Modo, Zbrush and Messiah for Fast Production


Mini-tutorial covers a workflow using the above 3 software together for high detail character creation, preparing for animation and combining the results. Idea here is to show how to make these software work together – not how to model, sculpt or animate.

Method Limitations

  • You will need a base-mesh to begin with. I’m giving away the one I used here(see male ver2).
  • While a base mesh like this is good for extensive sculpting, it works best for naked characters. While a some clothes can be just sculpted on, for better results I would either add polygons on the base mesh to ‘set base’ for them too, or do separate cloth-meshes.
  • While the autorig is fine for many types of animations, for more advanced stuff(lip-sync, better deformations, muscle bulges, etc.) you will obviously need to improve the rig.

Real world example – a rushed task

To give an example for this, I had a brief like so: Make a group of Zombie-like dead people standing around in place and moving only a little. I had 5 or so days to do it which is quite quick considering my old slow computer takes 2-3 days just for rendering.
Because the figures will be in background of the scene, out of focus and behind effects, and because of the rush, I opted for very simple texturing, rigging and animation – and no facial animation. I ended up with 3 variations of one character and 5 simple looping animations. The dead mainly sway in place. Result is passable but some zombies are really not looking the way I want. See the breakdown for my problem.

Production Breakdown

Shape rough base mesh in Modo and save out an OBJ.

Not much to explain – either model your own mesh or pick one up somewhere. You can grab my human male base mesh (ver2.) here.

Import to Zbrush and sculpt to your hearts content.

zombie sculpted in ZbrushHave fun sculpting. I went up to level 6 with subdivision (see pic). I also used surface noise found in latest Zbrush(4.5) for extra skin detail. And herein lies my mistake: Overdoing the noise strenght will push the shape out in an unified manner that, especially when whole sculpt is later applied as a displacement map in Modo, makes the characters lose detail and look bloated. I have this problem with 2 of my zombies(see in video below). Somehow I noticed it too late – didn’t have time to re-render.

Add uv-mapping.

Zbrush AUVtilesI chose AUV-tiles because it is automatic and good for a mesh like this that has quite evenly sized polygons. Default settings give each polygon same size in UV-map. Thing to remember with AUVtiles or GUVtiles or similiar, though, is that if you use them you should paint your textures in Zbrush. At least in Modo(302) painting on an AUVtiles uv-mapped  mesh lead to paint in one place ‘leaking’ all over the mesh. Zbrush won’t have this issue – especially not as you can paint model first and uv-map after.

Export the mesh from lowest subdivision level and create and export a displacement map.

Zbrush displacement map exportNote that sculpting on any level changes the bottom level(base mesh) as well, so you better export your base when finished. Final thing is to export a displacement map which again you do when on lowest subdivision level. For my settings see the picture.

Import the base mesh to Messiah and use autorig to get it rigged.

  • Load the mesh in. Select it and in the Setup-tab and hit Autorig(see Setup>Items). Next in Setup>Effect find the Character Face Camera under Bone Deform, select that and your character mesh and hit Replace(see pic).
  • Next in Setup-tab move the Character Root to where your figures hip center is. Then, starting from hips and going out bone by bone, scale and rotate bones to fit the character. Work only on one side, right or left.
  • When done placing bones, go to Setup-tab>Items>Drop-down>Fix Symmetry. Root could be your FK_Spine or similar base bone. FixSymmetry will use it as a starting point and will go down the hierarcy looking for things with your typed suffix/postfix. For Source type the letter of your working side, like _R, and for Destination the other one (see pic). Then run FixAll or FixSides-command.
  • Now your can test your rig in Animate-tab by rotating bones. Remember to undo your tests When happy save your scene as ‘charactername_rigging’ or whatever for backup purposes. Then hit Autorig in the animation-view and wait. Save scene as ‘charactername_rigged’.

Messiah, Fix Symmetry
Messiah Autorig, set to use model
There is also a video tutorial on Autorig (not mine).

Animate and export animation as MDD

Messiah, export MDDI leave animation to you. MDD-export happens in the Customize-tab>Drop-down Menu>SaveMorphSequence. Select your mesh. Type in what frames to export and give a filename. Generate Current Morph Sequence.

Mesh to Modo and apply MDD

Modo, apply MDDImport or load the mesh and right-click it – in the menu find the MDD-deformer and load the file. Now your mesh will be animated (see Animate-tab).

