Little Guardian Animation

As the animator of our team, I was responsible for animating the major scenes including the run cycle for the cat and chameleon. Although we started our animation stage later than planned, I made sure to distribute the scenes and plan the animations in a way to maximize production. Below is the animation tracklist with everyone’s assigned animations. The scenes in pink represent the cat character animations, while the blue scenes are the chameleon animations.Screenshot (72).png

As I am majoring in animations, I have to make sure that my animations are refined and presentable. In order to achieve this, I will be submitting it for reviews to my lecturers and finalizing the animations only when they have been approved by one of the lecturers. This gives me the chance to notice my mistakes and improve on the animation.

For the characters I am using a CAT rig setup as it is the faster and more adaptable method, and I have previous experience with it. The rigging process for CAT bones is also faster that traditional bone rigging method and time is a currently a priority. The skinning produced a lot of errors because the topology was interfering with the skinning. In my past trimesters I have had lots of experience with animating characters, and even CAT rigging a quadruped which is similar to our current project. That is also why I chose to use the CAT rig. Below is a screenshot of the rigging process.

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Little Guardian Visual Effects Workshop

During our VFX classes with our guest lecturers, we delved into the visual effects techniques which can be achieved in Adobe After Effects. I have had some prior experience with the software, but only scraped the surface and with a program such as AE, there is always so much more to learn.

One of the things which we learned was how to create a matte painting for animations, and this can be very useful for animations involving heavy background scenes- such as, say, a futuristic city skyline. With the help of matte paintings one can achieve a very impressive look which will not be easily distinguishable as a flat painting. The technique to do this involves painting the environment in Photoshop, then bringing it into max using mapping.  Although it is not  a technique which we would use in our current project, as it is an indoor scene, it is definitely a very useful skill to learn.

Some other things we have learned in the VFX classes are to create masks, dust particles and light rays.

Little Guardian Character Modeling

The character modeling process is quite familiar to me, as it has been my area of expertise in the past few trimesters as well. Furthermore, I have had experience in quadruped characters, such as for my final project during which I modeled the puppy. I was initially planning to only model the cat character, however further production issues led me to take on the chameleon character modeling as well. While modeling the chameleon character, there were a few changes in the body shape made to make the design more appealing. The head and face also took a couple of stages until the desired look was achieved.

The cat model did not undergo as many design changes, although the anatomy took a bit of time to get right. Mainly the shoulder blades and body shaping were focused on. The topology of the face took a bit of extra time, as well as modelling the separate pieces such as teeth, gums and tongue.

Below are the finalized models of both characters.

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