Peter Walk Cycle

I've been away from actually animating for a while with all of the facial and body rigging. So I decided to start back with a walk cycle tutorial from Chris Kirshbaum from Gnomon Workshop. This walk cycle is meant to be a simple, non-personality walk. Next I will edit the walk a few times to give it a lot of personality for Peter on stage, sad in the back alley or drunk on stage.

Since I've used character studio for such a long time it was great to learn more about editing curves for smooth animation. Peter's rig is a highly edited CAT rig by a great rigger - John Stewart. The rig uses euler curves for rotation instead of Quaternion like Character Studio.


Animation Has Begun!

Feelin Good! The 1st draft of Peter's rig is finished and I have been doing some animation tutorials to get back up to speed. I'm very excited to be animating again. It will be my mission during the rest of the film to animate a majority of the time instead of rigging, modeling, editing, etc. I will post some animation tests soon!


Peter's Rig To-Do List

- Make sure there are no other joint changes. - DONE
o Pelvis - DONE
o Knee - DONE
o Shoulders - DONE
o Upper Leg - DONE
o Ankle - DONE

- Edit Skeleton rig to match new Center of Mass, knees, etc. - DONE

- Use script to reproportion the rig to Peter -DONE
o Change Center of Mass here - DONE

- Hook up all Twist/Bendy Bones on right side to see if everything works, especially the legs with the twist bones.
o Arms - DONE
o Legs - DONE

- Add Toe bones - DONE
- Add Knuckle bones - DONE
- Add Spine skin-to bones - DONE
- Add Neck bones - DONE
- Skin entire character - DONE
- Add Tie bones - 2nd Draft
- Add Suspender bones - 2nd Draft

- Merge morph head with rig - 2nd Draft
- Add Hair bones - 2nd Draft
- Link up eye targets - 2nd Draft
- Skin the morph head - 2nd Draft

- Animate!!!


Final Jameson Concept

Piero finished up the concept for Jameson - cant wait to animate this guy! I think it will fit perfectly with the voice we recorded.

Facial Morph Renders

Here are some renders of facial poses Justin Thomas did with Peter's face rig:


Jameson Concept Almost Finished

Piero has just a few more tweaks to do to the character, and then some cleanup. Any other Crits?


Facial Morphs FINISHED!

I just finished fixing up the morphs and then hooking them up to the joysticks! It was a long process, but I think the results are fantastic. I will post some tests soon. Now, onto the body rig!



Justin is making his first official Blog Post.
...And the earth tilted slightly off its axis.

Salinger, your time is Up!

Piero Macgowan, a friend and excellent concept artist at Firaxis is getting Jameson's concept figured out. I photoshopped Peter and Jameson together to see how it feels. I had to shrink Jameson's head a little to make him work with Peter. What do you think?

Facial Morph Fixes

This is what I have left to do on Peter's face before I move to the body. I think I will be done sometime next week.

PinchCorner morphs - DONE
Sneer EyeLid Fix - DONE
Sneer Four directions - DONE
Low eye lid prog morphs - DONE
Mouth Move out / in - DONE
Upper lip inner spikes - DONE
Fix Out Smile Inner Lips - DONE
Fix Mid Smile Inner Lips - DONE
Fix In Smile Inner Lips - DONE
Fix Wide Inner Lips - DONE
Fix Out Frown Inner Lips - DONE
Fix Mid Frown Inner Lips - DONE
Fix In Frown Inner Lips - DONE
Better Upper Lip Curl Out - DONE
Better Upper Lip Curl In - DONE
Better Lower Lip Curl Out - DONE
Better Lower Lip Curl In - DONE
MouthFwd - DONE
Cheeks out - DONE
Inner brow creases fix - DONE

Brow Left Right Movement - DONE
3 Extreme Smile Morphs - DONE

Eyeball morphs
Teeth Mover Bones
Nose bone and look-at
Fleshy eyelids


Facial Poses!

I asked Justin Thomas to take a shot at pushing the facial poses to their limits and this is what he came up with! Extremely nice results! I did some nicely lit renders to get an idea of what the SSS skin will look like when we start rendering animation. Also, I was thinking the eyebrows might be an issue because they have the sharp point on top. But now that I see these renders I think it adds a lot to him.

I have a bunch of morph target cleanup that I'm working on now, which should be finished this weekend. Then Sulz will be finished with the body so I'll start rigging and skinning.