Setup lights and camera, texture and displacement and render to image series

Modo, set displacementYou can see my lighting tutorial here. For texturing do what you want. I used a simple procedural(Cellular) for both diffuse and bumb, and painted a mask for specular and diffuse amounts – mainly just added black to eye-sockets because director wanted all black eye-sockets, no highlights or anything.

For displacement I have yet to find optimum solution since Zbrush displacement export-workflow has changed since ver.3 and I just started with 4.5. However here is something I find functional: Bring in your displacement and make one instance of it. Then set the instance to Invert and its Blend Mode to Subtract (see pic). Now the regular displacement pushes polygons both out(positive) and in(negative) and the second displacement adds to the negative. Play with the instances opacity and your materials displacement amount for final result.

Remember Modo defaults to 24 frames/second (film framerate) so that’s your render output unless you change it. Finally when you have a series of images take them to your favourite video editing software and make a video.

My result with this method

Actual movie effect has more of these figures standing on the background of a scene (hidden behind effects and out of focus). This video is just so that I can show them to you. Was a rushed job with problems and lackluster animation, but there you go.


See it in HD at Vimeo.

Do you have comments or insights? Please share.

Animation Character Creation Tutorial – Character Story

Previously I introduced the coming tutorial and shoved a timelapse of base head modelingThis one is about the character design, about character backstory.  This was supposed to be a video as well, but I’m having trouble with my computer – can’t do video edit just now.
Giving your character history is part of character design and a good place to start.  You need to know WHO the character is to make an animation with him/her.  The following is a bit of story for the tutorial character.

Our character, I call him Curt, was an orphan and grew in time of unrest – grew to violence.  And just when Curt became an adult the unrest became a war.

War needed strong men capable of violence, and Curt was a perfect fit.  He was mayhem on the battlefield, a bloody champion.

However since he never was much of a thinking man and was most useful as a human weapon, he was used as such and was never rewarded for his dedication.

Eventually, after many years fighting and death, the war ended.

Suddenly there was no more work for Curt.  Also unlike many other champions he was not knighted or rewarded in any way.  He was just a man with lots of blood on his hands and a problem to his superiors.  He was told it was better he left.

For long years Curt traveled, took odd jobs and slowly took stock of the bloody work he had done.  He began to drink his sorrows away.


Then, in a border city in the middle of nowhere, where Curt’s war record was unknown, he finally had a bit of luck.  He was hired as a guard – was a man of uniform again.  It was something he knew how to do.

This is where our backstory ends and visual character design begins.  Thanks to thinking up a story I know better how he acts and thinks.  I know he wants to do his job well and perhaps someday redeem his past.  Maybe the animation, if I were to do one with this character, could be about that.
I know, I know – this is no revelation, just a simple point I wanted to make.  Character design should  include a story and I think making one up is a lots of fun (even one as dark as the story above).

Animation Character Creation Tutorial – Teaser

This has been requested enought times, so here I go, finally. This project is loads of fun to work on and really time consuming too. I hope you’ll like it as much as I do.

You can also watch it in HD at vimeo.

Tutorial Details (in short)

Contents

Covers a bit on character design, then goes deep to modeling a character for animation, uv-mapping, sculpting, texturing and finally quick posing and to a promotional render. On the way I tell you why I do things the way I do.  Tutorial video duration will most likely be 10+ hours.  The base head & eye-modeling alone is around 1 hour 40 minutes.

Software used

Luxology Modo (for 3d) and Adobe Photoshop (2d). However no part of the tutorial needs just those two softwares – you can use any similiar software to get the job done. I will list 3D-tools used(such as bevel) in the tutorial details, so you can see what your software can do and what, if any, you need to employ another software for. And instead of Photoshop you can use any capable bitmap painting/editing software.

Aimed for / Level of difficulty

Anyone who knows how to operate a 3D-software. I’m not explaining very basics – software manual and generic tutorials can tell you that. However I do go over what tools we will use and where.

Format

Tutorial will be in HD720P video, quicktime-files, and with a menu to easily access them.

Delivery

Tutorial will be available from a reputable online vendor as a download or on a dvd.

Cost

The price won’t be low but not scary either and the value for money will be high.

Future plans

Tutorial is planned as the first in a series that goes from design all the way to animated short film production and finish.

That’s it for now.  More will come, at least a trailer, before the tutorial releases.

