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.

Screenshot (49)Screenshot (50)



Little Guardian character design

One of the key pre-production aspects of a 3D animation is the character design, and after finalizing the pitch of the story, I made concepts of the two featured characters. Since the main character is based on and inspired by my own pet cat, there was a good starting point with her design.

For our main character design, we decided to stick closer to the inspiration and created a cartoonized version of the cat which was the inspiration. To give it a more comical look, I kept the proportions more cartoony such as a bigger head, big eyes and thin legs with small paws. And of course, the big ears.

For the little creature, we ended up going with a more vivid color scheme and designed him to resemble a chameleon. There are a few color variation which were considered, but the initial design was more of a fantasy creature. However, the final design leans more to a life like chameleon.

chameleon concept3.jpg

Studio 3 Pre production

This week we have been brainstorming an idea for the studio S3 project. The two main ideas which we had both had a similar concept involving two characters in an indoor room setting. The idea which we have decided to go for is a story about a cat who chases out an unwanted Intruder from her home while her owner is the way. The two characters of the story is the cat and a fantasy creature resembling a chameleon. The story has comedic undertone and a cartoonish style. Below is the storyboard for the animation.

storyboard cat.jpg

The story begins with the cats waking up from sleep and realising that her owner has left the house. Her relaxation is interrupted by the sound of feet scurrying under the bed. As she tries to investigate, an unknown creature steals a coin from the ground and runs into the wardrobe. Curious, she follows the creature and finds it sitting atop a pile of loot which includes coins, keys and other things which are lost inside the house. She becomes frightened and runs to hide behind the bed. As she waits for the creature to crawl out, she jumps to scare him, forcing him to jump outside the window. Satisfied that her job is done, the cat goes back to sleep.

The genre of our animation is adventure/comedy and is aimed towards audiences of all ages, including people interested in 3D animation and children. The animation will appeal to a wide audience which makes it more accessible to the public. There are no cultural concerns in terms of cultural appropriation as the genre is very light and fun and does not include any controversial concepts. The animation is meant to be enjoyed by different people of all ages.

This week’s tasks included concept art, mood boards, character sheets, as well as the 3D animatic. There are two modelers and one animator in our team but we will be dividing all the work amongst everyone.

ANM230 – Wk13

The final week of the trimester is coming to an end and so is our project. Technically, the project has already been showcased yesterday but we will be adding some missing scenes to complete it. The showcase went well yesterday, even though it was less eventful than the last trimesters. We had an industry guest from Pixel Hunters watch our animation and provide feedback. It is good to have exposure and opinion of high ranking individuals in the field.

It has been a hectic and stressful trimester, especially the last few weeks with the pressuring deadlines and rendering time constraints. Even though we had to resort to cutting down on quality for our renders in order to meet the deadlines, I am happy that we managed to put together the final animation and showcase it yesterday. I believe that I gained useful skills during the course of this project such and even improved my animation skills. I know that I will be able to apply these skills in my future projects and hope that I keep making improvements.


ANM230 – Wk12

This week we are trying to render everything as fast as possible as we are running out of time before the showcase. The team is busy fixing any issues with the renders problems faced with the software and trying to distribute the renders in order to speed up the process. I have been finalizing the scene setups so they are ready to be rendered and adjusting lighting in some scenes. I have also been working on one more missing animation so that it can be included in our video. We had to distribute the animations which were not yet complete among the team members which allowed us to finish them. I am hoping that everything will render in time and we will be able to compile our animation

ANM230 – Wk11

During my experience in working on this project I have learned many useful skills including spline modeling which I have talked about in a previous blog and Zbrush hard surface modeling. While working on the animations these weeks I believe I have improved my level of skill and also acquired knowledge of animating using the CAT rig.

One of the aspects I aim to improve more in the future is lighting and rendering as it is still challenging for me. I was having some issues with lighting the tower as well as the render settings as the scene lights were not affecting the model itself. I also used self-illumination for the tower shaders. Below is the render of the tower with lighting. Tower.jpg

ANM230 – Wk10

This week I have been working on my assigned animations which have been rigged by my team leader. I am enjoying working with CAT rigs and actually find it simpler than using controllers as I feel it allows me more freedom with positioning the model.

During the animation of the jumping scene, I ran into an issue with one of the bones and Curves. The issue was that the bone kept snapping in weird ways which would show in the viewport render as well as the viewport itself. I sent an email to Mujeeb regarding this. I was eventually able to resolve the issue by reloading the CAT animation layer onto a previous version of the model.Screenshot (75).png