Monday, 27 February 2012

Little Red - Rig Issues

I have spent the last 2days fixing the rig for little red, when I set out I wanted a clean cluster deformer rig so that I can animate Red like a card/paper object. The issues I had with the last rig is that when Reds clusters were moved they were manipulating the orient of other clusters. I looked at the outliner in Maya and there were far too many transform nodes. So after a lot of internet googling I have managed to gain the cleanest rig I can so far. No transform nodes and everything working in tandem. Next on the list is duplicating her leg and working on adding extras like the hair and books. The over all texture of the character won’t be like it is, they are just to get a feel for the look. I have spent too much time and over shot on my schedule, but have learnt a lot and hopefully will get back on track when it comes to modelling and rigging the wolf.

Sunday, 26 February 2012


M y idea for the CBSO Brief is to have a series of ribbons being produced out of a box by a conductor; these ribbons will be animated around the screen and will spell out the word Birmingham.

These ribbons will be produced out of the box in time with the percussion beats and flow into the air.

The idea came from a failed attempt at animating paper and produced a ribbon feel instead, I realised that I could use this in another animation.

These are the initial renders and set up for the ribbons.

CBSO - Silent Movie Challenge

T he challenge is open to anyone with a passion for animation. Using one of the originally composed Silent Movie tracks, recently rediscovered in archives during preparations for moving to the new Library of Birmingham (opening 2013) and recorded by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), you're being asked to create a piece of animation that includes the word 'Birmingham' or an iconic image of the city.

Closing date is the 2nd April 2012 for enteries, Finalists' work will appear on a giant screen at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, accompanied by the CBSO on Friday 20 April 2012

The song I have chosen to do an animation to is Indian War Dance as it has a very nice beat throughout and fits in nicely with the idea I had before listening to it.

External Brief Intro

T his year at university I have a core module called External Brief.

In this module I will be self negotiating external projects to work on, trying to work with in collaboration on projects and working to external deadlines and workflows.

I have chosen to help out Stars and Heroes with some concept of a project they are working on, I will be documenting the communication between me and Heg Doughty for the Red project, entering an animation into Birmingham’s silent movie challenge. and helping out fellow student Chris Horne with some modelling for his final project.

I will be unable to show the work on here for Stars and Heroes being a secret business project and will write this up separately, however the communication of Red and CBSO's workflow I will be posting here.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Little Red Model and Rig Test

A quick test to show how the cluster rig is coming along, I think I am going to avoid using any N-Cloth for the animation, as I should be able to get some nice movement out of the cloak using clusters.

Wolf Turnaround

T hese are the wolf turnarounds drawn by Tammy, I am happy to start modelling the wolf from these drawings as they give lots of reference to use inside of Maya. I have asked Tammy to redraw the wolf with its fur being straight and not the curls to check the results, as at the moment it has an almost royal look to it. The over all paper feel to him should be really interesting to model. I hope to have finished the modelling of Little Red by today, so I am able to start the modelling of the wolf for next week.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Red Cluster Rig Cracked

I 've spent all afternoon and finally managed to rig the arm using clusters only. I didn’t want to use joints as I want to be able to animate the mesh freely without the constriction of a skeleton. The initial problem I had with the clusters was that they were stretching them mesh. Being paper I didn’t want this so I ended up changing the pivot point of the clusters and rearranging vertices to allow for the paper fold. I wanted some rigidness to the bend so I will only animate the paper fold in one direction.

It has been brought to my attention that her hands look massive which I have now corrected.

Little Red Model

O ver the last few days I’ve been playing around with modelling and rigging little red. The first early shots of little red I’ve been trying to get a very low poly character and look like paper. I have realised that the paper look and feel is going to come out in the rig and texture and not just the build up of the model

In this image have been experimenting with N-Cloth to see if I can get Little Red's cloak to hang right on her. I hope to be able to tweak N-Cloth to get a paper feel out of the movement. If it doesn’t work in the animation stage then it will be ok as using N-Cloth has helped minimize the modelling to gain the correct shape easily.

The shape achieved with N-Cloth and then tweaked vertices to have paper cloak and some rough colour texture applied to get a feel for the look.

View from the back of the model. I have decided to delete the faces on half of the model to give it a more bent out of paper look.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The Wolf Gets Trapped

L ast week I've been working on ways to simulate the wolf getting trapped in vines, in a paper fashion and have come up with some ideas on how this may play out and look like inside Maya. The first initial test looks more like a ribbon but with some tweaking and texturing I may have a lot to play with being a simple rig.

Afterwards this type of animation has given me an idea of the Silent Movies Animation Challenge which I am now going to enter. 

I met up with fellow student Tom Wildson on Friday to discuss this style of animation and he has agreed to assist on the project by modelling the ditch and experimenting with the work I have shown him.

Character Concept Artwork

O n Tuesday I had some drawings sent to me for the concept of little Red and the Wolf by Tammy Daniels. After our meeting she had gone away to work on a paper effect drawing of little red and wanted to give the wolf a try too. Her drawings came back to me and I am very happy with the feel of them. She has managed to capture some of Heg Doughty into Red whilst still keeping it looking paper.

I plan to start modelling the characters next week and I have asked Tammy if she would like to do some turn around drawings of the wolf so that I can use these images on planes in Maya.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Red - Animatic

T oday I have been continuing to work with the images from Woody Woodmass to create a an Animatic in the universitys Toon Boom storyboard pro. He emailed me more images of red running away and is continuing to work on some visuals for the end.

The end of the story I am still working on, little red runs away from the wolf and I would like to have some trees and shadows moving in time with the music as she runs. The end of the song little red will run out of the book and it will close and trap the wolf inside. (This needs reworking into the animatic when I have nailed it down)

Clay Models

S ome clay sculpts I made in first year. First time working with clay and I went on to make another model for a group collaboration of batteries not included. If I find the image I will post it and the video.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Help with Concept Art and Character Design

A fter my pitch to the universities second years there was some interest in the concept artwork for Red, which is good as this is the area that I have been struggling with and need help.

I was emailed by Tammy Daniels a link to her work . She had mentioned to me after my pitch that she was interested and thought she could bring something to the project.

I asked Tammy if she could do some initial sketches of Red and use Heg Doughty as reference. Today we met up and she showed me some different designs for the Red character. I particularly liked one that she had textured and drawn to look like it is out of paper. I have asked Tammy if she would like to draw me more of this style and have a go at drawing the wolf for next week.

The following image has been sent to her for some reference on Heg and the length of Reds cape.