Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Well I suppose the Masters begins now! I popped into UCLAN this morning and had a good chat with Josh. I explained that where I’d like to direct my Masters - concentrating on CG characters. I explained that I was particularly interested exploring

      1. How musculature and fat was controlled with character rigs.
      2. The perception of CG characters in terms of how we process the visual cues to come to some internal determination of the nature of a CG character.

Josh said that for first semester research perhaps tackling both threads would be overwhelming. He suggested that I look into modelling a high poly muscular character and a matching low poly character. Also Josh advised me to create a character that was pretty stripped down without capes, armour and clothing that would hide the muscles. He said that Brad Pitt’s character Tyler Durden from Fight Club or the Gypsy bare-knuckle fighter Mickey O’Neil from Snatch would be great characters to model. Josh said that a lean, muscular but wiry character would be challenge.

So that’s my modelling task to perform - to create a high polygon CG fighter based on Mickey O’Neil with a custom rig and deforming muscles. The hard part would be to create a low polygon counterpart. It would be certainly interesting to see how low I could go and create something that had a semblance of functionality in terms of muscle deformation in the low poly version.

I had a quick search online and found a few references to polycounts of in game characters for various consoles. Couldn’t find any definitive sources but lots of input from games artists working on the particular consoles advising newer artists. One of the articles was by Rick Stirling - an ex-colleague I worked with at Runecraft and Gamezlab. He’s now a Technical Artist at Rockstar North.

  • PS3 - 8k - 10k
  • Xbox 360 - 8k - 15k
  • PSP - 700 tris
  • NDS - 350-450 tris
  • iPhone - 500 tris

So armed with that - I guess that my target polycounts will be initially 15k for the high poly version and 500 for the low. My guess is that at 500 polys, it’ll be hard to get the polys to deform enough to show musculature.

So I took a walk over to the library to have a look at some books on anatomy first and foremost and managed to track down a number of interesting books.

  • Dynamic Anatomy by Burne Hogarth
  • Drawing Cutting Edge Anatomy by Christopher Hart
  • Force Dynamic Life Drawing For Animators by Michael D. Mattesi
  • Anatomy For Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry
  • An Introduction to Functional Anatomy by David Sinclair

The library was a very swish affair that seems to be packed to the gills with lots of students busy working away - a great sign - and lots of Macs and PCs. I’m impressed!

I’ll need to find out if I can access the library resources - electronic books and journals using the internet from home. Just did some sifting and it seems that I can indeed access the library services including electronic published journals from off-campus.

Now - where do I take my Literature and Contextual Review? I need to engage in research to support the development of my practice work. Well my practice work is the modelling of the 2 characters - so is my research of anatomy sufficient? I must check with Josh. Well it seems that technical modelling involved in character creation is where it’s at. I’m relieved to have a strong positive direction to go in now. Phew.

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