Project Development 30

I have borrowed Nandor’s environment and created some footage in unreal using sequencer in order to create my own artefact showing the characters and the final result of my project.

I edited the videos in premiere as I did with the promotional video and used the concept art I created. I have also made in Photoshop a collage for the intro screen and the end screen of the video. In this case I used Kai Engel’s Calls and Echoes song.

I will do the slides for the presentation tomorrow and prepare a speech script. I hope have enough time to learn it and don’t get nervous on the presentation. With the presentation next Tuesday I will be finishing the Master so the project can be considered done.

Bibliography:

Free Music Archive: Kai Engel – Calls and Echoes (n.d.) [Online]. Available from: <http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai_Engel/Calls_and_Echoes/02_-_Calls_and_Echoes&gt; [Accessed 19 August 2017].
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Project Development 29

I have started the production of the promotional video. I met with Harry Kontaxis so he can help me to record some footage with a camera borrowed from the university. We spent all the morning recording scenes of me walking down stairs, siting on different places of the university and working on the PC. I also recorded myself working with the computer using a tripod back in home.

I have also wrote a script and recorded a speech creating several short files as was difficult to me to do all it at once. I will be using this as a background speech of my video as I couldn’t speak directly to the camera and also because I think in this way it would look more professional.

I have been editing the video and created new footage within the computer recording the screen using Icecream Screen Recorder.

I also used a free common’s song created byAlexey Anisimov called Electronic Presentation as a background of my video and speech.

Bibliograpgy:

Screen Recorder: Record Screen or Make Screenshots Free – Icecream Apps (n.d.) [Online]. Available from: <https://icecreamapps.com/Screen-Recorder/ > [Accessed 17 August 2017].
Alexey Anisimov – Electronic Presentation | Jamendo Music | Free Music Downloads (n.d.) Available from: <https://www.jamendo.com/track/1294310/electronic-presentation > [Accessed 17 August 2017].

Project Development 28

With both characters animated I moved on in order to create the assets I had in my planned schedule, the cut arm and the dead body of the minion, as well as create different textures for the minion using different colour variation.

In order to create the cut arm I decided to reuse the minion model extracting a part of the arm and filling the gap with polygons. I used a cylinder in order to give some geometry for the bone and then I filled the gap using extrusion and bridge in order to close the mesh.

For the textures of this arm I exported and baked the model in substance and painted the new part of the section of the arm and the bone and another textures with alpha in order to put blood on the reused texture of the aliens body.

For the creation of the dead body I used the rigged model and posed it as it was dead. I had a lot of problems due to the complexity of the pose and the deformation that the articulation had done to this extreme pose. I used the same textures as the original as I imagine that decals can be used inside the game to put different blood patterns on different bodies.

Props

In order to create different textures that add a different palette for the minion I opened the original minion’s substance project and started to make modifications changing layers, colours and adding new ones to control the saturation and hue. I exported the textures and set all the assets I have in unreal creating a master material in order to create all the basic materials for all the assets. I migrated the material I did for the mask in the old unreal project file and I borrowed the material Ryan made for his hair in order to modify it to use it in my leader model.

 

 

Project Development 27

With both character’s rigs done I started to do the animations starting with the most basic ones, the idle and the attack and then looking for some tutorials in order to do properly the running and walk cycle. I did one animation per day to save time as I am running out of it. I had problems again with the head, I discovered that I was keying thehiddenn controller I made to fix the problem I had with the head not following the movement of the body. In order to fix this problem I unselected this controller each time I do a key and it worked just fine.

When I finished my first animation, Ryan recommended me to use references inside of may in order to create the different animations with referenced to the same original file. I followed the next tutorial in order to do so and started using this methofology from that moment but keeping the animation I already created in order to save time.

 

Bibliography:

James Thompson (n.d.) 66 – Referencing Rig Files (Cartoon Character Rigging Series) [Online video]. Available from: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK2U2fHkYQk > [Accessed 12 August 2017].

Project Development 26

 

With the hair done I have started the rig for the alien leader following the same process used in the minion. Nevertheless, for this model I have used Geodesic Voxel binding instead the heat map in order to create a bind with all the elements of the model instead of having to parent them to the joints.

 

I feel that the process has going faster this time as I have avoided some problems I had rigging the minion model.  I

discovered that there is a limit in the amount of influences per bone in order to use the animations in Unreal, there are two limits depending on the final performance as it will take more resources in order to use more influences. A max of 4 for a better performance and a max of 8 as the top number of influences allowed in the engine.

I fixed the problem I had with the head not following the movements of the rest of the body by using a hidden controller that was parented to the neck joint with an orient and point constraint and parented the head controller to this new controller so the head always follow the movement of this controller no matter what.

