Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A Mixed Bag- Scripts, Concepts and Models

Among other things, there have been some rewrites on the original script. Here's the latest version below. I also meant to post initial environment concepts of which there are a handful also below. Hopefully there will be more of those soon. But only when I've completed the Crow model whose progress can be seen last in this post. 

I have the ideas in my head for the environment design, but getting them down on tablet or paper keeps falling back in the list of priorities due to my character builds in Maya taking a lot longer than anticipated. I am trying to get on top of things now. In order to create amore textured universe than was submitted for the minor project I hope to combine rougher painted texture shapes with Celtic shapes and patterns and use them as bump maps for a more textured terrain. I have plenty to work on. 

Modelling the crow has been a compromise from the start in terms of its build. Though I did get some anatomy books out for reference, I designed something so stylised something had to give. I've tried to create a fairly even balance between the design and reality. Which is why the wings are vastly different. However I feel at least Morrigan's crow still resembles a crow. She's almost complete. I'm currently working on the line work which for the wings is proving difficult, but with any luck it'll be finished tomorrow.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Morrigan Rigging Progression and Dynamic Hair

I've recently skinned the skirt layer that sits on top of Morrigans dress body, so she now has had a raft of controls for the edges and a couple for her backside for when the leg is drawn back. It appears fairly successful. Having completed the conventional rigging, as seen in the screenshots below, I went on to create controls similar series of controls for the hem of the dress as you can also see in the video below.

My next step was to make her hair dynamic like the Hag. However in the case of Morrigan it is one large plaited mass and not individual strands. I hoped the nCloth process would prove sufficient. Though it does simulate weight for the mesh and swings freely whilst colliding fairly well, there is a sort of rubbery nature about the upper part of the plait. Unfortunately this was a given with the challenging shape of the braid closest to the skull.

It works up to a point but finding a balance between the rigidity of that upper part is key because either the braid will seemingly defy gravity, but the hair won't pull away from the hairband. Meanwhile the current version shows the hair stretching away and revealing inside the hairband. I think I may have to re-do the dynamic and combine the hair and hairband as one piece so they move together, but collide with the hair on the skull.

I know this needs further tweaking, however I wanted to be sure I could continue with this method and thus cached the dynamics I had, (using alembic) and then wrap deformed my line work pattern to see it move, highly successfully, with the main braid. Seeing this work was an enormous relief. I have solace in the knowledge I can incorporate this same method with the Hag's cloak line work.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Hag Cloak and hair Dynamics

Following the eventual rigging of the hag I went back to try to make her cloak dynamic. The video below shows the progression so far. It probably needs a little more tweaking. One of the things I fixed as I went along was the lacking movement in the hood. Perhaps the ratio's of the varying materials need a little more seeing to. For now however I am quite happy with the motion.

Taking what I learned about nCloth for the cloak I went about trying to sort out the hair, which meant going back and remodelling it so there were no penetrations between the strands and the body, hair or cloak. The videos I took of my various tests were unfortunately too big (because I foolishly didn't check my settings) So I have a series of screengrabs of the mishaps. I want the hair to remain the length it is, but simply bend when in motion, rather than unfurl and stretch like many of the tests show.

The pictures below detail the point in which I was painting weights (weight, strength, glue strength) as you can probably tell I wasn't quite sure what I needed to achieve my vision of the Hags hair,

The next sequence of images are stills from my video tests showing some of the more interesting bloopers and my toying with the materials types. A rubbery texture was almost completely useless except for the way it helped the shape deform when colliding with the body. Chain mail meant the hair simply fell to full length, destroying the curls. And playing around with the weights seemed to yield nothing either,

Curls naturally unfurled. Though pretty its not the Hags look. 

A failed weight test to combat the unfurling,

Though the kinetic motion of the unfurled hair was the motion I desired.

Forgot to re-skin the hair to the head,..

so it slid off quite spectacularly

A combination of weight changes and material changes.... 

Which led to an absolute disaster.....

And my mesh did not like it one bit!!! The hair zipped up to the top of her head like it was being sucked into a blender!

Its safe to say nCloth is just not working for the hair at the moment. But it is a challenge that will be overcome. Hopefully as successfully as the cloak.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Hags Rigging and Morrigans Skinning Progress

Over the past few days I've been skinning both the Hag and Morrigan. Having completed the Hag's skinning, (or so I thought) I got down to rigging her. Though she does have all of her controls I am going back in to fix one little thing. The Cloak!! Its not been attached to the rig and my next step into uncharted territories is giving that cloak a dynamic swishy feel. Quite excited about that. Also a similar treatment will be given to the Hag's instant noodle hair. A little spring will liven it up I'm sure!

So just for now here is  quick skin test of the Hags upper body mainly for the intervening period as I quickly skin and give the cloak dynamism!

The images below show the Hag with the cloak skinned so far. As can be seen it glitches through in some places. But I hope that these issues will mostly be rectified once I've applied an nCloth to the geometry and made passive colliders out of the body. The only piece I am uncertain about is the way the hood should be skinned. They have limited movement when being worn, and this hood in particular is very stylised! So that is something to be revisited shortly.

Secondly, as mentioned earlier I have been working on Morrigan, whose skirt is most definitely a challenge to skin. I have yet to add in a potential series of floating joints for additional control of the hem. Such as where the foot would punch the bottom of the skirt as she walked and so forth. In any case the below is the skinning process so far. At the moment the frustration is that central line is quite sharp no matter how much I paint it...

In any case I will keep plugging forwards in working through her skin and rectifying the issues I've spotted along the way. Onward!