My initial idea/concept for my final project was to create a surreal, terrifying horror short film. The storyline will be based on a 3D character of me undergoing the painful and agonizing process of morphing from human form into werewolf. I fully intend to focus on the emotional aspect as well as the physical process. Create various camera angles from long shot, medium and Dolly zoom. I believed I have fully achieved this objective, as my final render includes aspect of different camera shot, range of character emotion and body animation and uses of light to create horror
My project first step started with me researching into what inspires me, in order to use it to come up with a concept and idea for my final major project. After looking different at show like “Bitten”, “Being Human” and movies like “Twilight new moon” I finally found something that caught my eyes and inspired. The moment I saw “Underworld” again I automatically want to know how they created the werewolf transformation effects. I understood that research is significant component before starting any project. A detail research can determine the overall direction your project takes. In my case, after being inspire I first began by summaries what I wanted my project to be about and then researching various area that will improve or assist me in any way. Since the Final major project will be influence by werewolf, I thought it would be important to understand the origin of werewolf, in hopes to getting a better understanding to help me in my modelling stages and to create my own unique werewolf. I began by looking into different culture thought out the ages and their ideology of what they believe a werewolf is and where they originated. The “Mesopotamia is the name for area of the Tigris-Euphrates river system which in modern time is location around Iraq and Kuwait. They created an epic poem called “Epic of Gilgamesh” which explains that Gilgamesh refuse to become the lover of Goddess Ishtar because of her cruel treatment of previous lovers. It was believed she turn a Shepard into a wolf therefore making him enemy of his friends. In Rome, Roman times, it was believed the God Jupiter turn a king Lycoan into a werewolf.
I later researched into movies and games with werewolf theme genre. I looked at “The Wolf Man” which a movie about a man who got bitten by a werewolf as result becoming a werewolf himself. Every monster story set a rule on how said monster must behave. This was valid research mainly because it provided me with an insight into psychology of a werewolf. They are dangerous, cunning even evil, and they inspire fear. Which was incredible helpful for me when it came to animating my werewolf. I also researched into Twilight and few other movies mainly to witness the techniques used in creating some breath –taking shots for example in twilight when Jacob jumps and transforms. I also researched into various Maya techniques and tools to help me such as xGen. For certain effect I began looking into number of software such as Mari. Mari 3D painting and texturing software, I research this software primarily to help me with texturing my werewolf. Overall, my research was quite successful because I gain a large amount of important information that helps my general final project.
Throughout this project my ideas has evolved and been limited. Initially when I first began this project I had many ideas such as creating a final project based on 3D character transforming into a werewolf which later faces a dragon. I intended to add element of fantasy like Game of Throne and Lord of the ring however its later became very clear that the idea wouldn’t be possible due to the limited time we were provided and I also work part-time. As a result left me with limited time to on the project. I brainstorm and I came up with an idea that was easy to achieve in the given time provide, however at the same time it was complex. So my project evolved into a 3D character of me morphing different of my body into a werewolf and then a final shot with full body werewolf and all composites on a 3D environment.
Personally for me I realize what my final outcome of my project will be during 3-4 weeks into the project after completing my research and gathering information. Learning what direction my project was going to take was quite reassuring because it allows me to reflect back to my statement of intent to see the difference and similarity. Shows How far I have driven away from my statement.
Using Mudbox to shape my werewolf was an effective method. Mudbox base body mesh was quite helpful in me starting to form my werewolf model. I didn’t have to worry about creating a body from scratch like my CGI character of myself body I created in Maya. I can quickly increase division and focus on sculpting details. Another method that was incredibly useful was UV unwrapping. This method allows me to apply texture to specific areas I wanted in my model, I could use every inch of my model surface. However the downside of UV unwrapping is that it’s quite a long and tedious process. It requires patient and time, because if it isn’t creating properly then the overall appearance of you model would look terrible. If extending or re-working was possibility I would have changed the method I used to create the environment but I’m quite happy with the range of method I used in my final outcome
Overall, final project outcome was a bit different from my statement of intent. I originally wanted to incorporate 2D footage of me into 3D environment, however this wasn’t possible because I didn’t have enough time to record myself so I decided my entire final outcome will be 3D based. Nevertheless the basic concept of my final outcome is very similar to my statement of intent. I wanted to create a short film of me transforming into a werewolf, I did achieved this in my final outcome and I also created a 3D environment. Although the design development for my 3D environment in my final outcome was different compare to my statement of intent, it still served its purpose and was effective 3D environment. Personal I’m happy with my final outcome since I achieved everything I wanted to create at the start even though design process has evolved into something else. I wanted to incorporate all the techniques I have learnt throughout each of the projects in the past two years into my final project such as character modelling, texturing , animating, environment design and composting into my final project. Yes! If I had more time and I wasn’t working part-time, I would really enjoy creating the exact same project as stated in my statement of intend. But I still loved the final outcome of this project.
