Meet the Team Project: Animation Research

In the first week of this trimester at SAE, in my Studio 2 class, we were told that our main assignment was to be a Meet the Team video that was to introduce new characters into am existing franchise. We were split into teams based on whether we had chosen to do 2D or 3D animation, and then we decided on a franchise to create these original characters for. My team elected the cartoon “Samurai Jack” as our franchise.

This blog post has been made to discuss how I am to be going about animating the shots I’ve been assigned, however to do that, I should first show and explain my character.

Samurai Jack MTT character model sheet FIXED

This is my character, she is an ice mage. Of our characters, she actually has the shortest screen time. In the video she will be the apparent villain. And though I have designed four different views, she will only ever be seen from front on.

One of the requirements of the brief is that we rig our characters so the group had to then research 2D rigging, or puppet animation. That required to break my character a bit, so that she could be rigged. Here is her sprite model sheet.

Samurai Jack MTT ice mage sprite sheet

Now she can be rigged. Currently, she is rigged in accordance to Robin Fuller’s video on puppet rigging, using the second technique mentioned; parenting.

It works for me, and is easy enough to use, and makes the most sense. The set up is easy to. At least, in my opinion, it is so. It does everything I need it to do for this animation. It most likely wouldn’t be the technique I would use if I had more scenes to do with my character, or if I needed to animate some more complex movements, however, and there are more efficient ways of setting up a 2D character rig. Like the Duik tool add on for Adobe After Effects, which contains many advanced tools to make for easy animating.

However, for this project, I shall just stick with my parent rigging, where I have attached all the pieces of my ice mage, in a hierachy, starting from the torso, working outwards to her hands.

Here we have some of my reference images of my own hand in the position that I was drawing my casting hand in. Twenty photos and two videos got me the movement and poses that I needed, to have the ice mage casing magic. I can’t embed my own video’s to my blog post however, so I can’t show you the video reference.

Another piece of reference I used, was Khadgar, from Warcraft, in the Warcraft movie, when the main characters have their first altercation with the Orcs.

khadgar-as-seen-in-the-warcraft-movie

Now that’s magic. It is a good example of the hand movements in casting, although with magic, it’s hard to come up with an exact casting stance, since it would rely on the character’s personality and the situation that which they are in.

And now that all of that has been adressed, I’d like to leave off here by sharing some of my thumbnails for a few of my shots that I will be animating. The order is up down, left to right.

MTT Thumbs

I didn’t feel like drawing the mage again, so I took her model sheet and reconstructed her in each frame. With the arrows, I think I’m going to have to discover a better way of representing the movement through the air.

Well that’s all I have to say on this. Thanks for reading! And I’ll see you all in my next post!

~Icetail~

Reference
Blackburn R. FrostieHeart on DeviantArt. DeviantArt. 2015. Available at: http://frostieheart.deviantart.com/
Duik – Rainbox. Rainboxprodcoop. Available at: https://rainboxprod.coop/en/tools/duik/
Fuller R. After Effects puppet rigging tutorial. YouTube. 2013. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsuOXXEo9qI 
Jones D. Warcraft. Universal Studios, Blizzard Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment; 2016

Animation: Asset Production

Hello to everyone reading my blog! For the past couple of weeks I have been working on a polearm/spear asset that is suitable for use in a game engine, as stated by my assessment brief. The brief stated that the asset had to be a hard surface model, not organic.

Model 4In total my polearm is measured around 400cm high with a  total of 204 polygons. The average character/weapon model in games has a poly count between 10k and 30k. While my polearm might not have as much detail as a weapon from a game like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy, I still like the way it turned out, and my weapon will run in online games, since it only has one texture that it has to render.

Hollyleaf-WeapWhat gave me the idea for this polearm was my character’s weapon in World of Warcraft. I really liked the exotic look of the polearm, namely; the shape of the spearhead and the detail along the staff and on the blade. I also looked up images of other spears on Google, to try to inspire my design.

9790img-thingpolearms_felspine131104_teng

From these images I sketched my design for my polearm. DrawingScanned

Model 5As I was modelling my polearm in 3ds Max I decided that I really wanted to give it a glow or a dust cloud effect like the Death Knight weapons in World of Warcraft after Runeforging. It was a cool idea, but I don’t have the time to work out how to add it, so, unfortunately, I do not have the glow around the blade of the weapon. If you do know how to, or you can direct me to a tutorial that can show me how to add it, then please comment below, I would really like to know how to add the glow to my polearm.

Polearm-UV-Difuse M2Due to lack of time, I also didn’t get to make a high-poly model of my asset, but my texture makes up for what I couldn’t do with normal maps and etc, although my texture could still be better, where the runes are on the blade and the way the green design is spread.

Modelling the polearm didn’t bring many problems, although some edges and faces didn’t shape the way I wanted them to, potentially due to the fact that my computer mouse sometimes fails to move or moves unexpectedly. Several times the modelling would annoy me too much and I would have to force myself away from the computer, causing me to lose time.

These issues aside, I am still pleased with the way my polearm turned out. It looks amazing and I hope you think so too. If you have any suggestions please comment and, again, if you can direct me towards tutorials for particle/cloud/glow effects in either 3ds Max, Adobe After Affects or Adobe Premiere Pro, I would gladly welcome advice.

polearm-final-render.jpg

 

Reference List