Thursday, 15 December 2011

Video capture...

Not entirely sure if this video capture will work. But here goes anyway - this video shows the mocap data in its raw state and after a few iterations of clean-up using Character Studio's Layer system to overlay keyframes and then collapse them all down afterwards.

Well the video resolution was rather poor and it was certainly less than I captured it at.
Okay so here's the next video demonstrating how the weighting on the character is working so far. 

Here's a link to Youtube - for a higher res video.

There will be a couple more videos to upload tonight, after the kids goto sleep and I can capture with some piece and quiet.

Here's a link to Youtube - for a higher res video.

Here is the final video capture showing some muscle deformation using the Bulge Angle Deformer in the Skin modifier. I created a couple of simple animations to test the joints but I wasn't able to get the Morph Angle Deformer to work with my current version of 3DS Max. I will investigate to see if I can get a patch for this as I think this is the way to sort out the joints as you create morphs by stacking edit poly modifiers on top of the skin modifier and it means you can shape the verts precisely and not have to work with a control lattice which is how the bulge angle deformer works.

Here's a link to Youtube - for a higher res video.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Have to tweak the shoulders

I decided to test out the shoulder and was struggling with positioning the upper arm bone and the clavicle in particular to get some decent deformation on the shoulder joint. It seemed that no matter how much I tweaked the envelopes and paint weighting, the shoulder just seemed WAY too wide.

In the end, I decided to remodel the shoulders going from the image below....

to the bottom image here. 

This gave a much better result. I will upload some more pics of the shoulder in motion and I thought that it was going swimmingly.

I went up to UCLan on Wednesday afternoon to see Mario and I got some mocap done. I was surprised at how small the mocap suit was. Anyway I managed to capture some data but not sure how good it would be. I did notice that the capture software was set up in a very odd manner - with only a single spine link and 2 neck links. Apparently that's how it comes and it's not adjustable. So not that impressive for a £50k system.

After bring the BVH files into 3DS Max, I found the data to be pretty dirty. Here are a couple of images showing the drooping clavicles and the turned in elbows.

So I decided to get the rigging done to the best of my ability for the first stage. I did a torso twisting animation whilst crouched down and it seemed to work okay. This was using just the envelopes and paint weighting. I haven't gone into vertex weighting yet - so not bad. 

The next step will be to do some more aggressive poses and animations to test the shoulder joints and then to see if I can get some muscle bulges into the biceps and triceps as a start. I have a feeling that the pec and lat muscles are going to be tricky to emulate.

Oh - I must have a go at a breathing animation showing his rib cage rising and falling! Okay that's all for now.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Starting the rigging now.

Here he is ready to be rigged. I had to make some adjustments to the deltoids, biceps and elbow to make sure that they line up with the biped arm.

Here is the biped fitted but after some discussion with Mario at UCLAN, I'm not sure if the way I have the arm and clavicle set up will work effectively. Normally I would use a custom bone rig but being able to load mocap data directly into the biped and having LAYERS just swung it for me. 

 I always like the look of the biped in this form - the simplest boxy form.

So as a very quick test, here is the shoulder joint as seen from front and back with NO weighting at all.

The outside of deltoid looks pretty good as it is - perhaps a little too much movement of the verts of the deltoid near the bicep. Obviously the inside of the arm is horrible but some weighting will shift that.

I'm happy with the position of the biped arm and clavicle bones but after shifting the arm down, I realised that this fella is a bit wider across the shoulder than I anticipated! Anyway that's all for the moment. The next session will see the inside of the arm weighted and I'll take a look at the elbow and then see if I can get some bicep and tricep action using a joint angle deformer. At this stage, I think that will be the best approach.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Tackling the seams and the jeans

After a long, long break – work took up a lot more of my time than I had anticipated, especially when it came to recruitment, I decided to take a day off work and crack on with my Masters and get the textures completed.

Initally I had thought of simply leaving the textures as they were and just move onto the rigging but I thought that I’d give it one more day. 

So after an initially very poor start with the jeans, I eventually found some decent high resolution images of a pair of Levis that I thought were suitable to use as a texture. 

Also worked on the seams too. I still feel the head is slightly off by a shade. 
And I added a tattoo to the guy’s back too.

I'm happy with how he's looking and am happy to crack on with the rigging now. Having spoken to Mario at UCLan, I think that I'll be working with the Biped in 3DS Max instead of a custom rig.