Time management has always been my Achilles heel generally. Unfortunately final project was no exception, I struggle with managing and organising my time. Although I formed a timetable to assist me in this issue, I later found out it was quite hard for me to follow it. Many factors contributed into me not necessarily following every detail in the timetable such as working part-time or having technical issue. These issues made me treasure my time at college because I use it working on part of my project. However majority of the time on this project was spent working at home since I had the right software and my pc was powerful enough
Every week my lecture Angus would look at my progress and compare it to the other weeks. At first, I thought it was unnecessary however throughout the course of the project I came to appreciate it because he wanting to see my work was a constant reminder that I need to create something that was enough to show the other and display my progress. I thought this was quite helpful because it kept me on the right track, not to mention each week he would provide feedback and personal tip that he believes would help me in my final project. For example he gave me good tip on creating my character and werewolf eye texture, he also told me to focus on displaying the agony around the character eyes whilst he was morphing. Which I decide to implement into my final outcome and it was great.
We had a class critic which basically was each of us individually standing in front of the class and talking about what our project concept was the work we have created so far and our general opinion if our project is going in the right direction. I enjoyed the class critic mainly because it was a chance to get a feedback on my progress. I received few good feedback comment about how to improving my werewolf model which I apply afterward. However some feedback I didn’t necessary apply to my project for example it was suggested that it would be unwise for me to create a 3D environment due to the limited time we had left, unfortunately I created a 3D environment and it was a smart decision because it made my final project look great. One of the strengths of my project was the characters were well model, some of the 3D animation was good and the compositing of everything was great. One of the weakness I can identify in my final outcome was in certain part the character animation movement wasn’t smooth and natural, I would really love to improve this area by recording footage of myself and researching more into 12 principle of animation to help me create a believable and realistic character movement. If I was gave 10 weeks more I would have made all those improvement and evolved the project into another stage by incorporating a dragon model or fantasy element into the final outcome
This is the environment i created using VUE software and Maya, i created the basic design such as terrain and tress. I later imported it into Maya which i created the grass. I used my knowledge from previous project like the Ancient Greek project to help me grass the ideal grass to fit my environment. I first gather series different grass such Canada Bluegrass and field grass to help me with the diffuse colour. Import these image in photoshop adn created an alpha and diffuse layers. After creating necessary layer import the material in maya. I first created two plane intersecting and apply the grass material on both object then combine them. I later duplicate the combine object around the scene.
After Finish Sculpting my werewolf , i decided it’s time to Rig it so i can animate it. I used similar method when i created the Skeleton for my CGI character of me.
However i encounter few problem when rigging this character. After smooth bind the mesh to the skeleton i decided test it out. But the issue was that when i rotated the should mesh would stretch out like below image. I spent hours trying to fix this by using different method. I first tried using the Paint Skin Weights Tool, the tool lets you paint weight intensity values on the current smooth skin, however it didn’t work. I decided to detach the skeleton and use smooth bind again but this time i played around with the setting such as max influence and bind method. Eventually one of the setting worked
These are the eyes texture i have created for both my CGI and werewolf model. For the werewolf eyes i was inspire by a character from one of my favorite anime call Naruto. I study kyuubi eyes structured and i loved aspect. I wanted to created an eyethat that resembled that cannibalistic quality.
Blend shapes are an incredibly useful and powerful feature in a 3D artist’s toolset. Maya.Maya has features known as deformers, which enable you to change the shape of a geometry in your scene. These deformer can serve as two purpose either used for modelling tools, animation tools or as a mix of the two. Blenshape is part this family. And is one of the most powerful and useful deformers create the illusion that one shape changes into another in a natural-looking way. For instance i used to to morph my character head from human into a werewolf shaped head and i intend to use it for other morph section. I first duplicated the originally head version , which i then manually adjusted to look more like a werewolf head. I later use blend shapes to blend and morph between these two geometry, and it enable me to creates the illusion of my human head changing its form.
