So, I have been working on my sculpt for most of the week, it is going well so far, I have gotten to a point where I have done all the main facial details to a standard that I am happy with, I have bulked out the body and legs and smoothed them, all that is really left is to finish his bandana, and hair, then it will be almost complete. Everything I have done on it so far I am very pleased with and it makes sense in the 3D world, while still keeping true to the 2D sketches. I think I am ready to start modelling in Maya now, and if other problems arise when modelling I can go back to my sculpt and work on the bit I am having problems.
Despite the setback on modelling, I did manage to get my key poses and facial expression done in my sketchbook. Doing this helps me get an idea for how to block out my animation and what blend shapes I will need to create. I also drew out other standard expressions I may want to consider blend shaping, such as happy, sad, scared, and a scrunched up face. On top of that I also drew out the phonemes and visemes I will need blend shape.
I had also been thinking about the environment, because it is set in a back garden, but I do not want to have to model an entire garden, so what I was thinking was to have a small patch of grass, that fades out into a white or faded 'grass green' background. With certain sound effects I could get away with this and still make it feel like a back garden. I could probably accomplish this through render layers and using the opacity in post production.
Also this last week, on friday myself and two of my course mates, Jamie and Nick went to RJDM animation studios, which is just outside Northampton, to help out with their deadlines, as they had to get several animations to get completed for the next day. The animations where for Top Gear's live show, where they tour around the country.
The studio was very remote, in the middle of a field, literally, we arrived at the studio at about 11am, after getting lost in the nearby villages for about 45 minutes.
While we were there we had to help on one scene in particular, which was set in an underground car park. all the animation was in 2D, which involved 3 agents giving some blueprints to The Stig and a cat burglar then stealing them. What we had to do was put car models in the scene and set up the cameras ready for render. This sounds easy, but this took us all day, simply because when we arrived we weren't really told to do in full detail, it was kind of all slowly revealed to us throughout the day, as we completed the bit we were told to do, we would then be asked where is this bit, we would say what do you mean, then they would say we were meant to do such and such a bit too. And it went on like that throughout the day. Never the less it was a great day and a great way to get a feel for what its like to work in the industry, we were told however, that it was not usually like that on a normal day, because they were so busy with deadlines everything was very hectic, which was probably the reason why things weren't explained to us too well either.
In the end though we got everything we were meant to do, done, we had a few problems with lighting and textures at the end of the day, where we had to import the lights again from the original scene. Amongst other little jobs we made a lot of tea for the team there, which we didn't mind, anyway we could help we were happy to.
We also had to do some compositing work, as they were late on some of their scenes that needed compositing, but only one person was in who knew how to use combustion, so they needed all the help they could get. I'm not too hot on combustion myself, Jamie did most of the helping out on that side of things.
All in all is was a great day, and a great insight to the world of work, and what it can be like when deadlines approach, apparently pretty similarly hectic and when deadlines are approaching at uni, sleepless nights and no time to slow up and take a break :)