Characters: FAT bird and LITTLE man

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  08 August 2003
Character's: Frame from animation

This is a frame from my final project for my maya 1 class. The models were constructed in Maya 4.5 using polygons. so there are some straight lines in the characters. I would like to have used Sub-d's but they are just too slow to animate with. I created all the textures in photoshop and used some shaders off of High End 3D thanx! There is an animation to go along withthis picture but I don't have anywhere to post it. If someone could help out with that it would be great!.....
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File Type: jpg fat-bird-and-little-man.jpg (19.5 KB, 305 views)
The question to any answer is why.

Last edited by Aeddy : 08 August 2003 at 02:00 AM.
  08 August 2003
Hi Aeddy.

I love the aesthetic you developed with these two characters. The design already conveys personality. Nice. I have to admit, the rouge on the man's face is just a tad distracting given the whiteness of his teeth, but I'm not really one to judge texturing/shading. You may have some "straight lines" in your models, but it doesn't seem to detract at all. I'd like to see scale comparisons of the two characters, but that may be part of the story to come.

If you're looking to create an online presence and deliver some of your animation, there are some pretty affordable hosting services you can look into. I know I'm not alone in saying that I'd love to see the animation.

- A
  08 August 2003
I too like the style of your characters, especially the guy's hands and face. The mouth seems sort of funny looking, I think you have the lower lip retracting too much for the smile (or the jaw is too high), you very rarely see the lower gums in a smile, since the lips pull tight back and slightly up.

I can see the "lines" in the bird pretty clearly, despite the motion blur and softened edges. Althouth if the animation is good this doesn't really matter to me, if you are looking to put this on your reel to get you a job doing modeling, you want your models to be as clean as possible. Perhaps you can fix this with some judicious use of poly split and point pulling? Although that means you'd have to re-skin the character afterward...

If you have access to Maya 5, there is a new feature that allows you to selectively poly-smooth areas of a mesh without making the entire mesh smoothed -- you could use this to increase the polycount in the bird's waist area, for example. Of course, if you use 5.0 on it you likely won't be able to edit the file in 4.5 anymore. (Unless you delete history and save a .ma, then edit it in a text editor).

I like your color choices and composition so far. I'm concerned by the way the bird's wing seems to break or have a stiff joint in the middle of the wing facing us. The whole bird seems stiff to me, a lot of this might be the fact that it is just at a straight vertical angle, not the forward lean it would need to fly or the backward lean to land. Try adjusting this to make it more dynamic. Yout bird feet also seem undeveloped, they are just stiff sticks. Are there bones in there?

You might also think about a different color for the parrot. Everyone makes green parrots, but they come in a lot of different colors! Take advantage of this, don't fall into the trap of cliche Check out a book or look on the web for some of the awesome color schemes you could use.

What other parts do you want us to look at?

ps: email me at with details about your animation file (size, type, where it is now) and I will see about hosting it.

  08 August 2003
Thanks for all the great crits!

I did fix the stiffness of the bird character and made him lay out more during his flight. The feet do have bones but I only rigged them to grip things not spread. If I have time I will try to add some more movement to them. I am reworking the animation and adding some better movements. As soon as I am done I will let you know more details and that would be great if you could host it!
The question to any answer is why.
  08 August 2003
I like the looks of these characters already.

One thing that bothers me enough to comment on is the odd bend in the shoulder area of the man. He's got a bit of a "kinked hose" look to him that is probably caused by either not enough subdivision in that area, or the way you've painted the weights.

A lattice (with a set driven key to help the deformation) could help you out there, but may not be needed, depending upon the style you're going for.

Another comment I have is in regards to the parrot's feet. They should probably be posed a bit better, as they appear flat. When in flight, birds tuck their feet under and back. When they are about to land, they reach out to grab whatever they intend to perch on. Have a look at these images:

Not necessarily your birds, but you get the idea.
Floyd Bishop

YouTube Channel
Char Maya Character Rig
  01 January 2006
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