What would you like to have in such a tutorial?  Please feel free to write comments and questions below.
Update: Tutorial is delayed for unknown time -a LONG time- due to other work taking my time. I rather not set a date for release and miss it again. If you want to make sure you don’t miss the release without coming back here to check over and over, subscribe to site RSS feed or Email Updates.

What is Mascot Design?

What makes characters mascots?  How does one design a mascot?  Since I work with these creatures I feel I should write a bit about them.

What is a mascot?

In short a mascot is a representative figure, a symbol and a communication tool for somebody/some organization.  At its best the mascot personifies their values, communicates effectively and helps them stand out from the crowd.  I go over this in more detail here.

I talk about company mascots to keep this simple.  Same things apply to mascots for others, so feel free to replace “company” with something/somebody else.

Note also that I’m writing about mascots designed as company symbols, not about mascots designed for campaigns or for products.  A well designed company mascot does lend itself to campaigns and merchandising, but things don’t work so well the other way around.  There are exceptions, Mickey Mouse being a prime example – Mickey  became an icon for Disney though he wasn’t planned as such.

How to design a mascot?

A mascot is essentially a well designed cartoon character with strong connection to the company it represents.  The following elaborates on qualities of a good mascot – things to aim for.

  • Connection to company profession and values.  Simplest thing is to have character do the job the company is best known for.  Then give the mascot personality, style and way of doing things that reflect the best things the company stands for.  Colour palette-connection would help as well.
  • Background story.  Giving a mascot a story makes all future decisions easier as we know WHO he/she/it is.  Personal goals and story give mascot things to do, provides material for campaings and overall offers mascot some beliveability.
  • Appeal.  A live-action actor has charisma, animated character has appeal.  With people charisma means a lot more than just ‘cute’ or ‘handsome’, and so it is with cartoon characters, too.  There appeal stands for simplicity, pleasing design and charm/magnetism.  Why these give appeal?  Simple is both easier to read and communicates better than complex.  Pleasing design means good forms and it doesn’t always mean they are pretty, more like well drawn and stylised.  What visual style is effective varies from character to character, but one overall solid trick is exaggeration in dimensions and characteristics.  Finally we have charm or personal magnetism;  It is, in my opinion, the ability to communicate with emotion (usually something positive).
  • Style for target audience.  Cute mascots attract the female and young children audience. Cool (and sexy) is a bigger hit with males.  Consideration here should of course be about your company image, what represents it better?
  • Props and accessories add to the design and are way to say more about the mascot.

Above points are about design, but note that your character doesn’t become a mascot without Active and Consistent use.  Company mascot has to be out there to become known.  Use it in all suitable mediums, but be consistent – don’t let the tool or the campaing define who you mascot is.  An example of what not to do:  A company uses a random mascot with no personality, have no story to go with it and tend to change the mascot a lot between campaings.  Then mascot serves mainly as eye-candy – it may help the campaings stand out from others, but really this is the least you can do with a mascot.

There you have my take on the subject in brief.  I may get back on the subject later (especially if requested).  What would you add to the list?  It is hardly complete.  Have you got a story to share about a mascot success or failure?

Mascot Service Release


It is A-LIVE! I am is happy to release the Mascot Service.  It is available in Finnish and English.  Go read and see 4 mascot examples.

Why a mascot?

A mascot gives friendly face to an organization, stands out, communicates the company values and sticks in your mind.  It is the perfect representative, positive and sympathetic figure that can be your trademark and a brand.  Mascot also saves both time and money, often beats regular photo shoots and models – it really rocks in advertising.

I have looked for a special service I could offer, something that uses my skillset nicely and the software pipeline I have set up, and this is it.  I think it offers lots of value and might do well.   Though the release time is worst possible for Finland:  the whole country more or less closes down for the summer.  Time will tell, I guess.

This is why I haven’t blogged quite as much of late.  Well, I’m back and shall keep writing.

What do you think about company mascots in general?  Would you be interested in learning more about them?

Personal Animation Production Hell

This is a story about how my animation production came about, and it wasn’t the way I recommend.  Read the following brief journal and see why.  This was done on the side of occasional freelance work and other on-going projects(movie and game).  I didn’t sleep much for half a year.

You can view clips of this animation production at the start of my 2009 demoreel(hd).

