View Full Version : The Showdown - character - Gru / PaulC

06 June 2003, 10:09 PM
Final(ish) Movie (

Thanks to Paul C and Andreas Broqvist for the 2 characters.

Hey everyone! Seems like one hell of a competition this time around, the one month break got everyone thirsty for animation. Great stuff, wish you all good luck and that we all can enjoy as much as we all did in the last one.

So I guess I'll be in as well, together with talented mr Paul C to give me a hand on the concept, modelling and texturing of the characters and environments.

Our idea is to create a mind fight scene rather than a physical one... it will be staged on some "Staring Championship", so expect a lot of tension, twitching eyes, raging blood vessels, dripping sweat and all the emotions lived in such competitions...

A few more details on the actual action and profile of the characters will follow soon, as well as a few sketches.

06 June 2003, 12:19 AM
Hey Im glad you joined :bounce:

This is something that sounds very intresting... almost has a Jim Carrey feel to it.

Good luck!

06 June 2003, 01:01 AM
hey its good to see you in it again!

good luck


06 June 2003, 10:24 AM
Ahhh, I feel the staring competitions from 'BIG TRAIN' may be an influence for this, sounds great, very original.
Good luck.

06 June 2003, 10:42 AM
Thanks a lot Jay, Kid Mesh and MVP (yep the Big Train was big influence, but we want to center stage on the characters as we'll not have the funny commentators to help wrap up the action) , it seems that there are issues with the fact that I'll not be going solo and will be ignored by the judges. I'll still go ahead with Paul C, at the end of the day its what you atchieve that really matters, and for what we have in mind, the characters (modeling and texturing) are as important as the animation.. so I guess we'll be racing only for the fun of it.

well I hope this wont be a problem.



06 June 2003, 08:57 PM
Gez…seems like we falling behind here!

Here is how the story goes…

1-It opens with a close up of bad guys face, very cool

2-Close-up of good guy, starting to fell stressed

3-It cuts to a wide shot and reveal the scenario
(banner, huge clock, etc) with the two guys seating in
the centre of the frame...bad guy does annoying finger
tapping on the table..

4-Some sort of transition (maybe
a close-up of the clock going really fast and then stop
some 2 hours later overlayed over the good guys
Stressed face), this will be used in-between shots/actions

5-bad guy does something even more annoying, like
playing with a knife hitting the table with the knife
very fast in-between he's spread fingers...

6-the bad guy does this creepy sound of a fork against
a plate, camera opens to a wide shot and the guy is
cutting some steak and eating while still staring at
the other guy.

7-the good guy is on the verge of collapsing when he
manages to drop the pepper thing that rolls towards
the bad guy...tension mounts and the baddy ends up
sneezing and flying backwards.

the end...

Here's a couple of test animations i did this afternoon
Test01 (
Test02 (

06 June 2003, 09:19 AM
If you haven't got a name for it yet, I have a beauty:


a bit obvious? Go know you want to!!
NIce storyline, edge of your seat stuff!:p

06 June 2003, 10:37 AM
:scream: dude u almost made me choke on my toast, it will defenitly be considered, will need to get hold of the Star Wars type face tho, guess wont be hard.


06 June 2003, 05:29 PM
Just a quick update, I put a little comp together in afterfx.
Paul's still working on characters, hopefully we'll have some stuff to show later this week.

The movie (


06 June 2003, 05:42 PM
very nice idea .. good luck

Stephen Vyas
06 June 2003, 11:29 PM
Hey buddy,
Good luck to you too. A very entertaining idea you've got!

06 June 2003, 04:48 AM
Looks cool so far. what kind of characters are you going for?


06 June 2003, 11:57 AM
Thanks a lot guys :beer:

Jay: the characters are going 2 b something like "The Freak" (, some sort of disfuntional weird characters with puffy big eyes.
So the test animations that i've done so far, do not have the same proportions of the characters, they're just for fun.
My team mate's quite busy at the moment, so I'll put this on hold until we have some stuff that i can start animating with.


