View Full Version : Strange Behavior (Animation) Entry: Rene Valencia-Arellano

07 July 2007, 05:48 PM
Rene Valencia-Arellano is entered in the "Strange Behavior Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Modeling: Dress to kill or kill to dress... (

07 July 2007, 05:53 PM (

To me, strange behavior is related to the inhability to see the truth that lies inside us. For a long time we are lost trying to find a guide, looking for something to believe in, so we embrace different path through our life... religion, philosophy, science, this group of friends or this one; trying to believe in so many things and feeling empty at most of them, until we find that the truth was all the time right there... inside of us.

We don't need to look any farther away than ourselves to find the answer. We only need to look deep inside and find our own voice.

This is more or less what I want to do... a guy lost in the shadows of doubt looking for himself in a sea of masks, trying to find who he is, partially iluminated by his beliefs.

This is the quick plan:

a) Create the guy dressed in the habit, his face will be kind of hidden by darkness and the pose, to make him a john doe. The clothes will of a dark color... maybe a very dark purple. He supports himself on a wood wand, with some metal ornaments... have to decide which kind of ornaments.

b) Model and texture the masks. I guess I'll be using blend shapes for different facial expressions. Some mask will be of a different topology, but they'll look all similar. Still have to decide if they should be ceramic-like (the reflections would look cool on these) or human like with subsurface scattering (a lot of faces on the ground...)

c) Create the room, something with stone and moss... signals of age.

d) The window, with some icon of religion/esoterism...

e) The lightning... I think this will be "The Touch"

From then on, all will be Photoshop/After Effects work with color

Well, that's the main plan, of course something will happen between blocks but hey, that's the whole fun of it.

If you made it to this part, thanks for reading and have fun with the challenge, I'm sure I will.

07 July 2007, 09:15 PM
it would be cool to see the human faces on the floor, that would better represent the changes in life that we go through. Plus it would just look cool.

07 July 2007, 11:55 PM
Wonderful, wonderful concept. You should have great fun with the masks by creating one template and then morph them to all kinds of differnt facil shapes and emotion as he searches down his path to personal enlightenment. Great concept! Good Luck!

07 July 2007, 12:42 AM (

Thanks for your comments southhilbily and aurora. Nice to know that someone actually read the post.

Long time without working on this... but the my day job has been quite hard lately.

Well, this is the head model of my character (it will be completed later on), the same face will be used for all the masks on the floor. The plan is to use blend shapes to get all the expressions and then bake them and make multiple instances, so the geometry won't get heavy.

07 July 2007, 05:19 PM (

Since I don't need big details on the body because it will be covered by the habit, the workflow was very quick. The only parts that will be retouched are the hands. Now, the next step is joining the head and body and texture them before the rigging and cloth test.

07 July 2007, 02:43 PM (

I've started to work on the masks to get away from the box modeling for a while (I had to repeat the face modeling).

This is the workflow I've followed:
I needed a neutral pose mask, so I picked the head that I already modeled and made a cut to eliminate the 'extra' faces.

Beginning with the neutral expression, I used the 'move' tool mainly in ZBrush to re-sculpt the expressions without adding geometry. I stored the neutral pose as a Morph Target so I could return to the neutral pose with just one click after modeling the expressions. This is a very fast workflow.

14 different basic expressions were made. Next step, all of them were selected and then the neutral pose, then in the Animation menu of Maya I selected Deform/Create Blend Shape; this operation creates a set of sliders that can be easily operated. With these sliders, you can trigger all the expressions by entering numeric values.

To obtain a suspicious look on the mask at the bottom of the diagram, I made a combination of brow furrowing, a little raise on the left brow, a bit of mouth opening and smirk.

Now, I'll work on the character rigging and clothing.

07 July 2007, 03:00 PM
coming along pretty well. maybe a bit more detailing on the model, your box modelling technique is pretty cool though.


08 August 2007, 04:58 PM (

Long time without making a postÖ
Letís get back to the project. I had to deal with my least favorite part of the whole process, the skin weighting. When modeling, I did try to make every face a quad, so they deform in a very predictable way. Basically, the skinning process (in this case) is about taking out or minimizing the influence of some bones. The influence of bones is the highlighted area.

So, as a visual aid, the transition from black to white should be smoother to get a nicer deformation. The Artisan tools of Maya make this task almost enjoyable (it is time consuming anyway).

08 August 2007, 05:01 PM (

I had a serious issue with the clothing. I took the good, old, reliable method of making the layout of the cloth with curves, then turn every group of curves into a a panel and then turn the panels into garments. Everything was working fine, but I just couldnít make the hood of the habit. I tried several layouts of curves and seams, but I wasnít able to attach the shape of the hood to the main cloth object.

Searching on the web I came across the Syflex plug-in. Whoa, thatís some piece of work! A must buy for sure, but, it is quite expensive for an individual hobbist user. Anyway, the info on the site gave an idea: Make the cloth from a polygonal object.

Iím using Maya 7, making the cloth was as easy as just modeling the shape, erase some faces and press the íCloth Objectí button in the Cloth tab. You get all the properties of the traditional method and the simulation runs faster. Now, I have to work on the pose of the character and the rest of the geometry.

08 August 2007, 05:50 PM
very deep concept, maybe if you can probe with ZB you can do cloth more easy (solo por probar claro), nice star good luck with your proyect.

Me gusta mucho, voy a estar pendiente del desarrollo suerte.

08 August 2007, 08:45 PM
very complex, i hope that you'll succed to make it understandable. i like the modelling of the body, but the head has many holes and bumps that should'nt be. I can't wait to see colour keys, because i think light and ambiance would be veeery important, for the visual but also to support the story.

08 August 2007, 01:00 PM
i like your story. this is genuine, intrinsic and true:thumbsup:

09 September 2007, 02:54 AM
cool! i'm trying to incorporate cloth into my animation, too. been running numerous tests the last couple of weeks. i'm excited to see your results. cloth adds a pretty neat touch!

good luck to you.

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