Facial Joysticks Coming Along

I'm almost finished hooking all of the joysticks to the Morphs. I decided to replace the spline joysticks with low-poly sphere objects because they are easier to select quickly. I'm still in the process of replacing them all, as you can see. I quickly posed an angry face here for Dr. Sulz and I think it turned out really nicely. I feel like the rig has so much more control than my last joystick driven rig. Next - I'm going to finish hooking up these joysticks and then do a few missing morph targets. After that - on to the full body rig!

Oh, and John S. at Firaxis helped me with creating an eight-morph radial joystick for the mouth shapes. I asked him randomly and he created in 15 mins! Extremely helpful seeing that I hurt my brain trying to figure it out for hours the night before.


Story Updates

Julie went over the script tonight and started coming up with some great ideas on how to make the short version of the story feel more cohesive. We talked about a few of the ideas and I think they will make the story much stronger. None of the ideas make the story longer (actually, in some cases they make it shorter) but instead are just different ways of going about the scenes. The main scenes are unaffected like the beginning and the Carmen / Peter fight. These changes are more focused on the in between scenes. I will bring in the updated script next week.

Facial Interface

Tonight I finished the creation and placement of the facial joysticks. Right now I'm not sure if it's too complicated so I'd like some feedback (Justin?). It has more joysticks than my old characters but I think it also will have a lot more control over the face. Once I get it all hooked up I will be able to tell.
The 1st image is the interface linked to Peter's head. You could use it this way if you'd like or you could unlink the whole interface and move it to the side. I have a feeling I will unlink it but the option is there.
The 2nd image is the interface scaled way, way up with the morphs placed next to the corresponding joysticks. I did this so when I hook up the joysticks (tomorrow night) it will be very easy to know what morph is affected by joystick.
The 3rd image is just the interface as you would use it unlinked from the character. The smaller joysticks around the eyes affect only parts of the eyelids up/down. The smaller joysticks around the lips only affect parts of the lips up/down. I feel it's easier to work with everything being visual and in one place. That's why I created the small joysticks instead of creating custom attributes on the smile/frown joystick for the lip up/down movements. The custom attributes would only show up when the joystick was selected and it would be a spinner, which I find is harder to use quickly.


Morphs Mirrored!

I was able to quickly mirror all of the morph targets after figuring out I didn't need to repeat the whole mirror-morph-skinwrap process on every target. I did it once and then replaced the morph target in the slot, created a snapshot of the skinwrapped mesh and renamed it to the left target. Very easy. Right now it's 113 morphs for Peter. I think version one had 60 or so. I still have to fix a few targets but I'm going to move on. I'm now starting on the face joystick interface but don't have enough to show yet. I will have that in a day or two.


Morph Organization

Tonight I went through all of the morphs and organized them by type. This will make it much easier to mirror them, which is tomorrow night's task.


Morph Tech Stuff

Today I did a bunch of cleanup on all of Peter's morphs. I reset all of the pivots, organized the morphs together and I'm getting them ready to be mirrored. That process, now that I figured out a quicker way, should only take a night instead of many nights!

Once I get the morphs mirrored I can start on a new facial control system. It will still be using joysticks like the old version of Peter, but they will be shaped like a face and have greater control (because there are now more morph targets).

Mirroring Morph Targets

Here is a method for mirroring morph targets that I found on the internet by Duncan Rudd. What I just figured out this morning is that you can do this once and then change the morph in the last step. Then, one by one you can mirror all of your morph targets in 20-30 mins!

Mirror-Copy the right morph target mesh, move it to the side

Add a morph modifier to the left mirrored morph target mesh

In the mirrored left morph target morph modifier add the BaseHead in the first slot

On frame 0 key the morph modifier to 100.0

On frame 10 key the morph modifier to 0.0 – a backward morph from the base pose to the target

Go back to frame 0

Copy the BaseHead and position-align it to the pivot of the left mirrored morph target

Skinwrap the base head to the left mirrored morph target at frame 0

Switch the skin wrap ‘Deformation Engine’ drop-down to ‘Face Deformation’

Go to frame 10 and create a snapshot of the skin wrapped base head

That snapshot is your final mirrored left morph target

Finished the 1st Pass of Peter Morphs

The 1st pass is finished! Here are a few quick poses I did to show them - including the base head for reference. Over 60 morphs are done and now I need to mirror the right targets to the left. After that I want to do a quick 2nd pass to smooth out any artistic and technical blending issues.

The Beginning

It has begun...