Animation Character Creation tutorial update & CGmascot news

Hi everyone. Here’s an update on the tutorial and some CGmascot news.

Animation Character Creation-tutorial update

Creative work is a complicated business, fluid and suspectible to change – and you don’t always know what you’re making until it is done.  In the case of my character tutorial, I have had quite clear a picture in my mind, but the more of it I get done the more new things I find – and the more I understand how big a task I’ve undertaken.   Which is why it isn’t yet done.

I never had any doubts about my capacity to do this, nor any regrets of taking it on, but it has been 4 months now and good part of it more than full time and I’m starting to feel it.  But it has been great, too, and I can see the end.  I hope to have it out by christmas eve. No promises, though. Update: Tutorial is delayed by unknown time due to other work taking my time and later more delays than ‘just’ work. I can’t set a date for release.

Animation Character Creation Tutorial final image
Animation Character Creation Tutorial final image

“Why has it taken so long?”, some may ask.  Well, recording a complete character creation, all of it with no shortcuts, is a lot.   But a far bigger timesink has been my perfectionism and desire to make logical steps out of something that for me normally is an organic freeform process. Especially in modeling I don’t proceed in clear steps – I just go at it until it is done.  Recording that would not be any good as a tutorial.  So what I’ve done is to break my work down and do it again many times over create a logical whole.

So there’s the update, unfortunately not yet a release.   Now something to show you:  Here is the end result image from the tutorial.  Tutorial -shows how to model a full character for animation, starting from nothing, and how to detail it and finally how to render and make this poster.  Click for a larger version.

CGmascot News

The tutorial work is the reason for lack of new articles, but I do have some interesting things to share with you once I’m free from the main project.  By the way if you want updates without having to come and check the site, the best options are to Subscribe by Email or Subscribe to RSS, see links at the top.  I will not spam you.  You will receive brief message when something new is up, and can then decide if the full article is worth checking out.  The news are my plans for CGmascot:

  • I want to write more about animation.  I have planned this before but not followed on.
  • I plan to use more video in the future.  It’s the thing of today and I’m running behind.  But the tutorial has had me making about 20 hours of video, so I’ve had lot of practise lately.
  • The site will get a professional redesign and will, I think, be even more usable.
  • The Mascot Service will soon become more exclusive simply because other work takes my time.  I will be able to take only a few clients.  The service will also receive a new starter package – an even more affordable alternative.

Now you know what’s up.  More tutorial stuff will follow, eventually. In the meantime check out other articles on CGmascot.

Animation Character Creation Tutorial – Software Features Used

Techniques transfer from software to software. For example I have in the past observed work done in one software to learn a technique I can apply in many other software. This video is my (small) way to help others to do the same with this tutorial.

All 3D in the tutorial is done in Luxology Modo (ver.302), but you are not limited to Modo only. This video should help people using other software to check if they have the main features or tools available in their software.

And of course nothing is stopping you from using the tutorial just to learn character modeling, which is by far the most extensive part of this tutorial. Then the software is no issue. Polygon modeling tools used in the tutorial are available in most if not every polygon modeling software out there.


You also watch the video in HD at Vimeo
Music: Parametaphoriquement by GMZ

That’s one more bit of tutorial info and preview stuff for you. Expect more, at least a trailer, in the future. And if this topic was new to you, please start from the teaser. Comments, questions and such are welcome.

Animation Character Creation Tutorial – Modeling Tools

Here is  a look into the modeling tools and technique used in coming Animation Character Creation Tutorial.  The tools I use are very standard fare, hardly new to anyone who has done polygon modeling, which is all good – the goal is to keep it easy and fun. The method is the interesting bit. Techinique shown in the video is something I’ve talked about before, too.

Even if this is all familiar to you already, you can watch the video as a brief example of what my video tutorials may be like.  This video is an early(and very very small) part of the final tutorial.


Click Vimeo-link in the video to watch it in HD at Vimeo.

Music:  Eighteen Pieces by Soda and Sevenhundredbeats by Duncan Beattie.

The tutorial develops well and more info will come.

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.