Here's a quick video showing some ''behind the scenes'' of the modeling done for Aim Higher, a Short Film produced at the NAD center during fall 2013 with Cédric Tremblay and supervised by M. Gino Vincelli in pre-production, M. Benoit Melançon as the pre-production client, and M. Nicolas Poteet as the production supervisor.
First of all, sorry for not being too fancy with editing and straight to the point, I wanted to keep it under 10 minutes and get the video out as soon as possible. I also apologize for the quality drop when going into softimage to show Marcus' arm. Oh and sorry for not turning around Arthur showing the wireframe, it got out of my mind, but you can see it in my March Demo 2014.
Alright, so first things first, I wanted to show Marcus' face from up close and show the wireframe, I was very proud of the ears that turned out great and the nose that gives a lot of character to Marcus, not to mention his massive jaw-line. There's a loop I've grown to be fond of and it's the loop going from around the eye or the nose, going all around the ear and coming back to the mouth. I think it's a great loop not only to get the ear done, but also, it makes sense for when the character will be opening the jaw, it's sort of the anchor point of the deformation and in the skinning process, it simply makes sense in my opinion.
But the most important thing I wanted to point out is the specific topology I made for his arms. Having massive arms, I knew it would be a problem up to the deformation part as typical tube-like topology will make some weird ''saucage''-like fold. To make sure I'd preserve volume for the elbow, and have a nice deformation for the elbow's interior, I modeled his arm in 90 degree as I looked at my own arm and imagined the wire frames going through and having to fill in for the elbow. This would give me two 5points stars that would be the anchors of the bone where the rotation would occur. Then, when filling the elbow, I'd normally get two 3points stars, but I actually made it so to have more stars, creating a bit more tension, this way, I wouldn't have a stretched elbow; trust me, it was better this way :p
Alright, for Arthur, nothing too fancy, as you can see, I didn't go for the traditionnal face loops for his face either as, although loops are very important, the first thing to consider is the volume, and as Marcus had a pretty unique face shape, Arthur had a ball-like face which required not too many fancy flows to preserve the roundness of the shape. I therefore went for the single loop around the mouth and grid-like topology from there on so deformation would be possible stretching up and sideways.
Also, Cédric was the Lead Rigger for this project so we'd work in parallel; he'd do the rig while I'd go on finishing the modeling. But I did take care of the skirts. We had a decision to make, are we handling the skirts by deformation or by simulation? I weighed my point saying deformation would maybe not be automatic, but it would be lighter, more efficient, more stable, and all in all, easier to live with and we could help ourselves with corrective shapes or blendshapes to have some sort of preset deformation we knew we'd need when the knee would come up etc.
Things were a bit more hardcore with Marcus as he had a skirt plus another skirt made of leather strips. I knew he'd have to sit down, so I went and rigged each leather strip with 3 bones to fold them, we made corrective shapes on the inside skirts for when he'd sit, lift his knees etc. And that's pretty much it.
Hope this gives you a bit more insights of how things were down and why they were done this way.
Thanks for watching! And for reading! :)
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