More to come later.....

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Getting in the swing of things

Torso is really getting there now. 
There is still a difference in tone between the head and the torso that I'll need to address along with the seams.

Foot texturing begun last week.

Finished off today.....I think that I must have had an idealised foot in mind when I modelled it. I've since had to tweak the nails and the little toe to make it more 'realistic'. Little toes are quite turned in it seems.

Here's the texture for the foot.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Now time to texture the body

I'm looking forward to getting the body textured up now. Not sure if the shading on the photos of the male models from will really work with mesh but so far, it's looking pretty good. Had some issues getting the nipples lined up and scaled to the model - but the liquify filter in Photoshop came in very handy indeed.

The shading of the clavicles at this point looked wrong.

The seams around the sides of the body and the underside of the arms, hands and around the neck will all be sorted using Mudbox's paint tools to clone the seam out.

The collar bones are looking good now.

Details around the armpit are looking good apart from the seam!

Now on to the hands - this is my first attempt but the shading on the back of the hand is a problem.

New photo of a hand tried - with some seriously bitten fingernails. Probably suits the character quite well.

Here's the texture of the hand before looking at the seam at the wrist.

Not looking too bad here.

I'm happy with the progress of the texturing of the body. I think that I will take a look at the trousers and feet next before tackling the seams. More to follow. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Hello stranger...

Well it really has been a while since I last posted on my blog. Last time I was here, was before my holiday to Malaysia. Then I had a load of marking to do that kept me busy for a while. So to work.... ;)

Well I have a bit of WIP that I was supposed to have posted up before my hols but I left the screengrabs so I'll go through it now.

Firstly, I realised that while the head was really coming together, there were some areas that still made it look WRONG. The eyes in the image below look like painted snooker cue balls and lack any sort of depth. So I needed to sort it. The solution was to make an eyeball out of 3 separate parts; a shiny outer, the eyeball itself that had a recessed iris and a separate black pupil modelled as a disc. With a morpher, I was able to introduce pupil dilation into the eye.

So I was able to go from this...(painted cue ball look)

to this, an eyeball with lots more depth


After that was done, I felt that I needed to introduce some shininess to the skin at the nose, forehead and ears with a specularity map. So here are some before and after images.

The last image was way too strong and the character looks almost wet with grease, so I needed to tone it down. As well as this, I had been curious to see if I could model a realistic ear as I wasn't entirely happy with the character's ears. So I created this...

I was happy that I could do it and I didn't feel that I needed to redo the fighter's ear afterwards, so I tweaked it as well as the texture for the face, giving him more prominent shadows under the eyes.

Now that is looking pretty good, I need to get a move on with the torso.

I'm mindful that I need to get this character completed and rigged for December. So I think that I should try to get all the textures completed by the end of August. That will give me from 3 months to do all the rigging. That sounds good and I'm looking forward to it. It seems that I've been working on this character for so long.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Let's get the textures started then...

It was about time that I got going with texturing the model and so I decided to kick off with the head. Using the UV template, I painted a very quick layer in photoshop to pinpoint areas like the eyebrows, chin and lips. Using the layout, I cut and pasted chunks of reference photos.

The image below shows some cut and pasted areas taken from photos. Hue of the different images needed to be sorted.

This is a test of the texture mapped onto the model.

 Front, side and back. I think that the top and side of the head needed a lot of attention in terms of colour.

Getting closer now.

I think that the head looked a bit pale at this stage....

The colours of the different parts had been adjusted to make them more compatible.

I decided to experiment with Mudbox to do a little surface detailing in terms of the pores and scars, simply to extract the normal map. The image below shows the result. Mudbox is really nice to work with and I'm glad to have found a solid workflow between 3DS Max and Mudbox to generate the fine surface details.

Here is a close up of the normal map extracted from Mudbox. It's pretty subtle but it works!

Nearly done but the seams on the head have been difficult to paint out owing to the UV template. I tried to use Mudbox to paint directly onto the surface of the model to clone out the seam seen in the image below.

It worked beautifully. This was fairly easy to set up and paint. So I think that I can consider the head to be sorted now. In the larger renders at the bottom, the pores show up rather nicely.

Almost forgot to mention that I decided to add eyelashes to the model too.

Now for the body....