06 June 2003, 05:24 PM
I apologise in advance for this comment as I was very bored at work today....I have just noticed you are in London too! I was so bored in fact that i have come up with two names for your contestants in the unlikely event of you naming your movie 'STARE WARS'.

Look Styegawker vs Jar Jar Blinks.

I said I was sorry.:shrug:

06 June 2003, 12:54 AM
:beer: :scream:
You trying me hard hey!
eh eh eh !
think already made up my mind....Stare Wars!, credits to you.
where u based?...(meaning..the greater London)


06 June 2003, 09:13 AM
:bounce: :applause: :bounce:

YEY!! Excellent choice my friend! Excellent choice.

Can't download anything at the moment but looking forward to downloading your movie when I can.

I live in Belsize Pk and am working in Soho at the moment.:wavey:

06 June 2003, 11:08 AM
lol that's looking great Gru, keep it coming man


06 June 2003, 03:25 PM
Great job man, looking forward to the final piece.

06 June 2003, 01:56 AM
Thanks a lot guys!

Oh well in the end seems like I'll be going solo, my team mate is too busy, so I'll be using my green gremlin as the characters, guess i have no time to come up with anything else if i want to finish this on time. I'll just have to work a bit to try top make em look a bit different, guess that will make the trick.

Screen Shot (

Some more updates soon!


06 June 2003, 02:11 AM

06 June 2003, 09:05 PM
Been very busy for the past few days, no much time to play, i have a little update, some test rendering, a taste of the final look, still gotta work out the light and that smoke is far to fast. Did a few changes on the mean guy, just so he would be diffrent.

Does anyone have any tips how to work out the eyes, at the time i'm using a "Look At" controller, but it gives a weird effect, like the eyes are still all the time, I would like em to slightly move with the head up and down (they are linked to the head but is hard to see it).



06 June 2003, 10:10 PM
hey Gru...lookin good man keep 'em coming for your eye might help if you move the "look at" controller a little further from your characters face...and more over the object he is looking at...and if after that you want his eyes to move a bit with his head...I would just animate the controller...

I don't think you would want the controller attached/parented to the head it just won't seem right your eyes never move fluidly with your head motions anyways...they always focus on something even while your head it moving around...

hope that helped...

06 June 2003, 11:41 PM
Cheers Aken, think i got a bit lost there... i tried to follow your idea and moved the look at target further away (first the targets were each others eyes). i've tried to run another test but it didnt make much difference, the eyes are still locked to the other character eyes (as it should be on a staring contest) but they just remain too still, in my view, i'm trying to get something like 75% lock/25% loose, sort of way, dont know if i managed to explain myself.
anyway, thanks for your tips. ;)

06 June 2003, 12:07 AM
Since they are so close you can use a 3 null eye target.

a left and right null that are the taragets for left and right eye respectively...

then you parent those nulls to a null i call eye target. the nulls should be equal to distance between both eyes or a little closer.

you then position the eye target null.

Even in a stairing contest the eyes are not still. You will constantly shift focus from one to the other, you might want to aim at various parts of the eye.

you might want the body to shift slightly then shift the head slightly etc... with enough little movements you should get the staring without them being static.


06 June 2003, 12:41 AM
Cheers JM, thats interesting!
Lets see if I get it... the 3rd Null (the parent) would not b parented with anything but just placed in the middle of the head for exemple and then moved around if I right????



06 June 2003, 11:53 AM
Don't know if it helps but you should try to attach the lids to the eyes rotation with some weighting, not at 100%.

When you carefully watch people or record yourself on camera you will notice that the lids allways follow the eyeballs. This will look more natural in your case I hope.


06 June 2003, 12:43 PM
i like the comedy of everything being completely still apart from a couple of twitches here and there!

Animation aint just about the action, its about the pauses too!

06 June 2003, 01:06 PM
Good one guys, like that twitching idea, cheers Jonny. About attaching the lids to the eyes rotation, sound a good idea but i'm just not sure how can i atchieve that as the lids are a morph target of the all face...any clues.

