Last update!

For those who arrived from my website, here is the link to view Quorri’s process from 2D to 3D in chronological order:

Thanks for stopping by!


Animating, Final Touches, & the Final Animation

Alright! I can happily say the final animation is finally complete for the semester! Because of the lack of updates, I will mash everything in the production in this post. Apologies for the lengthy post. So let’s begin!

Animating the Face,

Animating the Face,

In the previous update, there was a bit of pinching and weird 3D topology around Quorri’s mouth so I went to fix it a bit. I noticed in the test renders that there were some polys that flip normal around her upper nose area. This was due to the morph targets being animated together so even more tweaking had to be done in the morpher panel. I animated all the morphs by keyframe, and followed the audio I imported into 3dsMAX. The audio is roughly 30 seconds long with brief exchanges with another character. I edited the audio to make it sound like Quorri is talking to another character via headphones and it worked really well to my surprise.

I noticed it was very difficult to animate Quorri because my file was lagging terribly. I updated, cleanout, defragged my computer to see if it would help, but nothing happened. After hours upon hours trying to figure out what was going on, I found out that the geometry of Quorri’s hair was the cause of the lag. Luckily, I had everything in layers so I just hid her visor and her hair. And ta-dah! No lag. After getting the phoneme animation of Quorri’s mouth complete, I started animating her eye brows. I received some helpful critique from a guest in class about her eyebrows and how they moved too much. I took the critique, fixed it, and the result came out great. Thank you Joon!

After the animating her eyebrows, I began animating her eyes were rigged individually by points and then parented to a dummy so they can be moved together. To be honest I wasn’t exactly sure what Quorri was going to be doing in the final animation, but I animated them to where they were reflecting what she was saying. And her eyes could be edited afterwards once I animated head movements with her neck. Speaking of movements with her neck, once I did the animation for that, she came alive! I had to tweak the curve editor a bit, but once I did, I was very happy with the outcome.

Rigged Hand,

Rigged Hand,

After getting all of the animation complete on Quorri’s head, I noticed I forgot to apply controls onto her hand for finger movements and bending. I quickly applied three joint controls to the bones to each finger and it worked perfectly. To differentiate each finger control, I applied colors to each finger. ( Thumb = Orange / Index = Yellow / Middle = Green / Ring = Blue / Pinky = Purple ) Luckily Quorri only has one hand; I didn’t have to rig again. Haha!

Idle Position for Animating, rrgonzalez.coRigged Hand,

Idle Position for Animating, rrgonzalez.coRigged Hand,

I decided to animate Quorri walking for her body movements and also include arm and hand gestures to really bring out her character since the audio dialogue is really quirky and fun. So to start, I just placed her in an idle position and referenced back to 2D Animation principles and how to animate a walk cycle. I didn’t want some crazy, intricate walking so I went with something very basic because the main focus is the phonemes and her face, not so much her body. But of course that doesn’t stop me from giving my all in a project anyway. 🙂 I kept her hair and visor hidden because it still lagged my file and my computer. I also tried just have her hair visible with all other geometry and control hidden, and it still lagged. So her hair was definitely one of the challenges in animating.

Animating the Walk Cycle,

Animating the Walk Cycle,

For the walk cycle, I decided to put each keyframe every 30 frames.. It totally didn’t occur to me that each step/movement would take practically one second. So the final animation rendered really slow, almost like she is walking in slow motion. But for some reason it kind of works due to her robotic looks. After keyframing the walk cycle, I animated her hips to wear they would move in synchronization and of course give her some feminine appeal. Animating her arms were a little difficult due to the fact they had to be swinging in synchronization with her legs. I just animated the walk cycle of her arms, and then deleted the keyframes to where I was planning to animate arms and hand gestures. Afterwards, I adjusted the curve editor to where the arms and hands can smoothly roll into the next keyframe.

Animating Headphone Textures,

Animating Headphone Textures,

In the audio dialogue, I edited it as if Quorri were talking on the phone. I animated her headphone textures to where they blink in sync with the audio of the other character speaking. The picture above is a shot of the material editor and how I used the Falloff material and inverted the black and white to have the red geometry of her headphones blink. I had to keyframe each syllable spoken, but the outcome was really satisfying because it gave a sense of interaction with the characters even though the other character that is speaking on the phone does not exist physically.

Lots of Keyframes.

Lots of Keyframes.

