Archive for November, 2011

Preproduction – The Unbearable Stiffness of Using Maya

The nightmare is over

I’ve decided to do my film in 2D instead of 3D. The reason for this is not because I dislike Maya, or hold any particular grudges against it – it merely isn’t suitable for what I want to achieve. The low poly models I’ve created will go into my portfolio, and I will be still using maya for some background assets and other things. But, for now, at least, the story I am to tell, the movements the characters will make, will be in 2D.

Mississippi Mud Pie – Character Texturing

Today I have been texturing my characters.

Neither are 100% finished, but I think I have made enough progress to post an update. Once these characters are complete, I will work on the environment.

The man is demonstrating the flipped normal polygon shader I researched, which is actually quite elementary. It will form the basis to most of the objects in my film, as I do not have enough polygons to do everything I want with the characters and props. His ear is the most obvious beneficiary of it.

Super Easy Shader Go!

Along with the UV Offset controls and Flipped Normal shaders, I will also be researching other ways to make my film look good while minimising the amount of work the renderer has to do. For example, a fake fresnel shader made with facing ratio hooked to transparency and some kind of colourisation. I’d know how to do it in a game engine, but not Maya, surprisingly!

Progress Update – Posh Man Complete

And unfortunately, 400 polygons over budget – but for a reason. Most of the extraneous mesh is to make deformations more pleasing on the big screen, something I could get away with half the total on a games console.

Aligator: 100% modelled, 100% UV Mapped, 0% Rigged.
Posh Man: 100% Modelled, 100% UV Mapped, 0% Rigged.

Progress Update: Character Meshes

Now that the animatic has been made, I can start work on the 3D models for the characters.

Since there are two characters within this short, I can spend a lot of time on them. I found out early on that using absolutely authetic methods for creating the characters is unfeasable – in a film you would need a lot cleaner, deformable meshes, so I increased my initial poly count limit from 600 to 800 (not including external “flair” mesh). The current mesh progress is:

Aligator: 100% modelled, 100% UV Mapped, 0% Rigged.
Posh Man: 80% Modelled, 0% UV Mapped, 0% Rigged.

Here are some progress renders: