WIP: Character Animation - AJ

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  07 July 2003
Cool WIP: Character Animation - AJ

Hello there my friends.

Here, I'm going to Itroduce my upcoming Short Animation, named... I didn't think of any name for it. At least for now. It's still Work In Progress guys, and I'm trying to do my best to create something... "dramatic" with my little 3D Studio Max experience.

I like movies, espacialy good ones. I love to watch Action movies, but I really don't like that "invincible hero makes big explosions, beats all badguys with one hand, and walks to the sunset in the end" type of Action. Like Triple X for example...
Main Character could be invincible, but the Action must make sense. So I mostly like John Woo movies. Not every movie, but I realy love that "The Killer" and "Hard Boiled" movies. When I decide to use 3D Studio Max, first thing I wanted to do is animate that stupid TeaPot. And then, second thing I wanted to do is create a short animation film that includes some cool gunfights, some slow motion action scenes, maybe something funny, and more...

Anyway. After over 2 months of work, I'm very close to finish my animation. It's nothing special, actualy it's looking funny. But you know, good animation isn't that you do, it is that you finished.

Now I'll post WIP pictures, stuff, and some previews of my animation. I hope all of you guys

enjoy with it.

Please write your feedback about it, I love to read your comments and advices.

Last edited by Tughan : 07 July 2003 at 08:48 AM.
  07 July 2003
Always start with head... why?

Well... first, I have to model a character for my short thats obvious. So I started modelling with a simple Box. I wanted to keep polygons low, so I could animate it more easy. I didn't want to make a realistic character anyway. I wanted it to be funny and also cool looking. Main character will be an old Cop, or a FBI Agent, or between a Cop and FBI Agent. I'll call his name "AJ", Like Alexander James, or Ali Jilet, or something I don't know. Just A.J.

Anyway. I created his head first. He'll be wearing glasses all the time, so I didn't make any eyeball for him. He'll see just fine. After Head and Glasses models finished, I started to play with materials. Tried different skin textures, and decited to use Falloff Material for all of character's skin. Also, I've used Vertex Paint modifier to paint a beard for my character.

Then apply some mask, noise, and bump materials to it to get a nice beard. He'll look more "tough" that way. I don't know why I used Vertex Paint modifier for this. Maybe because it is fun to paint a beard with it.
  07 July 2003
Lightbulb Body Building

After I finished with the head, I continued modelling rest of the body. As I descided before, I didn't try to make a realistic body. So I modelled characters body without adding too much details. But, when I finished it, I think about adding collar to put a nice necktie on him.

Then, a lightbulb appeared in my mind. (Later, I wish hundreds of times that it doesn't) Why I'm not using a real Cloth Dynamics for my character's tie? I didn't do any Cloth Simulation before but I always wanted to try. So, I started to dig up Havoc's Reactor help documents to learn about that powerful Plug-in. After 3-4 days of self-study, I understand all tools that Reactor offers and made some Cloth and Rigid Body experiments. After that, another Lightbulb appeared in my mind. (I hate these Lightbulbs!) Why I'm not model a trenchcoat and use Cloth Dynamics on it too? That would be cool! Memory and Time consuming but cool.

So, I've modelled a trenchcoat for my character. Just Cloned his body, scale it up a little, and modify it to looks like a trenchcoat. I don't wanted it to be "Matrix-Like" black trenchcoat that everyone wears these days. I wanted it more like a old Private Detective style trenchcoat. Thats more like it. I also decided to make black gloves but instead of make it seperate object, I've use another Material ID on hands. And apply Noise&Bump Material to it. It looks more like "Hitman" than "Private Detective" but it makes him looks tough. Then I keep it.

Reactor is very powerful tool indeed, but you need a lot of tweaking and a LOT more patience to get it look the way you want. Well... did I said it is also time consuming too? It is easy to make a flag or a piece of cloth hanging, but it is a real pain in the... in the eye to make a cloth and use it in a Character Animation. Espacialy this kind of Cartoony characters.

Like my "Character Animation" experience is BEYOND The Master degree, I'd like add it a Cloth Simulation to reach out the outer limits. After I done this, I'll build my own space shuttle and go to Mars. And laught at Pixar from there...

Anyway, Character model is finished. Lets start rigging...

Last edited by Tughan : 07 July 2003 at 11:09 PM.
  07 July 2003
Arrow What is bone?

Rigging a Character is very fun, but most complicated part. I've never used Wire Parameters and other "bla bla Attibute" things before. So I've read 3DSMAX help document and Character Rigging tutorials to learn about it. It is realy getting easier and easier after you getting hang of it.

I didn't used Character Studio biped because I've tried it before and although it has very cool features, but its just... too much. I mean, I wanted to Rig my Character on my own. Learn about IK-FK things by the way.

So I start to build my bones, and then done all Control Shapes & IK Stuff. Next thing is apply Skin Modifier to that bones so I could deform mesh object. This part is the most frustrating part. Some parts of the Character's body (like armpits) doesn't deform right. I needed to manualy set weights vertex by vertex. Oh... I hate The Skin Modifier. For now at least.

After long hours of vertex weight tweak, it finally looks ok to me. Then, just one more thing to go... GUN! Yes, I need a gun... oh sorry HE need a gun. So I modelled a "Desert Eagle" like handgun. Suprisingly it took me 1 day to finish it. I even got time to take a cool render of AJ's new pistol. Anyway, I've done everything to animate AJ. I created some test animations. Now I'm ready to

make places, and start animating.
  07 July 2003
Cool Scene One

First scene in my animation will be a street. A dark, gloomy atmosphere. Like every corner a thug can jump over you and say "can I have your money my dear sir?". I've made a box, and use boolean to make it like a house. Made a door, doorframe, and door number. It is 667. Because there is Nearly evil BadGuys inside.

This is the begining of the animation. I think of make walking along pavement. It is kind of a Cartoon character. But I wanted to make realistic walk animation. It's not going with this type of character but I wonder how does it look? I study some of the Special Operations, SWAT, and Cop videos. Also I was playing "Metal Gear Solid 2" when I'm making this animation and it helped me a lot to study some great animations.

So I made it. He walks slowly near the door, and knocks it with his gun. Nicely done. But there is a problem, you guess... yes, CLOTH. It keeps intersect with arms, or doesn't fit AJ's body at all and drops floor after 2 steps. So I've made some Rigid boxes. They're covering every body part, and attached to bones. I scale them up a little so if Cloth is going to intersect, at least intersect with Rigid Boxes not body of the Character. After this idea... It worked nice. But this time arms reacting very badly because of boxes. So... I've used Deformable Mesh collection on AJ, and deleted Hands, forearm, and lower legs rigid blocks. This time it worked very nice. Actualy, shoulder part of the trenchcoat kind of falling behind but it doesn't matter because it looks good that way...

  07 July 2003
Unhappy Thin Can?

AJ walks slowly and quietly to the door. Thats ok, but lets have some fun now. I've made a Cola Can. (and write my name on it heh heh) Put it near doorframe below pipe. When AJ wallks slowly, he don't see the Can on the floor (maybe because I didn't gave him eyeballs) and hit it with his right foot. It makes noise of course, but AJ doesn't seem to care. That looks funny. :P Animating this little Cola Can is the Tricky One. It took my one day to make it way I want. Belive me, little things harder to animate. It took my day but looks very nice. Some of my friends told me "did you use Reactor Plug-in on that too?" after I show them a preview of falling Cola Can animation. I've tried using reactor, but it takes too much trial & error to get the exactly way you want it to be. It could take my weeks if I had used Reactor on that! No! Thank you.

After that, I've done another extra thing by making a piece of paper fly. It flies over the door, and passes by camera. By the way, I also put a nice puddle below the Cola Can. With a nice little Raytrace Reflection. Raytrace kick ass!

Ok Fun is over, lets continue with Scene 2, inside of the building. Lots of things going on there.
  07 July 2003
Very nice. That's realy good work... continue my man...
  07 July 2003

Oh be! At least a thread that explains it all in detail.. But you have to admit that you should be a little faster.. Are you trying to make us die out of curiosity??? hmm?

Good work man!
Aziz K.
  07 July 2003
Red face I'm coming slooowly...

Hey my friends is here

Yeah, I'm little slow I know. But I'm on holiday man! It is hard to swim 6 hours and then work on 3DSMAX. :P

Realy, its going to finish these days, just little more patience...
  07 July 2003

Now... After our FBI, P.I. SWAT, Mixup guy AJ knock knock BadgGuys' door, an inside Camera shows door 2-3 seconds, and then AJ SMASH the door with his kick. There is a BadGuy (BadGuy01) sleeping on a chair inside. When AJ breaks the door, he wakes up and quickly tries to reach his gun that lying on the table. But AJ act fast and kicks the table. (he's keep kicking stuff ) The table and the BadGuy01 falls backward towards wall. This makes Gun on the table fly high and BadGuy01 turns upside down and stucks between wall and table. At this moment, AJ takes one step forward and shots at back of the table. Bullets make holes on table and ending BadGuy01's part. After that, another BadGuy (BadGuy02) comes from backdoor. He enters the room and looks at other BadGuy that still between wall and table. At this time, AJ take a look at our new ready-to-die BadGuy and he turns right, catches BagGuy01's Gun (that flied up just few seconds ago) and then shoot the guy. This is kind of a cool move, you'll belive me when you see it.

