View Full Version : Strange Behavior (Animation) Entry: Brian Anderson

06 June 2007, 10:40 PM
Brian Anderson is entered in the "Strange Behavior Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Modeling: Zbrush body test (

06 June 2007, 10:42 PM (

Okey Doke, I'm extremely jazzed about this challenge. Here's a simple character sketch of the main guy in my story.

06 June 2007, 10:50 PM

I saw the topic posted this morning, and I immediately remembered an idea that I'd had a couple months back for a short animation. Basically it's about a hideous Sphynx cat who would rather live his life as a dog. He dresses is a plastic dog's skull, sniffs other dogs rears, plays poker, all in a vain attempt to be a dog.

Here's a concept image that I drew at work this morning:

This is going to be a challenge because I've never animated quadrapeds. I threw together a quick skeletal model this afternoon for an animation test and did a very sloppy 4 legged animation. It's two hours worth of work all together. A very basic rig, mostly FK with IK for the legs (hence the stiffness of the back). Anyone have any tips or tutorials for creating quadraped rigs?

06 June 2007, 11:32 PM
great start on the challenge man.
how long has it been? The journey begins challenge?
damn, what you been up to sinse then?

i think you have a great start here.
I'm not really into animation, so i'll keep it like the eon challenge.

see ya man.

06 June 2007, 11:37 PM
same here - just a camera move for me at the most :) - i'm focusing on modeling for this one but definitely looking forward to people animating :D SHould be fun! I do like that face :thumbsup:

06 June 2007, 11:49 PM
Nothingness - Yeah, it's been a while. I'll troll the forums, mostly the HCM challenges, but I'm working 80 hour work weeks. I'm afraid I can be a little ADD-ish with challenges. Hopefully full on animation will keep me motivated.

Intervain - I've wanted to do an animated entry for a while. I'm always coming up with new ideas for animations, but can never find the correct forum or practical reason to make them. And voila, the CGSociety just dropped one in my lap. Cheers.

06 June 2007, 05:01 PM (

OK, here's our straight-man. The cat that attempts to be the voice of reason against our Dog-wannabe.

06 June 2007, 09:11 PM
I love the dog wonnabe :) great idea, didn't see similar here! go for it :)
I'm waiting for some stuff with third dimension :D

06 June 2007, 12:06 AM (

Okay, since this is going to be an animation, there really isn't any use doing a 3D layout just yet. Here's the preliminary construction of our main character's pre Zbrush mesh. Lots of work left.

06 June 2007, 12:10 AM
Not so fast my friend! slow down abit!!:scream: I can't catch up:D , good start:thumbsup: .

06 June 2007, 12:19 AM
No kidding. I always get REALLY excited towards the beginning, so I ride that adrenaline rush and get more work done. But the thing is, I'm thinking this may end up being a full 3-minute animation with LOTS of dialogue. I just hope I finish this time. :eek: Thanks for the support.

06 June 2007, 05:41 AM

Tomorrow I'll be busy with work, so I figured I oughta finish off the Pre-Z version of our main cat tonight. He looks a little Chihuahua-ish without wrinkles. Think a Sphynx cat, that's what I'm going for.

Here's his head turn-around. Click. (

Don't expect any more updates until Thursday.

06 June 2007, 06:34 AM
Greatconcept ! I love it !
Your sketch is amazing too !
You seem to have find the way so I understand why I saw 3D this morning !

06 June 2007, 11:40 AM
Wow, you work fast!
And I love the idea - both character and story, will follow this with interest.

06 June 2007, 11:47 AM
Fast modeling man.

Only little comment it that there should be like a hole inside the ear. Just cause now there is just the ear-shell on the head.
If you understand what i mean.


06 June 2007, 01:52 PM
Gpepper- Cheers dude. I love modeling, & this is my first try doing something cartoony. Gurilla- Thanks buddy, I hope I can keep up with the rest of the forum.
Nothingness- Thanks. There's a lot of Zbrush work to do now. Check out these ref images to see what kind of texture I'm going for. And the ear hole will be added in then.


06 June 2007, 02:19 PM
Indeed, the idea is great, and the work on Zb, like the step for the animation part, plane to be interesting.
You're concept image is really well done, look forward to see more of this project. :thumbsup:

06 June 2007, 06:16 PM

Mouarf ! This is how I felt Saturday morning :scream:

Great concept man, keep modeling! :bounce: I love your style:thumbsup:

06 June 2007, 08:46 PM
Gpepper- Cheers dude. I love modeling, & this is my first try doing something cartoony. Gurilla- Thanks buddy, I hope I can keep up with the rest of the forum.
Nothingness- Thanks. There's a lot of Zbrush work to do now. Check out these ref images to see what kind of texture I'm going for. And the ear hole will be added in then.