January 2009

Fishman, old design from 2007My HD-demoreel needed some current generation game characters, animated.  I decide to go with a fishman who I had earlier modeled a preliminary head for.  For his nemesis I chose a nasty looking deep sea fish (enlarged many times over).  Plan was low-poly game-models with Zbrush-sculpted details applied as normal-map.

Fish low-polyI didn’t spend much time on design, just went ahead modeling animation-ready base meshes in Modo.  Polycount (triangle faces):  fisman 7532(including eyes, teeth, clothes and equipment), fish 4572.

This large image shows the fishman construction, simplified.

Fishman new designAfter 3 or so weeks I had both characters modeled, sculpted, textured and rigged.  Rigging was the slowest step, for it is the most technical and not my favourite.  Last days of the month went to finding a way to make Messiah animation work in Lightwave with Zbrush-based displacement.  I’ve later done a tutorial on this.
Plan had changed:  Game character showcase now had a short high-detail animation production added to it.  Oh boy.

February 2009

Action takes place by ocean coast, underwater.  Fishman escapes towards the light and the demonic fish chases.  Enviroment creation was next.

I modeled an underwater bay with massive roots coming from above.  The more I built, the more the story wanted to grow.  Dangerous thing, that.  Suddenly I was doing particle effects, great mats of flowing seaweed and water caustics, colours, shadows and light projected from world above.  It was slow work, endless testing.  Early February was also when I started production rendering, my one computer laboring 24h hours a day – with limited power of course while I work.

scene modelingscene particles

scene layout, polygonsscene layout, textured

After that I could finally begin animating and of course discoved issues in the rigs and and meshes that needed tweaking.
animation production scene example, final look

The tiny animation production had grown to unestimable size.  And silly me went ahead optimistic.  I knew it would take some time, though.

March – June 2009

These 4 months were all divided somewhat like this: 1 week for animating, 2 for trying to make renders happen, and 1 for other technical problems.  My ambition was too much for my computer, or, better said:  My goals were all wrong –  high detail & HD instead of good story and animation.  Had to drop many cool features, optimize the scenes and renders, find workarounds and segment the workflow as much as possible to render at least one layer at a time.  This in turn caused problems when things separated to several scenes had to interact with each other(shadows and more).

Production Hell Crash screens
In short most of the entire production was spent fighting limited resources, trying to make the render at all possible, and then render and re-render because it crashes over and over.  I count my computer rendered 5 months(!) around the clock giving me 12+ gigabytes of hd720p animation frames: characters, scene and effects all on separate layers.  Combined it is 5-6 minutes of animation.

July – September 2009

I spent a week or so combining animation frames to video clips in Vegas.  Doing this it crashed 9 times out of 10.  HD editing with more than 2 layers was again too much for my computer.  The rendered clips revealed many faults in the animation, but there was no way I would go through the test’n crash-hell again to fix them.
I edited the animation down to 3 and half minutes. Following removed scene was an easy cut.  It doesn’t fit overall story pacing and both continuity and animation are lacking.  In the clip the fish looks for the fishman but finds his discarded lamp instead.

A sound-savvy friend did the sound effects in August.  I also had a musician working on the music, but our sensibilities didn’t meet this time.  In September I found another musician.  One of his compositions was almost a perfect match for the film pacing and lenght.  So, on September 29th the final movie was complete.

Results and things learned

The movie is now going to festivals.  The first it was accepted  to is  Short Film Festival of Los Angeles.  So even though it wasn’t a sensible story-based production, it has some merits – people like it.  I’m glad 🙂  This festival tour is why I’m not sharing the film online, yet.

So what did I learn?  I knew this is not the way to do an animation production but couldn’t help myself.  It was a technical challenge I set myself to finish, no matter what.  I learned not to do production this way ever again.  Also the process taught many practical things – some I’ve been sharing as tips.  And finally I learned doing production the hard way doesn’t necessarily mean the result is bad.  But doing it ‘right’ would improve end result a lot and make whole process a great deal easier.

Please don’t get carried away with some half-baked project like I did.  Be a realist and plan well to get the most out of your story and animation.

What about you, what’s your story?  Have you made your own production(s) or tried and crashed & burned?  I’d love to hear about it.

Tutorial – Model an Animation Ready Male Body

This tutorial is for those wanting to learn character modeling or modeling for animation.  It shows how to model a male body, a base mesh.  End result is good for both animation and sculpting.  For more info read an article about modeling for animation or see another where I test the tutorial-mesh against another mesh.

