Research : Video References

Over the past few months I’ve followed alot of tutorials, below is a rather extensive list of the ones I followed.

I used this tutorial primarily to get a stronger understanding of how to skin the joints of the character, and to try and find a solution to the ‘floating eyes’ problem I encountered.

Floating Eyes: The Eye, Teeth and Tongue Geometry of the Snake frequently detached itself from the rig and moved through space parallel to the rig.

When Modelling the Rabbit and Snake, and early attempts at the wolf – I would create their general shape in Maya then port over to Zbrush for fine detailing – I hadn’t touched Zbrush for some time and so I used this tutorial and  the one below to refresh my memory on how to use it.

This Tutorial and the two below are fairly obvious, Mainly trying to find different ways of modelling the eyes to make them look realistic – Anna was fairly strong in her view that the eyes needed to be realistic to make the characters feel alive, and so I wanted a range of options.

This particular tutorial was quite handing for working out how to get eye-reflection, however it didn’t work as well in Arnold as it did in the early test renders on maya software.

The mouth cavity tutorials were mostly to just get an eye for the topology and working out how the blend-shapes would deform.

This particular tutorial was mostly to try and get an idea for how I wanted the mouth to deform with teeth and still appear threatening, though I ended up going for the more realistic approach with the teeth and have them contained within the mouth instead of protruding out.

I love the look of this rig and some of the more interesting components of it, though it was more complex than what we needed for the short.

This tutorial was particular useful for grasping how the leg set up should work, with the full body crouching and hierarchy structure of the controls.

This and the tutorial below, primarily served to get a sense of how the legs of the wolf and chimera should bend – initially the chimera was a completely different creature from the wolf, exhibiting similarities and features, but eventually it became easier to simply adapt the wolf itself for narrative reasons.

Though we had no human characters, these were mostly to help get a sense of IK set-ups and refresh my memory of some of the tools available to me while rigging.

Similarly, this tutorial was to help me quickly grasp joint hierarchy and remind myself of the different settings and options available when setting up skin weights.

Whilst this tutorial was helpful, the features it showed from DM were never used, as I couldn’t actually source a free functional version of it for 2018, though the 2017 version was interesting to play around with, if a bit clumsy looking.

Initially, the facial animation was going to be done with controls, however blendshapes were a stronger and more flexible choice for what we wanted.

This whole section was part of me trying to work out why I couldn’t get my IK’s working the way I wanted them too. It eventually took a tutorial Alec sent me from Lynda.com for me to figure out the solution.

This tutorial was less about the IK and more about the arrangement for getting the wolf leg motion exactly how we wanted.

Quadrupeds are tough and make an interesting challenge.

This first foray into Paint Effects seemed to convoluted for me to want to use, however I would later come back to it when looking at how to craft the grass for our scenes.

I loved working with XGEN and MASH grass, however it proved too scene intensive, eventually preventing my laptop from opening any scenes at all – as such, the environments had to be rebuilt and a less strenuous method found.

This was used to help guide me on how I was going to create the busier stream section, and while this tutorial builds a much more complex environment – we wanted to keep ours simpler to help maintain focus on the characters.

These tutorials were just research into different options for creating grass I had, and hopefully in creating fur on the characters – though that would eventually get scrapped for myriad reasons.

Like I mentioned earlier, I initially looked at attaching fur to the Rabbits and Wolf, however similar to with the grass overloading my environments – this made animating and fixing rigging issues very difficult, and it became more hassle than it was worth to actually graft the fur to the characters.

Most of these videos highlight the things I either got stuck on or needed to refresh myself on how to go about enacting. They were mostly helpful, with a few duds here and there depending on many different factors at the time.

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