Hmm, that dog looks like it's head got sucked inward onto it's brain

06 June 2007, 02:44 PM
Bah! I hate displacement maps. So much bloating, so little definition. I'll need to do a Zbrush screengrab because the displacement map makes it look like he's covered in mayonaise and really don't do the sculpture justice. I just may end up going higher rez. Well, either way this was a test. I've still got a long time to get this guy finished. (

06 June 2007, 04:34 PM
OK, here's how the Zbrush sculpture looks. I'm seriously considering going another way. It's busy and is heavily based off of real cats, but it doesn't look that great to me. I may do something a bit more stylized with the wrinkles...

06 June 2007, 08:06 PM
Great concept man!! Love it, it's like Darkman turned into a cat, without the super hero status. Look forward to seeing your progress(hell, you're already well on your way, ha!).

07 July 2007, 04:19 AM (

OK, it's been a couple weeks, but I've been storyboarding the project, prepping animatics, and looking for voice actors. Bleh, it's taking forever to put together something decent. Here's the plastic dino skull that will act as Jeff's "mask". I'm going for a quasi plastic, something you buy your kid for Christmas glow-in-the dark dino skeleton. But if that doesn't work, I'll just go with standard bone color. I've been doing some concept sketches that I'll post tommorrow.

07 July 2007, 04:22 AM
Here are some other views of the model. Again, it's far from finished.

07 July 2007, 06:50 AM (

Okey doke, I've come to a design that I like. It's based very much off the pencil sketch that follows. Ultimately the color scheme looks better with him as an albino. And it makes his character seem more pathetic. Win-win.

07 July 2007, 06:58 AM
I drew this in church... I should really stop doing this but it's where I have the best ideas... and it keeps me awake. :)

Now it's 1 AM, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is barely keeping me awake and I'm going to sleep.

07 July 2007, 07:04 AM
I am not an expert on the matter but ears look strange to me.
You should also scale the dino skull to the size you drew it on your sketches.
If you keep the expression you had in your drawings, it will turn great.

07 July 2007, 01:53 PM
Great job so far! I love the initial sketch with the bones... keep refering to it as you work- it will help keep you on track. I would also try pulling the nose and mouth forward alittle bit. I know the cat has more of a flat face than normal cats, but I think it would really help his like-ability if you bumped it out some. keep it up! :applause:


07 July 2007, 04:26 PM
Hey, Thanks guys.

Lun3. Yeah, his ears are kind of up in the air at the moment. I built them with a real Sphynx in mind, and mostly disregarded the tooniness. They needed a lot of geometry for animation and movement. The only problem is they might not fit through the rear-most cavity of the skull, so I may just end up laying them down and throwing a neck-tie in (like the original sketch) to act as ears. Yeah, that skull will go through a lot of scale issues until I build the bottom jaw (which will be today hopefully).

Slangford. Thanks dude. I've been working hard on this thing this week. The last sculpt was very zbrushed, and left a bad taste in my mouth. But now I've got a design that I'm happy with. I'll see if I can pull that nose out. The problem with this model is that a larger nose makes him look like a Chihuahua, which is the last thing I want right now. I'll tinker around with it.

That initial sketch has so many continuity and design errors: the cat has hair, the head is too small, etc. I drew it up with a different short in mind, and it changed. There will be more little wannabe dog things he'll carry around: milk bones, playing cards, cigars, dog whistles, etc. to flesh out his character and make him appear very pack-rattish.

07 July 2007, 07:26 PM (

Allright, here's a test image to see how it looks with a full skull. I could not find a decent reference image for the lower jaw of a T-rex. The current model is a stand-in.

07 July 2007, 07:31 PM

07 July 2007, 09:21 PM
This really is getting somewhere man. GReat updates.

don't know what the final pose will be, but i think the dog head should look much more below so the cat can see. Will also be more natural since there is a lot of weight in the front.

i hope i'm not stepping far ahead with these things.


07 July 2007, 12:56 AM (

Okay, here's the completed head and skull configuration. I might detail it with a bolt attaching the jaws. Next is the body. It might be a while... Deathly Hallows does come out tomorrow after all. ;)

07 July 2007, 01:03 AM
Thanks Nothingness. Yeah, the final pose is pending because the animation I've envisioned has a couple different scenes/set pieces. If it comes to the point where a frame takes two hours to render, I'll just pick out my favorite scene which upholds the theme and pose it in there. I just seriously want to animate this guy and make him funny.

07 July 2007, 07:41 AM
Haha, this is cracking me up - poor cat!
I like your modeling so far, the dog wanna be is such a character. Or is he a Dino wannabe now?