There are many factor you have to taking consideration when using blend shape. you first have to take into account a few considerations about the geometry that you want to blend between.In order for a blend shape to be successful, the base mesh and any target shapes being used must have the same vertex count. Which was quite troublesome for me since my character model of myself and my werewolf model vertex and topology are completely different. I had major trouble thinking of ways of fix this issue however i was able to come up with few good ideas to over come this issue. I would using blenshape to create the morphing animation for the inbetween when my character is human and finally when he transforms. This way i can control what happen in between and i don’t have to worry about my character model topology being different from my werewolf
Blend Colors utility blends and create transition between two incoming colors or textures similar to blenshape. I found this tool quite useful when i discover it, i initially had no idea how i will create different eye transition for my morph phases because blend shape doesn’t morph texture. So in order to create a reallistic morph it was incredibly important for me to find a method that will allow me to achieved similar result for my head transformation but for my eyes. Blend colour precisly what i needed, however what i dislike about this tool which also as had an impact on my project is that the utility doesn’t allow you to blend more that 2 colour therefore limiting you.
These are a couple of facial animation I’m practicing. I was trying to create agony and fear. I used a combination of Blend Shape and Control Rigs to animated the character facial animation. In order to create smooth and pure realistic facial deformation, i record my face doing range of different emotion as reference material to assist me.
During this week i finish modeling the head for my werewolf. Based on various concept art and image i gather i was able to create a really scary and realistic werewolf head with element of fear incorporated into it.
I also finish sculpting the rest of body, adding those final detail on the body such as building the muscle and adding little unique touches like scar.
Next stage was UV unwrapping, repeating the same method i did for creating UV for my CGI character. However for certain areas i used different method as suppose to my CGI character but the principle is the same.
After UV unwrapping my CGI model, i decide my character is create for the next stage, animation stage. Before bring life to my model, i first had to build a skeleton for my character.Building a skeleton is the process of placing and orienting joints to create a system with which you can pose a deformable model or object. Depending on what character you have created, you need to place the joints where they approximate real joint positions. For example since my CGI is model of myself has exact anatomy as human, i placed joints at all the major points correspond to human joint locations. I achieved this my using the joint tool to draw a joint chain until i created a complex skeleton. After i smooth blind my body with my skeleton. Next, i created a simple easy control rig that will allow me to control the movement of my model therefore assisting me in animating my character in later stages. This will be incredible useful as animating 3D character by moving joint can be a daunting task
Werewolf are mythological or folkloric human with the ability to shapeshift into a wolf, in order for me to create a realistic werewolf model that will strike fear into view heart, as well as have the embodiment of a werewolf that people is use to. I research into Werewolf anatomy because sculpt, mainly because werewolf are a fictional characters and no other creature in our planet resemble a werewolf. So i had to study what animal or animals werewolf look like when combine. I discover that a werewolf share similairy anatomy as human but with an element of wolf. Once i understood this very important pecive of information, i was now able to sculpt my werewolf model and add realism into it. I began my using a base body mesh in Mudbox, i slow started defining the model by add detail step by step until i couldn’t add anymore detail. When this occur i decided to increase the sub-division of my mesh to permit me to add another layer of detail. I continuously repeated this process for each portion of the werewolf body
As you can see by the image above, i focus heavily on my werewolf muscle group since werewolf are quite muscular creatures. My knowledge from researching and studying the werewolf anatomy has help me define and create a realistic and well built looking werewolf, because i have taken into account what size and shape various different werewolf muscle group should look like.
UV mapping controls the way the texture wraps onto the surface of the model.UV mapping process of making a 2D image representation of a 3D model’s surface. UV Texture Mapping actually involves two majors. The first is to unwrap the model into a nice, non-overlapping UV Map and the other is to paint the actual textures in a program such as photoshop or MARI.
Majority of the work of unwrapping the model will be done in the Window -> UV Texture Editor in Maya. This panel is under the Windows Menu.
As you can see below, the UV map for the CGI double model of myself is right now not very clean or organized. Placing an external texture onto this map will create really bad results.
There are many method used to help increase speed process, for instance dividing the model in half and deleting the other half.This makes it so that we only need to Unwrap half of it. We can then duplicate the other half and maya will remember all the UV mapping you did for the first half ,which i did for my character model.
Next process was deciding upon how i will divide my model into various sections. For my “CGI double” model, i began by first dividing the head and main body. I started by focusing on teh main body first, i divide the model into four quarters. In each of the quarter is selected certain faces where I feel the divisions would work best for the texture map. I saved the faces by going to Create>Sets>Quick Select Set and give it a name. This method allowed me to reselect all the faces without having to painstakingly pick 1 face at a time and i can now access these face in outliner
I then began assigning a projection for each of the divisions. For example below, i used spherical projection for my head mainly because i model the head shape similar to sphere therefore using spherical projection was the ideal choice.
After using spherical projection, to see result i open the UV Texture editor and i can see how it has organized my head model
I repeated this process for each of the different part of my model, using various other tool and method for certain areas.