Thanks for your input :thumbsup:

06 June 2003, 01:13 PM
I like everything you have so far Gru; are you going to do any sound work for your final submission?

06 June 2003, 02:03 PM
How about making clusters for the verts of the lids...xform in max?!? don't even know what software you use, assume max because you said "morphtargets"...

Another way would be to set a relationship between the eyeball rotation and the morphs that move the lids (set-driven-keys in maya)

Hope this helps :thumbsup:

06 June 2003, 02:23 PM
what package are you using?
If its maya i saw a gnomon video on facial rigging and it had the top eyelid opening blend shape connected to the upward rotation of the eyeball by way of set driven key.

if thats what someone else has already said then please ignore me!

06 June 2003, 02:25 PM
Thanks Littlebro!
Yep I'll be using a few sound fx, like the taping on the table sound, etc, nothing really heavy, probably a crow cheers at the end.

Milho, I think I get your point just dont really know how to do that in Max, so maybe my best shot will be to animate the lids myself.


06 June 2003, 02:45 PM
I'm sure I saw this driver/driven relationship for max in a 3dbuzz VTM...check out its max section. If you don't have time I'll check my VTMs after work and post it again :wip:

06 June 2003, 03:00 PM
Thanks a lot Milho, I'll try to figure that out over the weekend, I imagine is something to do with wired parameters, but not quite sure, will check 3dbuzz later.

Cheers buddy!

06 June 2003, 04:59 PM
You're right! Wire parameters is the Set-Driven stuff in Max.

It's in the menu, animation->wire parameters / or the wireparameters dialog.

On the left side you choose the eyeball rotation and on the right side the eyelid morphtarget value....just play around I think you'll get the idea


06 June 2003, 05:06 PM
Cheers pal!

Its friday and :beer: time

Nice! :bounce:

06 June 2003, 11:51 AM
Mr GRU :wavey:

in your animation the smoke of the cigar arrive from the character's hat :shame:
please correct that

06 June 2003, 12:57 AM
Time for a wee update, its a rough from the 3rd scene of the animation, the bad guy having a go at a raw steak while doing horrible noises with the knife as he cuts it...still quite a lot of tweeking to do, but the idea is there.

Managed to figure out how to get a more realistic eye movement. I have 2 Look At targets per eye rather than just 1 as b4, each eye look at the oposite guy eye and also at a dummy that i placed further away and wich is linked to the character head, so i can get the up and down mov as well as the eye is fairly locked on the other character.
also applied a noise controler on the eye blink to give it a more random twichy feel.

Update, 750k Cinepak (

I'm rendering some more stuff, hopefully tomorrow will have some more clips to uplaod.


06 June 2003, 10:27 AM
I'll be interested to see how you this turns out. I imagine a staring contest to be quite a drawn out affair so i think you may have your work cut out for you portraying the tension in a 20 second animation. Looking good though, looking forward to next update.

06 June 2003, 01:05 AM
yep Matty, I'm trying to make the most of the character(s) facial expressions as there is not much phisical action going on, I'm keeping it to under 3 sec per shot, to put as much tension as possible into the bild up and also make the most of the 20 sec max limit...well, thats what makes it a challenge...
In the end my team mate, Paul C, was able to create a second character that i've just rigged and I'm now starting to animate.

Heres a update comp of the 1st 3 shots of the baddy, theres a knife going trough the hands of the guy and some timing/pose issues on the last shot that need to be fixed, as for the 1st shot i feel thats pretty much done...C&C welcome

Update, Sorenson3, 1.3Mb ( [/SIZE]


06 June 2003, 09:52 AM
I like it alot. Maybe for comedy effect each time you see the clock in the background it has gone up by some ridiculous amount to portray how long they have been there?:thumbsup:

06 June 2003, 10:03 AM
Yep Matty that was the idea. perhaps have a very fast clock inbetween cuts, as the clock wont be visible in all of the shots.


