Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Cloud Maker Script Draft #1

Hey guys, I hope everyone is well.

I've recent been working on a new personal project of mine; its a story surrounding an idea that has always intrigued me. Have you ever looked up in the sky and noticed a cloud that looks like an elephant, a dog, etc. and wondered if that was pure coincidence. This short animation will be about a character that makes those shapes in the clouds to cheer up a sad and lonely child.

So here is the draft script:

Please let me know what you guys think - I need a lot of constructive criticism on this one. Thank you

Friday, 19 July 2013

Project Teaser

I have started a new project called "The Cloud Maker" I will not reveal anything about the project at the moment because it is in it very early stages. Once I have a decent script and storyboard (possibly an animatic) I will then post up some new detail. 

Hopefully this title teaser may have you looking forward to more - Please enjoy!


Friday, 10 May 2013



Demo reel

Fish Turnaround

Fish Process

I started off by re-texturing the fish, just because I was happy with how limited it looked - he needed life. I took him into Mudbox and stuck a really nice scale texture predominantly on his stomach. I'm very happy with look of the fish now.

However sometimes it had its funny problems.


This rigging process was achieved by pulling together all the things I already new about rigging - It was like a jigsaw. I saw loads of tutorials online but they were all way to extensive, so I made my own. It is mostly made of very simple joint chains with a Control that controls the rotation values of the joints chain's hierarchy, which make the end joint move at 100% and then parent joints are halved in power. This give me a smooth wave like motion.


The eyelid blendshapes for the fish was always going to be difficult, but I think have done a very good job at creating some convincing eyelids.



The skinning for this character was very easy! and it all works smoothly.

Female Turnaround

Female process

The Modelling process

 The modeling was completed very quickly, the lack of legs on the model gave me a huge time advantage.



Rigging this character was a little easier than the male simply because she has no legs. I didn't want to rig this character with an imply leg underneath, because when skinning the joints it will become problematic. so I did this -

I created a stumped leg, this way I still get the IK leg without the hassle of a foot.

The rig is very simple, but it does the job.


The blendshapes for this character was more successful than the male, I think this is because I modeled this character a little better and by this point I had some experience working with blendshapes.


The skinning was just as difficult as before but the face was very easy which I was very grateful for!


I picked this pose because it is the one we see her do at the end of the animation, it gives her a nice flirtation characteristic. 

Male Gnome Turnaround

Male Gnome process Update

Hey guys its been awhile since I have put up a post, so I'm going to just put up what I have in terms of the male gnome in one post. I will do this for the fish and the female.

Here is the little guy full textured, I had a few problems with the resolution of the textures, this forced me to use a whole UV layout space for each individual piece of the gnome. It made things a little fiddly but I'm very happy with this final layout. I managed to get the impression of flaking paint and the clay coming through, this is an idea that I had from the beginning of the project, so it was very important for me to have this effect on the character.

I have learnt a lot of rigging tips for this project via Alan's tutorials and the tutorials on DIGITAL TUTORS - I originally had a quite advanced rig set up (image below), this had unbreakable spine that could twist with no end, I had IKFK switching arms and some other toys on there. However I soon got to a problem in the skinning and one problem lead to another until it just broke and then nothing worked.

So I decided to go with a more simplistic rig - at this stage the arms are only FK with of course so squash and stretch enabled. This is because I was now only thinking about posing rather than animation.

Blend shapes

The blend shapes were a very interesting part of the pipeline and they were new for me. I created my blendshapes with my old expression sheets in mind. 

Unfortunately they didn't come out as cartoony as the drawings but I still like them.

The skinning process was very problematic for me, mainly because of how fiddly it was and how many time to had to go back a forward. It was very time consuming. The final result wasn't perfect but it was okay for posing. 

Posing the character

I went with this pose because it is the establishing shot in the animation, it shows how the character is feeling and it opens it up to the story that will eventually be made. I added a small piece of the set As well to enhance the pose. 

I will put the turnaround on a separate post

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Re_texturing and Re-painting

The project has now become more focused on the design aspect of the characters, so I have gone back to re do some texturing because I wasn't happy with what I had. This time I have taken the model in mudbox to try and achieve a better stone texture.

I'm quite happy with the way it turned out. Time to paint. 

I did the painting in Mudbox to just because I find it easier and faster. I wanted to make the painting look like it had been done at a cheap standard which made the paint overlap in areas. This become more difficult than expected because I had to determine how much overlap was working and what wasn't.

The blue on the beard and the white on the shirt is to give the impression that the paint brush couldn't fit under chin. 

Friday, 19 April 2013

Male gnome - where I'm at - modelling, texturing and rigging

The modelling and texturing is finished - he has simple bold colours with a slight fracture texture to make it look like it is made of stone. 

The rigging has been very entertaining so far, I'm learning new things that gives me a huge amount of freedom  when animating him. I'm not finished yet but this is what I have.

I am most proud of the spine rig and the arm rigs - mainly because the spinal rig can twist and twist without buckling. For example the image below shows a 1200 degree twist. 

Im proud of the arms because they allow me to switch between IK and FK animations with the flick of a switch



Thursday, 28 March 2013

Modelling the Gnome

This is the model so far

All he needs is some eyebrows and some tweaks and then he'll be ready 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Modelling the fish

Here is the fish character all modeled and with a basic texture, the model is quite successful. I'm looking forward to rigging this guy and seeing him move - it will be a challenge but also a good learning experience.  

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Male Gnome finished

At the beginning of this project, I thought that I was going to love this character, but with any hero type character I have had problems with him. He has always come close but never truly there, I know what he will look like but I have wanted to draw him that way before I modeled him. 

These are my beginning designs for the day.

 The last page was my more successful page.

The expression sheets helped me so much when doing the female gnome so I thought I would just jump to it for the male gnome, and once again, it became a lot more enjoyable.

These expressions are really working for me - I think they show his character nicely.

Once again I finished on the colour experiments but I did not go into too much detail - my favourites are 1,2,7 and 10