07 July 2007, 03:47 PM
SIMPLY GREAT!! idea and model.


07 July 2007, 03:50 PM (

Okay, here's a nurbs body test... just trying to work out the proportions. Since, as a cat, he'll be bipedal he needs to look good on his back legs. I'm still working on the proportions though. Those hind legs seem a little thick and froggish. I'll have to observe some cats today...

07 July 2007, 04:00 PM
Thanks Gunilla. Yeah, he does have a dino wannabe vibe going on there. Originally he was supposed to have a dog skull, but the question of how he got it kept bugging me so I made it a plastic dino skull. I'm still trying to find ways to dog it up...

Infoarq. Gracias pa' el apoyo ;). Quisiera tener tu estilo. Es bien chulo to cardboard.

07 July 2007, 06:07 PM
Really nice character, it seems very original. The story sounds interesting too, a cat that wants to be a dog. want to see more. :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 08:23 PM
awesome idea.
if you want teh legs to be more catlike experiment witha backwards leg. use google images to check out cat skeletons. it will help alot. on the other hand what you have is very fun/cartoony, so either way you win.

07 July 2007, 12:44 PM
Hehhe. very cool idea.
some comments.
1. make the skeleton some sort of the cage.(cat in a prison)
2. some part of the bone is cuting cat skin and bleeding :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 09:23 AM
very good concept, and head model too

the anatomy of the legs and hands is more human not cat, cats stand on theyr toes (back legs), while the heel does not touch the earth.

07 July 2007, 03:54 PM
This is a nice idea, that cat should be in a nut house!
it reminds me of some people who are always trying to be something different than their own personality and they just look quite ridiculous, or the weirdo at the movie silence of the lambs but a little more insane..
anyways, in the techincal side i think it will be quite dificult the skinning and rigging but a challenge is always a challenge and if you can make it it will look very nice!
and btw the drawing you made at the church is very nice too! what better place to draw something like that? hehe
well, good luck man and keep up the good work!

07 July 2007, 04:37 PM (

Thanks a lot guys. Everybody's input has been phenomonal. I thinned out the back leg, double jointed the fingers, a couple other joints, and did a quick animation test.
The really annoying thing is that I'll have to make three individual rigs: One bipedal standing rig, one quadrapedal rig, and one in-between rig that shouldn't be used for the actual walk cycle unless I really want to be artistic and annoying. Bleh.
Here's a 4 second playblast: (

Jason: Cool, I'm glad you like the story. It used to be a far more complicated story, for a different format, but when I saw this competition I knew I had to do it here.

bstout: Yeah, there should be a mix of practical science and tooniness. For one, when he's bipedal it would look weird with a backwards leg, because it'll look like he's walking on his tip toes. But he looks weird without it being inverted in a quadrapedal pose. Thanks.

ali-rahimi-shahmirzadi: We'll save that for a future animation. I'm still thinking of using the rib cage, but I'm afraid it might take away from the doginess and make him look more and more like a dinosaur... I'm still holding out for stereotypical dog ideas though. Things I could do to make him seem more doglike from a general perspective.

ania: True. Scientific practicality may have to be sacrificed if I can't get a working rig. Good input though.

DigitalOmega: Oh, he's definitely a nut. He just lives in some suburban home, and his owners think it's cute how he's acting and never actually intervene. I'll have to post that animatic in the next couple weeks. I think I've found the voice for the cat, and he's a South African of all people. ;)

07 July 2007, 09:38 PM (

Alright here's the (smoothed) basemesh for the body. It's extremely low rez and will resemble the head after I ZB it. The head and body are separate meshes. The division will be disguised by a flea collar. Now, on to Zbrush!

07 July 2007, 02:52 AM (

Wow, what a headache Zbrush can be. I auto UV'd the model in Maya, but the program crashed. Either way I spaced checking if the UVs were saved before crashing. Suffice it to say I had to UV map it after Zbrush. Bleh. Well, it wasn't a terrible amount of work. And I can do better.

07 July 2007, 04:36 PM
great work on the model!

but have you looked into the anatomy of a cat?
i think i would suggest a differnt set of rear legs
to more fit the ones of the front. And the way
the rear legs fold should be in reverse i think.

It might not be important if you go for a very
cartoonish interpretation, but i have the feeling
we are loosing the cat feeling a bit.


07 July 2007, 06:35 AM
What a meaningfull impression on the cat's face it is! :surprised
Waiting for the following phases of this thread

07 July 2007, 11:35 AM
very nice and interesting thread you have here mate :) nice idea and nice modeling so far i see you have a great energy in these hope you will finish it

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