Ok, that's my plan so far. Lets work then...
  07 July 2003
Hi my friend, das is good works. i like your character,
i will wait your finish video, i think you will be good character animator. kiss coluk cocuk for me...

hadi bakalim kolay gelsin.

Halil Evren
  07 July 2003
Talking frame-shot of the First Scene

Thank you Anubis.

I'm kind of a "Hardcore Gamer" last weekend. (which I always are... but since I stuck myself to 3DSMAX I rarely play games) Gothic2, TombRaider6, Hulk, and even The Neverhood. I've been busy playing those, so there isn't any progress for 3 days.

BTW, I'm attaching one of the frame-shot of the First Scene... It is final rendering...

Stay Tuned my friends...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg frame_0162.jpg (18.7 KB, 99 views)
  07 July 2003
Nice detail with the news paper.. I haven't seen that before..

Ama çok yavaşsın be abi.. merak uyandırdı resmen bende deli bir şekilde..

Aziz K.
  07 July 2003
nice work.....i like the water
  07 July 2003

Yeah, water looks cool. But it's not showing very well in final shot... Because AJ steps on it.
  07 July 2003
Wink Basic Shape of my... scene 2 room.

The first thing I needed to do is make a room. I've used one side of a BOX object to make front of the building for previous scene. To make a room from it, I've used another smaller box and make it a boolean object. This way I did make a nice and quick room. I've also made a backroom inside that building. Maybe I could decide to continue my action in other rooms, so I made it in an any case.

The room is ready. After some texturing it looks fine. But, where is the door? I've modelled the door for other side of the wall, so it's not opening inside correctly. It is a little cartoony door, not symmetrical. It'hard to make it accurately open and close but I'm not going to do. It'll be smashed inside wall anyway.

I also made a wooden table and chair. (Just standard primatives) I also made a clothing for top of the table, but later I decided to take it off. Because I have too much trouble... I mean Dynamic Cloth Object already.

Top of the table is empty for now. I'm going to need something to place on it.

  07 July 2003
Thumbs down Desktop

First, I modelled a simple bottle. It'll make a good sound when it smashes on floor. (or wall heh heh) I've tried to apply a raytraced reflection to the bottle but it's making rendering to take too much longer. I think I'll tweak raytrace settings a little bit, but later.

Also, I put a magazine on the table. I was going to use a Playboy Cover for the magazine, but I decide to make my own cover. Actualy, I made this magazine cover over 3 years ago! In year 1999-2000, me and some of my friends ware making a Gaming Magazine named PC Therapy. It includes game reviews, previews, news, cheats and some funny stuff. I was the WebMaster, Graphic Designer, Game Reviewer, and Editor of the Gaming Magazine. This is the cover image I did for it, so I'm using it in my animation. By the way, PC Therapy was a quite known when we're making it, but we're not making money from it and there was no supporters on our back that time, so we ended up making it and since 2001 summer there is no more PC Therapy...

Anyway. The Table looks... full enough. Just one more thing... yes, a gun. I've just clone copied the main character AJ's gun and placed it on the table. I'm not going to model another handgun for this badguy. He won't be able to reach and use it anyway.

Last edited by Tughan : 09 September 2003 at 02:54 PM.
  08 August 2003
Talking Easy way to get rid of this Cloth :)

After table and chair done, I made some (8) boxes and pile them up corner of the room to fill up empty spaces. By that time, I slightly started to make character animations and do a few test previews. Then I dreadfully figured out that Cloth Simulation really really sucks this time. I think I should've finish this short about x2 or x4 times faster if I hadn't get my hands on this "veeevy cool looking" Cloth Simulation. It is painful as it's cool. Takes so much time to tweak. Especialy this kind of animation I think.

After I've seen some funny errors with cloth previews, I quickly modelled a Coat Rack and put it inside the room near the door. In case if I say "Aaarrgg! Enough of Cloth Tweaaaak!" I could make AJ put off his trenchcoat and throw it over the Coat Rack, to get rid of it.

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