Monday, March 23, 2009

Done with the rigs!

both the dragon and the girl are being called DONE! finally... i know, i know, it should have been done 4 weeks ago, but that's the joy of production/pre-production; you never know what he f*k's gunna happen. i'd post a picture of saia, but i'm too tired and worn out from today (inspire days event at disney animation studio) to do that right now, so maybe tomorrow. next step is doing some animation tests with the rigs to make certain they are in tip-top shape. after that i need to finish building my scenes (ground plane, could plane, set dress), and then i should be good to go into full production for the next 3 months! this is getting pretty exciting. and it really helped going to that event at disney, to kick myself in the head and say "yea this project is gunna be totally worth it, don't slack off and give it all your effort!"

wish me luck!

Friday, March 20, 2009

tedious, but worth it

okay, i had an epiphany last week when i was rigging the dragons eyelids and nostrils. i realized that i could have been doing the wings with clusters the whole time instead of stupid bone chains that are hard to control and dont deform nicely. the other thing i realized was that i had set the number of influences on the joints too low to get anything to bend smoothly, which was really aggravating me. so i decided to redo the dragon rig...again. i started out by increasing the amount of joints that could influence a given vertex to seven. basically it means that up to seven nearby joints could have a percentage of pull on the vertex when i rotate a joint, making the mesh deform in the direction the joint is bending. this fixed a lot of the problems i was having in the neck, legs, and tail (especially). secondly, i deleted all the bone chains that were within the webbing of the wings. instead what i did was create vertex clusters. a cluster is basically a selection of vertecies that you can move as a group, but can also have a relative value between 0 and 1 which represents the amount of influence the center of the cluster can move and deform. so basically it's like skinning without bones, and can be done on top of an already skinned mesh! i used the same idea for the nostrils and muzzle of the dragon, which is why i came to the conclusion that i could have done that for the wings too. it also allowed me to set the weights for the wing to only 2 bone chains rather than 5, so essentially when ever the two bone chains move closer together the webbing deforms accordingly. then i made the clusters on top of that, which cause the webbing to flare up or down (as if wind is passing beneath it creating drag and lift). i know, lots of technical talk which may or may not mean anything to you, but heres a picture so you can see the difference. compare it with the picture immediately below.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

together at last?

heres a pic of the girl on the dragon. some people said the scale of the girl looked a little wrong. any comments? (if people even look at my site)

Friday, March 13, 2009


here he is.

the dragon.

the complete, fully rigged, ready to animate dragon.

i'm happier than i sound.

he ain't the most beautiful rig in the world, but he works, and dammit, i made him! hehe

Thursday, March 12, 2009


ok, now it's getting frustrating.

i just lost a whole day's worth of work. why? yup, i saved over my doesn't help that i've had a very pissy week. but this blog's not about my personal problems, it's about my project. so, i'll just have to make it up tomorrow.

the good news is that the dragon rig is just about finished. the last thing i need to do is the wings and the eyelids (the wings is what i did today which got lost). now that i worked out how to do them though it should go by pretty smoothly.

after i wrap up the dragon, and i collect my environments from my super secret modeler (not named Stephanie) then alls i gots left to dos is the actual ground plane and the hundreds of clouds! oh, and then the lighting and scene dressing, but basically thats it. oh, and the background plate. but then i swear its ready for animation!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


okay, paying absolutely no attention to the way they mesh is deforming, here is the wingspan of the dragon. its wider than i expected, which is a good thing hehe