The model doesn’t have a proper head nor does the quide show how to make one.  That is topic big enough for another tutorial.

I’m also giving away the final mesh in OBJ-format. You are free to change and use it any project you like.  But selling, model or tutorial, is not allowed.  This is free learning material.

Grab both tutorial and 3 variations of the mesh at Files.
If you like this tutorial or have critique please leave a word.

Modeling for animation – Test

Earlier I wrote why surface flow matters and a bit about why model for animation. Here I wish to show the benefits with visual examples.

I will compare how two character meshes deform in animation.  To make this comparison mean something, I have selected one of the best base meshes I could find without directed edgeflow.  This mesh is made by unknown person.  It has nice even division of polygons – good for sculpting.  Second mesh, seen on the right, is mine and built for both sculpting and animation.  It is almost exactly the same size and shape as the first.  I have rigged both meshes in Messiah with one rig – they both do exactly same motions.   I haven’t done any weighting of bones to the mesh – Messiah bones have a good effect on the mesh by default. Point is that with this setup the only difference you can see comes from the meshes.

Modeling for animation Test - the meshes we test with

Here are the meshes in rigging pose.  My Edgelooped-mesh has different head and no toes as I was lazy and many characters will be wearing shoes anyway.    The edgelooped mesh has about the same number of polygons in the body as the ‘normal’ mesh, but more definition because the flows define shape.  The flow also helps maintain shape in extreme motions, like seen in the stretching example.  Observe the general form, especially upper shoulder and chest area and the hip.  See how the edgeflow helps to keep the shape and how it deforms it a bit better?  Difference is not notable everywhere, but it is there and it is important.

Modeling for animation Test - stretching

Modeling for animation Test - arms

You may argue the first mesh would show the same definition if we just pushed points around and added a few polygons.  But that’s just it – unless you add those polygons as carefully placed loops, you will have to add a lot more than ‘a few’ to get the same definition edgelooped mesh Modeling for animation Test, knee examplehas with less polygons.

Some might also say that the flows don’t matter that much in animation production, because when final mesh is subdivided to gazillion polygons at rendertime there will be more than enough for joints and to keep the definition.  I disagree.  Base mesh is the one that gets animated, it sets base grid for the final – any problems in the base are still present in the final.  And I dare say they become more visible in a highly detailed mesh.

Last examples show how the edgeloops help in joint areas. With the knee I’m using the loop shown here (see image with lots of loops).  Same works at elbow and at shoulder-top.  The loop ‘binds’ the parts together and provides material for both sides of the outward bending limb – keeps the volume.

Modeling for animation Test - finger loops

With fingers I’m using a simpler ‘loop’ to keep polycount low.  It adds one more edge on the out bending part and helps to keep the volume.  It also introduces triangle-polys.  If triangles are a problem, add a full around the finger loop instead.

Conclusion

Mesh with evenly spaced polygons does well in animation and a mesh with planned edgeflow does even better.  No suprise there, but I needed to test it anyway.

What’s your take on this?  Is edgeflow really that important?  What is your preferred flow – care to show it?  I know mine is just one way to do it.

Modeling for animation – Body

Character modeled for animation is modeled to deform well in animation. This article desbribes benefits of edgeflow and edgeloops and the general ways to use them on a human/humanoid torso and limbs.

To begin check out  my article on surface flow, if you already haven’t.   And then, to go futher we need to understand edgeloops.  Quoting guru Bay Raitt:

An Edge Loop is an interlocking series of continuous mesh edges used to accurately control the smoothed form of an animated subdivision surface.

Edgeflow and Edgeloop are essentially the same thing.  Flow as a loop separates areas, defines shapes and directs edgeflow. You use loops in places where major deformation happens in animation.

Overall edgeflow within each looped area matters, too. Idea of a good flow, as I see it, is that when stretching or compression happens the polygons are already aligned towards the change.  Then the deformation is usually problem free.

The general advice is to model the flows following the main muscles under the skin. It can get needlessly complex considering how many mucles move a human body.  Some people have been obsessing over edgeloops for years.  Luckily you only need loops for main muscle groups or body masses.  Think what main masses/muscles move in a character and how. Direct the surface to flow along them and form loops around them.  The loops may be interlocking and that’s all good.  Then they mix and crease together better.