Bibliography:

My Oh Maya (n.d.) Maya 2015 Geodesic Voxel Bind [Online video]. Available from: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyytEiB-1Ug > [Accessed 3 August 2017].

Project Development 25

I had to set up alShader in order to use the nHair preset material to render the textures I followed this tutorial to do so:

I have followed Adam Skutt’s tutorial in order to change the setting for the material and then rendered the hair several times changing parameters to get the desired result and finally, exporting the textures that I will use for the leader ponytail.

I started the process of creating the cards for the ponytail using a technique I learned during the preproducction:

In the second part of the video Daniel Cahill show how to create cards for long hair using a hairstrip brush founded here:
http://polycount.com/discussion/124922/zbrush-resources-masterthread/p1

I created the different levels of the hair explained in Adam Skutt’s tutorials using this method inside Zbrush and then moved to Maya to tweak the results in order the cards don’t clip between them, I used move topological inside zbrush in order to fix this problem.

I have test the results in Unreal having some feedback on the final look and tweaking the cards again. I followed this tutorial in order to create the transparency for the hair:

The result is a bit disappointing and need to be fix as the hair looks very hollow and have a lack of density at the end of the hair I will fix this by moving the UV maps as well as increasing the hair density for the textures, having to repeat the rendering process again. Also, as the colour is too dark, I will have to make some retouches in Photoshop in order to make the colours brighter.

Bibliography:

Arvid Schneider (n.d.) MtoA 112 | How to Install AlShaders | Using Arnold 4.x with Maya 2017 [Online video]. Available from: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8w0ea7Mgzs > [Accessed 1 August 2017].
polycount (n.d.) Zbrush Resources MasterThread [Online]. polycount. Available from: <http://polycount.com/discussion/124922/zbrush-resources-masterthread > [Accessed 1 August 2017].
polycount (n.d.) Zbrush Resources MasterThread [Online]. polycount. Available from: <http://polycount.com/discussion/124922/zbrush-resources-masterthread > [Accessed 1 August 2017].

Project Development 24

In order to create the hair, Ryan shared with me a tutorial session he had with Adam Skutt. In the tutorial he shows his workflow to create hair for AAA video games using Maya’s Xgen to create the textures and then applying them to the cards giving some advice on how to place them.

During the hair creation I had some problems with Maya as the hair stop being displayed if my camera was too close to the hair, I had to work from a far distance in order to have some feedback on what I was doing. I also had problems with the density map mask of the hair applied to the plane generator of hair as it was looking very edgy, like pixelated. I solved this problem by increasing the resolution of the map from 10 to 50. I finished the creation of all the hair locks placing them as said in the tutorial in order to be rendered using Arnold.

Bibliography:

Hair Creation & Styling for Games (n.d.) [Online]. Available from: <https://www.gameartinstitute.com/p/adam-skutt-value-2 > [Accessed 29 July 2017].

Project Development 23

As I have finished the weights paint I started create the model controllers using CV curves using the grid or primitives as a reference. I started to organise the controls parenting them in order that each part follow the rest while moving. I created first the global controller by putting it in the base of the model and then starting parenting each other the controllers depending on the distance to the root and the hierarchy. I also started to put constraints in order to control the joints with the controllers using orient constraint for rotation and point constraints for positioning.

I found a problem with the tongue as it don’t follow the rest of the body properly, I found that the controller of the head had an offset with the pivot point of the joint so the displacement of the rest of elements was wrong creating this artefact.

I also finished the controls for the legs, arms, shoulders and the controllers for foot roll.

rig01

pose_test

Project Development 22

I have finished of fixing the skeleton and bind it again, starting again the process of painting the weights. I found some problems when I used symmetry with the weights because some bones weren’t bound so I had to bind them to the mesh and do again the process of symmetry. I had also to repositioning some joints like the shoulder, clavicle and ankle.

I look for a tutorial in order to use IKspline for drive the back, the tail and the tongue of the characters. I found this interesting video:

 

Bibliography:

Jason Baskin (n.d.) Tutorial: Rigging an IK Spline Back in Maya [Online video]. Available from: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj6TrmxhPew > [Accessed 25 July 2017].

Project Development 21

I started to put the IK handles on the skeleton as well as renaming all the bones in order to have everything organized. I also bound the mesh to the skeleton by using bind skin.

Today, I have found an issue while I was looking a tutorial about how to maintain the shape of the knee as I should have use one more joint in the articulation. As I am working with overlapping textures I haven’t been able to recover my work exporting my weights as textures therefore I had to repeat the process from the beginning