Friday, 28 August 2009

Brian walks!

Here is my first walk cycle with Brian. This is just a quick one and I haven't paid too much attention to his character, it's just a plain walk. What I have done is hunched his back more and kept his feet and knees close together to give a nerdy effect.

When I animated for Jagex in Cambridge I found that a lot of the character in a walk cycle comes from the character design. The physical shape of the character will govern how you animate it and force character without you having to think about it. The things it won't do is give weight and secondary characteristics like a limp for example, so you do have to think about it a bit!

In Brian's case he is designed with a hunch and looks like a total geek before taking a single step. I did try puffing his chest out and it's amazing what a change it makes... I'll make a demo of some different walk styles using simple changes when I get a chance.

For now here's his first walk cycle, milestone achieved!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


I realised I forgot to give Brian a tongue so I just made him one. It has a stretchy IK spline rig with 3 independent controls. I textured it with a ramp going from dark red to pink and added a procedural bump map for the taste buds. The colour is a little off at the mo, it needs to match his other flesh tones more but that's just a little tweak.

back to business

So back to Brian.

I've just finished skinning him! He currently has a jaw control and blinks which are his basic facial stuff. I will be creating blend shapes and real-time controls for his other expressions later.

This was a big step and I've been putting it off for a while so I'm glad it's done now. And after all the fuss it only took a couple of hours!

Animation tests next!

here's a celebratory (and frankly out of character) image I made to celebrate. It was inspired by a comment I received about Brian's portly shape, not my words!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

just testing

it seems that widescreen youtube videos don't display very well on here...

lets try coding one off!

That's better :)

bug showreel

this is how I intend to display the bug on my showreel. Obviously I'll replace the footage with rendered and textured shots etc. I'll also have the walk cycle (below) either directly after this clip or later in the reel.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The Bug finished walk cycle

Here's the finished walk cycle for The Bug. I have re-animated his antennae and his tail. For the antennae I rendered out a side view of the head, imported it into flash and animated a 2D antennae. I then imported an image sequence of this back into Maya and used my flash animation as a guide. The reason I did this was because it was much quicker to animate a curve in flash which only had 2 control points than it was animating the 6 control point antennae in 3D. I also just wanted to see how easy it was using Flash and Maya together as I'd just watched one of the new Gobelin animations which is 3D but uses flash animation for particle effects. ( You can watch it here check out the flash dust at 1:35)

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

drunk Brian

I couldn't resist humiliating Brian after giving him teeth and blink controls. This might explain his eratic driving (below) :)

Brian Car test

Neither Brian or the car are finished yet but I thought I do a little animation test to keep me sane. This is from the opening shot of the short.

Some Brian pics.

The Bug

Here's a side project I've dug up from a couple of years ago. The Bug was designed as a character for an as of yet unmade short animation featuring a cowboy and and an indian. The short was never made but The Bug lives on!

I have just rigged and animated him. The most exciting thing about this rig is I've used the "Rivet" plugin which is a simple Mel script for Maya. It simply 'rivets' a locator to a polygon surface. The locator will then stay rivetted as the surface is deformed. This has allowed me to stick the bugs rigid arms to his flexible body and not have to worry about building the arms into the joint hierachy of the body. It really was a joy to see working!