What if you want superb muscle definition?  Much of the missing detail can be added with displacement maps(from Zbrush, Mudbox and the like), and when the base moves correctly the displaced ‘muscles’ on it move mostly alright, too.   Though if you want realistic flexing muscles, you need a heavier setup – but this gives a good base to start from.

modeling for animation - body loops and flowsWhat are the Main Masses moving in a human/humanoid?

  • Back of a character bends below the chest.  You need loops going around the torso.  Chest bends too, even the rib cage below deforms, however the musle masses on chest and shoulder & back-area have more effect on the shape change, shoulder having clearest effect. You should have flow from chest directed to flow over the shoulder and to the back. Please note my optimization here has lead to a pole, a 6 edges intersection, in the middle of the back. It is not troubling me, but if you build similiar mesh you may want to add few polygons in that region to get rid of the pole.
  • The arm-mass connects to the shoulder and the problem area is over the arm-socket.
  • Head and neck moving about affects the area around the neck and some ways to the back.
  • Legs move the buttocks as well.   The mass movement limits to top of the hip bone, pretty much.
  • With arms and legs the problematic bits are knee and elbow both. Masses of back- and forelimb come together and separate there.  The loops help to give more mass on the outside part of the bending limb, giving material for both parts that bend away and a centerline that stays more or less in place. You may get by with a tube-like structure here for cartoon-characters where things aren’t that exact OR by having many loops that you carefully weight to bones to deform just right.

model    for animation - x-loop

Highlights and edges show the flows I like to use for this model.   Disclaimer: Please note this is definitely not the only way to do this, just A way.  You can get by with less loops, more loops or with different loops. Whatever works, works – I find these work for me.

The loops above, in limbs and at the top of the shoulder, are variations of a very useful x-loop.  See the diagram of a more complete version of it.

Also here is another version, a knee with more ‘mass’ left in.modeling  for animation - knee variation You can do varied X-loops.

Do you find this helpful?  Please let me know.  And if you don’t think the shown flows help animation, please give critique.

Read more about edgeloops here  http://web.archive.org/web/20120422232142/http://www.3darts.com.br/tutoriais/edge_loop.php. Original article has expired but can still be found in Google archive(Thanks Terry). It is in Portuguese.  Here is a translation to English.

CGmascot hiStory

What drives people to blogging?   And what’s up with that CGmascot?  Here’s a story about my motivation for both.

Teaching is something I’ve done in one form or another since 1998.  Why I was originally expected to be good at it I don’t know, perhaps my calm personality seemed to suit the job, but I found I AM good at it and enjoy it.  Still it was the wrong subject(web design) and never became a big thing for me.

3D is another animal entirely – ever since I became reasonably capable in it I’ve wanted to teach it.  I’ve been developing a learning material concept for dvd-rom, but as planned it would have been a one year project, full-time.  Several reality-checks later I came across a person that is far more ‘hip’ on web 2.0 than I will ever be, and she suggested blogging.  And what do you know, it suits me well.  So here we are.  This is not the material I planned for the dvd, but it is a venue for me to share what I know and also to let my skills be known.

So why the mascot? It goes back to my childhood and drawing what little boy thought was cool, which, at the time, was Lord of The Rings, Tripods, The samurai, and many other things including some ever awesome animals.  We got to design an ex libris for ourselves in art class, and I went for an eagle.  Since then the eagle sort of stuck even though I (later) knew it is cliché as a symbol.
Origins of CGmascot, ver 1. 2001.

In 2001 came the first 3D-eagle (I started doing 3d in the year 1999 or 2000) .  I made this head with a mascot in mind, but didn’t like the result enough to continue.

In 2005 I rebuilt the bird and experimented with some rather odd clothing.  And please don’t even mention the eyebrows.  Didn’t shape up to a real mascot yet.  The pictures have CG nudity, so don’t click on them if that’s an issue for you.
Origins of CGmascot, ver 2. 2005.Origins of CGmascot, ver 2. 2005.Origins of CGmascot, ver 2. 2005.

Origins of CGmascot.  Final version. 2010.Finally in 2010, my mind set on the learning-blog, I decided on CGmascot-name partly because I always wanted to finish the damn bird and it seemed like an original title.  Hence I rebuilt the 2005 eagle to CGmascot.  So there you have it:  Childhood fixation becomes something usable later in life.

What got you writing?  Please, share your story.