Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Say What Again: Facial Rigging

I primarily designed this rig around subtlety of expression and emotional nuances, obviously.  First full 'stop staring' style rig I've built, quite happy with it so far.  I rigged his mop-top as well so I can push it out of the way when you need to see the brows.  Did the crow and the dogs facial rigs as well  and completed the bike rig yesterday (with moving chain) as well as working up a fake wind sim system using displacement modifiers.  Just the farmer to finish off with then animation with UV unwrapping on the side.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Click What? Wing Rigging Revisited

So a few weeks back I demoed a folding wing ring based on Jared Reisweber's notes.  It didn't look much like a crow though - it was more of a soaring wing type.  I spent most of today pushing verts around and working with shape keys to get the fold even better and solve the distortion problems at the extreme poses.  I'm using a solidify modifier post-armature on the feathers to take give them some thickness - I had to separate them out from the rest of the mesh after binding. Most of the above bones will be hidden at animation time leaving 4 main controls per wing and 8 tweaks for follow through and puffing out etc.  Not sure what I'm going to run with for simming yet - maybe just animated displacements.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Jonny's Fixie

Yes, I wish it was real too. Freestyle render in Blender 2.5. Not rigged yet.

Dog Topology

Here's how 'Blake' the border collie sheepdog is looking in wire form so far - 2100 faces, all quads, nice clean mesh topology with maybe just a few too many poles.  Struggled a lot with the head.  Wish I'd had access to a real dog to help with the modelling of this.  I've only given him front teeth as he rarely opens his mouth in the 'Crows' short.

Making good progress on the rigs.  The biped one is ready for re-targetting - a hybrid of my 'eskimo' and 'bally' rigs - using iTaSC for damped IK - no more popping!  The quadruped rig just needs layer organising and testing.  Jonny is pretty much ready to bind, just finishing off the Farmer's haircut, hat, glasses and coat.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Today's Top Tip: Workaround for buggy auto-weighting in Blender

If you're using auto-weighting in blender and you come across a complex mesh where it just isn't working - you probably have flipped normals.  Just tab into edit mode and W>flip.  If that doesn't work  my workaround was to build a much lower resolution mesh with nice clean topology for auto-weighting, then use this script which I quickly cobbled together to proximity copy weights.  It will copy all the weights from the source object to the target object, but be warned it will overwrite any existing vertex groups on the target, which you might be using for other non-binding related tasks.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Fake Plastic T-Pose

Jonny's nearly done, just some more work on the hair and cloth collision meshes before texturing, shape building and rigging.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Converting MonkeyJam Files to Spreadsheets with Python

I've timed out the 2D blocking for all 42 shots of my 'Crows' short in MonkeyJam.  Today I realised it would be great to have this accessible as real paper X-sheets which I could print and annotate as I work through the shots in 3D.  MonkeyJam beta's print feature seems pretty unstable and sometimes just generates junk, so I managed to hack together this quick python 3 script which will read the MonkeyJam '.xps' file and spit out a .csv file which you can then open in OpenOffice or Excel (or just open in notepad and copy and paste into a pre-formatted spreadsheet with all the right font sizes, column widths etc).

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

T is for Topology

...with which I'm wrestling....

Jonny's hands, arms, t-shirt, jeans and pumps meshes all work-in-progress, the most complete of my models so far, with some subtle asymmetry.  The head meshes and the farmer and dog are also pretty far down the line but still messy shape-wise.  Its awesome to have access to the tube project's character meshes as a topology reference, one of the perks of being an intern on the project!  Working in blender-2.57-freestyle - hopefully will have some python shader code going soon!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Crows Work In Progress

This needs more comp and rain streaks on the window, and should probably be half the speed.

One of a flock of four.  Quite happy with this first rough.

Here's some diagrams of a toe-first running action I made from video footage of a barefoot kenyan boy.