to project the different papers I want to use onto planes so I'll be experimenting with them. Once I'm happy with the backgrounds I can start working on the gifs for the children's drawings that will be accompanying Alice's speech and again, I'm hoping to project these onto a plane in Maya as a transparency.

Exciting stuff...

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Alice has hair!

Because she's worth it...

I want my character's hair to look messy so I think this has worked ok. I used a lattice deformer and joints to create the curls and waves.  

My next job is to texture the hair and I'd like it to look like strands of wool so I'll play around with UVs in Photoshop.

 As well as working on the textures I'll also be creating her facial features. The real life Alice has a lot of facial expressions so I'm going to pick a few which show her character.

Crazy faces...

Monday, 19 March 2018

Alice in Maya

Thanks to help from Alan, I'm progressing with my model of Alice a lot better now, after a few duff starts. Currently I'm working on her hands and how these will work. They only need to hold very simple objects (like a fairy wand for instance) and so will be more like mittens with a simple pincer grip. 

I've had a play around with hair but at the moment can only seem to get hair on half of her head. Her hair will be very simple but I want it to be curly and bounce when she runs along. @Alan - which is the best tutorial to use for this now? Should I use nHair or would it work better to create curly strands and use a deformer? 

After I've finished the modelling, I'll texture and rig it. Her legs will be more rigid stick legs with a simple bend at the knee, whereas her arms will be bendy so I'll look to use a deformer for these.

Getting there...

Friday, 2 March 2018

Building Alice

I've started building my main character, Alice in Maya. As I didn't do the Minor Project, I'm going for a fairly basic character which I can accessorise to compliment what she is talking about. I'm hoping to make my character quite toy-like so it looks like you could pick her up. She'll be made from fabric-like textures; felt, corduroy, denim and I'm experimenting in Photoshop to create these textures. 

Here's Alice...

 And here are some of the textures so far...

I'm looking at slightly changing her outfit for each little segment, but not drastically. She'll also have props, such as the cat, fairy wings and wand that you see below.  

She'll be made from very simple shapes with bendy arms and more stick-like legs which will bend at the knee. Her facial features will be almost 'stick on' and will be animated as per the Poma tutorial. The animation I see as being quite jittery - similar to Peppa Pig or Charlie and Lola. Most of the charm I'm hoping will come from the facial features and so I'll need to work hard on the facial animation and lip-syncing.