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calendar_today Jan 11th 2021
Get your character models down to a fine art: download sculpting files for Sprite Fright’s protagonists below. Analyse every vert, explore every edge, pull apart those primary and secondary shapes, deconstruct Phil’s nose, swot up on Ellie’s scrunchie...it's your call.
Also this week: elegant retopology, more epic ‘80s hair, and a brand-new operator for bone tweaks. Plus a clip of Rex moving, speaking, and hatching a nefarious scheme (spoiler alert).
During this week I prepared all the latest sculpting files for the cloud since all character sculpts are now final and approved. More tweaks and updates were made to the comparative expression sheets to put a final stamp on them as well and have everything ready for further tests in the animation. Most of the week I worked on the animal lineup by blocking the first iterations of them so that the general proportions and design can be judged and approved before moving on to sculpt them in detail.
Hair! Rex is our first character to be completely modeled, so this week my task was to start styling his hair. After wrapping up some environment modeling tasks, I also worked on the look development lighting setup we can use to compare and unify the characters' shading.
Last week I revisited the animation dialogue test I started a while ago with Rex. Now that the facial rig is in a solid state I was able to animate the facial features including lipsync and expressions. This is a great way to explore Rex's personality and test if the rig is production ready. This will also give us insights on whether to animate the shots on 1s or 2s. Which version do you prefer?
Completed retopology of Ellie's hair, body, trousers. Added 'iris grow' and 'iris shrink' shape keys to Rex's eyes and Ellie's eyes. Retopology of remaining clothing pieces in progress.
One post-final round of polish for Rex at the start of the week before diving into rigging the freshly retopo'd face of Ellie! Starting with some long-overdue scripting to make my life easier.
This week I mostly spent integrating the grooming file into our character pipeline to allow Andy to smoothly start his work on grooming Rex's hair. Check out the video where I explain and demo this process further.
calendar_today Jan 4th 2021
Milestones are reached. Among them, sign off on sculpts for both the sprites and the rowdy teens, and Rex's retopology is finished--allowing for a complete UV pass. Also, the team asks, "What actually happens in the daily life of a sprite?" Possible answers include "leap frog" and "drinking."
I came back from holidays this week and was greeted by the finished retopology for Rex. So I took this opportunity to do a full UV unwrapping pass on the new topology so we have grounds to do the actual shading on.
For this first week since I am back from the holidays I wrapped all the main character with only minor tasks left to do. All the teenagers and the sprites are signed off and the files cleaned up so that they are ready for retopology. This also means that more sculpting files will be uploaded to the Cloud for people to download.
Last week I spent my time exploring several sprite activities. When Ellie encounters the sprite village, what does she actually see? This is an ongoing conversation with Matthew (director) to explore habits, games and chores for the sprites to be busy with. Here you see a few of these explorations listed. Do you have an idea what sprites might be up to in their natural habitat?
This week I mostly focused on designing the environment of the mushroom grove and sprite village. What are the sprites actually up to all day? I also started a new piece of concept art that further defines what we established in the colorscript. And a snail got to express itself!
Updated Rex's rig helper face mesh. Completed retopology on Ellie's head with inner mouth, teeth, rig helper face mesh, and shape key tests; Ellie's head is ready for rigging. Retopologized the hands of time.
The first week of the year was spent on getting Rex closer to a "final" state, with grinding down the TODO list for him and addressing the final bits of animator feedback (until more comes up, of course).
This week I did more environment asset work to prepare the first sets. Simultaneously, the development on Blender's Geometry Nodes system is ramping up, so I really wanted to give this a go and see how we can utilize it for the forest!