06 June 2003, 02:14 PM
That's nice stuff Gru, I had a nice laugh....

I noticed that the movement of the knife while cutting the steak is very blocky. Some ease in/out graph tweaking should handle this....

Cheers (and guess what...soon weekend again)

06 June 2003, 03:19 PM
yeah Milho, you quite right there, i put a ease at the end of each stroke but obviouslly was a bit too much, i want it to feel like his putting some pressure while it cutts trough the middle, and then get loose, for sure will have to play with those curves a bit more.

cheers, for your input!

06 June 2003, 01:39 PM
very nice ... heheheh ... form story to the picture process , i like it

07 July 2003, 04:12 PM
Very well animated! I am looking forward to the final movie!

07 July 2003, 07:04 PM
Thanks a lot guys! :)

...and at last here is the good guy, credit to Paul is gonna be work work work to try to finnish all on time..

07 July 2003, 09:29 AM
Hey Gru, I just thought about the knife stuff.
Maybe you should try some noise in the motion of cutting. It'll look weird probably but when you add nice sfx the viewer gets the point. It'll stress the idea of the pressure a lot.
And about the first shot with knife, the game with the hand: Don't you think it'll be much more logical to swap with the steak shot. So he first eats and then (after finished) just has the knife and play with it. This would also be a better raised tension, you know this game is much more ":eek:" than eating.

Just some ideas :thumbsup:

07 July 2003, 10:12 AM
Cheers Milho, thats a very good point, I'll defenetlly try that. about the sound fx, i'll record them soon and also get some background sound like people wispering, coffing and so on, sort of a snooker type of audience.
was gonna upload the last shot of the guy loadlly drink and then sneeze after smelling the pepper, but did the very silly mistake of leaving it to render overnithgt and only tick the Single Frame box, clever innit?


07 July 2003, 02:42 AM
Now I start feeling the heat and wondering if I'll manage to actually get to the end of this.

Small update (

Its still a rough, but I'd like to hear some comments on the timing and action in general. This is the last shot, when the "good" guy drops the pepper and the "bad" guy ends up loosing by sneezing.


07 July 2003, 10:04 AM
I don't understand what is happening to the pepper pot.
Also I don't know how much facial animation you wnat to put into it but I think his eyes should get really really wide just before he sneezes as he is doing the ah-ah-ah stage of the sneeze. If you could combine that with a look of panic it would be spot on.

It may be too late to do this but a wicked idea is to have your screen split in two with the time across the bottom. That way you can really get the feel of them both staring all the time without having to flick from one to the other. just an idea...a week to go, keep up the good work dude.:thumbsup:

07 July 2003, 10:19 AM
Sorry i didnt mention, but the pepper doesnt fall by itself, is just that i havent done the other character animation, he's supposed to drop it, also need to finish off the facial animation, just did a quick test for this rendering.
the split screen idea is very good, but that would mean doing almost twice as much animation, and with the week and half that is left I dont think thats a good idea at all.

cheers M

07 July 2003, 11:10 PM
Less than 1 hours to go and i'm still at it...gosh it seems like almost everyone else, will be submiting an unfinished animation. I'll carry on with it and try to finish it within the next few days/weeks. Just been far to busy latelly and also managed to delete a whole scene by mistake.

Here is the UNFINISHED ( animation...

Cheers to all your comments and support and special thanks to Paul C and Andreas Broqvist for the 2 characters
tdawg217 and frogsgs for aditional models.

07 July 2003, 12:17 AM
At last I managed to get some proper rendering on the way, my old (and only) PC is driving me insane, its PIII 600 processor is just not up to the job anymore, just like watching paint getting dry.:D
Anyway now I'll just have to render the the 2 final shots do the final editing plus sound fx and I'll be done...I hope.

Render Update ( , 3.7 Mb


07 July 2003, 10:19 AM
...and here is the almost final thing, still gotta edit and add the sound fx
Render Update ( , 3.7 Mb

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