Tuesday, 30 October 2012


For the past few days I've been rigging our little boy character, and I'm almost finished with his body rig. A few problems have popped up today, which I will hopefully fix by tomorrow, and I'm sure more problems will appear as I add my final controls.

Anyway, where's where he is-

Controls in the rig so far are-

IK arm and leg controls, with pole vector elbows/knees.
FK spine rig, with individual joint controls custom attributes
Simple head and neck controls
Shoulder controls

To be added-

Foot roll
Finger controls with individual joint controls and custom attributes
Hip control
Global Control

I've gone for an FK spine (rather than an IK, or a combination of both) purely based on the positions I will need the character to be in when we start animating. As both child characters are mainly sitting in various slouched positions, I thought an FK would be easiest to manipulate in this way. Why over-complicate things?

Here's a wee look at the FK spine!- 

Individual joint controls are coloured pink and have a handle at the back for easy selection.
Each control is parented to the control below for convincing FK movement.
"Torso Control" is green and is a distinguishable spikey shape, again for easy selection. This control contains the custom attributes- Spine Bend, Spine Side and Spine Twist. 

Spine Bend, Spine Side and Spine Twist are attributes that control rotation of the individual spine controls. Spine Bend makes the spine curl forwards, Spine Side makes the spine curl sideways, and Spine Twist twists the spine to either side.

Each attribute can be given a value of between -10 and 10, with 0 being the default. A value of 10 will add a rotation of 30 degrees to each control, thus creating a convincing curl. -10 will add a rotation of -30 degrees. Values in between will be somewhere along this scale. 

Spine Bend at extreme value 10.

Spine Bend at extreme value -10

Spine Side at extreme of 10

Spine Side at extreme of -10

Spine Twist at extreme of 10

Spine Twist at extreme of -10

These attributes can be altered in various combinations to achieve desired movement, and if they don't quite get the movement you're after, individual controls can still be used to further rotate joints on top of these results.

Depending on how my hip control works out, I may add similar attributes for the hip bone.

So that's all for now, any questions you know where I am! Off to work out why my elbows and knees have suddenly stopped working, and sort out some hip controls. Hands and feet tomorrow, then it's on to the face! (wish me luck haha!) Oh and I'll be adding a global control at some point.

Thanks guys!

Friday, 26 October 2012


Charlie Lodge has been working away on textures, here's a wee peek- 

(wallpaper designs heavily influenced [not nicked :P] by Reinhard Behrens famous Naboland submarine, with his approval!)

Slava has also textured the wellies she made :)

Props in the bedroom-

Models by Nikki Christie, except for -
"Jess" doll and Ellie's Wellies by Slava Lawson
Robot and Rocket by Amit Dev
Wrestler and Ring by Calum Sutherland

Monday, 22 October 2012

Sam Model

Okay so the model for our little boy character is complete!

Here he is- 

"Sam" model by Dan McCance

The textures here are just initial tests, but the model is final. 

Hopefully I'll get a basic rig for him finished in the next few days, then start work on his face. It'll be good to finally see some movement! 

Slowly but surely catching up with our own schedule, haha

I'll keep yous posted!


Tuesday, 16 October 2012


So right now, I am messing around with what toys we have, and deciding what might go where, and if we need more etc. Charlie's in the process of texturing most of these, and it looks like I may have to pick up what ever she doesn't.

We're currently about a week behind schedule... Smashing. 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Ellie's Wellies

Ok so, since i was uv mapping my props anyway i decided to quickly pop a texture on the wellies to check the uvs were ok. In smooth mode the blue colour on the top rim of the wellies kinda pulls down, and there's a slight change of size in the spots e.g the toe compared to the main body; this is due to the maps being different sizes. Apart from that i managed to hide the seams and i don't think there's any obvious distortion,  it's up to Nicholas now if she wants a different texture on them; obviously a flat colour would conceal the imperfections i mentioned better than spots, but i couldn't resist.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Ellie's Monster Line Test

This is an incomplete line test of Ellie's Monster climbing out of the paper:

I took much of my inspiration from the Gobelins animation:

Nuit Blanche

And Daniel Greaves' Manipulation:


Phew, well, believe it or not, these were actually completed over last weekend, but i wasn't quite happy enough with the wellies to show them to the world. Here you have it; a little easter egg in the form of a cute character from last year's show reel (but now a rag doll) and a pair of wellies off her very own feet, props in their own right once i jazzed them up a bit for real human feet :)

 I modelled the head from a cube and extruded the nose and ear

 The main hair was also extruded

 The body was shaped from a cylinder

 The leg is a simple cylinder and the wellies are basically two cylinders.
 Button eyes: made by extruding a cylinder.

 The main welly boot was taken straight from the model of the doll, but i thought they looked too warped to be on human feet, so i did some research and made them more realistic by adding handles which i manipulated to look a bit droopy using a lattice. I also made a visible chunky rim (partly to hide the tips of the handle shapes).

 I made a corrugated looking sole from a cube and manipulated it with a lattice.
I hope these'll brighten up the kiddies' bedroom :)