Work continues. Since the last update, I now have all the main (written) characters modelled and optimised. I went through the arduous task of creating the rig, the ‘rig’ being the bone/joint construction of the characters which is somewhat like the metal skeletal structure you might have seen inside of stop motion characters allowing them to be posed and positioned, except in this case digital and much more convoluted.
With the rig made, I took a few extra steps in integrating it into the relatively new Cinema 4D Character Rig system which is a system that enables you to re-use rigs and reposition the proportions from character to character in a very easy manner. Having done that I went ahead a conformed all the characters to their respective rigs, so each of the characters have their joint system set up and almost ready to go. What I’m doing currently is working on the characters weights (not weight as in mass, but mesh influence on each joint) and also setting up morphs to be able to control and animate their facial expressions, eye blinks etc… Working on the weights is one of those tasks where you wish you could go to sleep and wake up with it somehow, as if by magic all resolved itself. It’s not fun and I’ve been finding it a quite difficult to sit down in front of the computer and get it done. Nonetheless I’m getting through it, counteracting the mind numbing process of weight-painting with watching episodes of Only Fools and Horses & King of the Hill.
With the characters taking shape, I’ve begun to experiment with test-frames, trying out different looks, seeing what direction to take the lighting etc… I’ve got some great frames on my hard drive that I’m excited about, but will hold off publishing anything too revealing as of yet, there’s still a long way to go and it’d break my heart to see the same (rendered) style replicated in some crappy short about a butterfly trying to find it’s friend (you know what I mean, all animated shorts are the same).
I’m once again looking forward to an upcoming fortnight writing retreat. Among other things I will be looking at the film’s script for the first time for a long time so will probably have a few things I’ll want to try with it, with a fresh view before It’s called ‘done’ done. Other than that the writing fortnight is fairly open, I’m looking forward to writing some completely new stuff, just for writing’s sake.