After hours of animating Quorri, I finally completed the animation I was aiming for! The screen shot above shows the mass amount of keyframes from all animated controls, textures, and morphs. Even though the walking is really slow, it’s something I can fix easily, it’s just a matter of finding the time to render again. Which would probably be this summer. 🙂

And speaking of rendering..

Render Process,

Render Process,

The render process took a lot longer than I thought. I originally rendering in Scanline, but once I tried to render out her visor in Scanline, it practically took 10 minutes to render one frame. And that was definitely taking too long so I switched to the mental ray renderer, and one frame took a little bit less than two minutes. I noticed that there weren’t any believable shadows in my render so I decided to render out the animation in an ambient occlusion material.  I also applied a motion blur to Quorri so that the animation would appear more believable when she quickly moved her arms or hands. And because I did, it easily doubled, maybe even tripled my render time because of the ambient occlusion. You can see the differences between each render in the picture above. I applied a multiply layer setting above the render which brings out the finer details of the animation. You can see the awesome results with the final render on the right.

TOTAL RENDER TIME: …I lost count, but it was definitely over 48+ hours for sure.

Oh! And just to mention, I edited the rendered files in After Effects.

So without further ado, here is Quorri’s Phoneme animation!

I decided to have the final animation play by itself first so the viewer can see what I have done. Immediately afterwards, I put together a split screen of the final animation and the animation of Quorri’s head for anyone who would like to further analyze the phonemes and animation. As I mentioned before, the walk cycle is slow. But I am very satisfied with the outcome of her phonemes, expressions, and her look. The translation of her concept art, all they to this final render is even more satisfying that I originally thought. I would like edit her a bit more to where she appears more.. painterly? But I think that deals with the texture and possible video editing in After Effects. I plan to take Quorri a little bit further and animate her in an animated short, but before then I would like draw more concept art of her environment setting and other characters she interacts with.

I am very happy with what I came up with this semester, it really did help me jump back into 3D Modeling and Animation which I easily forget how fun it is sometimes. I would like to try and keep up with blog with new content of Quorri and her story because I feel that she’ll go to waste if I don’t use her in some awesome way.

This semester has been great. Thank you Prof. Kitagawa for guiding everyone in the right direction and I love the animations that you have shared during class. Those have definitely inspired me to try new animation styles!

Thank you!

New Morphs, Audio, & Corrupted Data

Apologies for the lack of updates. But lets get back into it!

So I have completed all of the phonemes from my list. I found it a bit challenging with Quorri’s phonemes because there are some slight pinching in her cheeks and the edges of her mouth. You can see them in the test renders below, but it’s something I can fix; just needs a bit more time. I did however had more fun forming her tongue into the correct positions for the LL, NN, and TH phonemes. Maybe sometime in the future I can create a tongue rig. That’d be pretty cool.


Rendered Morph Targets,

Rendered Morph Targets,



So after adjusting a bit of the morph targets, I have a full completion of phonemes!  Right now I am focusing more on the mouth shapes and movement versus facial expressions. Although I can form a few facial expressions with what I have; such as worried, shocked, and happy, I know I have to make a few more morph targets to achieve better facial expressions. I believe that’ll be something I’d do after I have the main key frames for Quorri’s facial animation. The picture below is the complete map of phonemes on file.


Morph Target Setup Updated,

Morph Target Setup Updated,

The left head is the default head; original geometry I can reference back to if the morph target I am working on is not working out after all. On the right side, the top row is all of the eye and eye brow expressions such as blinking, and eyebrow lifts and scrunches. The row below it are all of the phonemes: AA, AH, AW, BMP, CDG/SS, EE,FV,JJ, LL, NN, OH, OOUW,RR,SH, & TH.

Originally, I was planning to have one of my friends record an audio dialogue for me, but it didn’t go as planned. So I ripped a 30+second dialogue from the 3D animated web show RWBY (I have received permission to use the audio). After ripping the audio, I edited it a bit on Soundbooth but adding a few effects so it can fit the animation with Quorri. Because Quorri has headphones, I plan to have her seem like she is talking on the phone with one of her fellow robots. You can check out the audio here: ( I inserted the audio in the 3dsMax Dope Sheet so I can start animating, and everything went smoothly considering I ran into a couple problems when I previously inserted audio back in 3dsMax 2013.

Audio Setup,

Audio Setup,

So when things usually go smoothly, something usually goes wrong. Horribly wrong in this case. After animating a second of Quorri’s face, 3dsMax crashed due to the large amount of data and power my computer was going through. And unfortunately, my file corrupted with it.

Corrupted File,

Corrupted File,

After raging for a minute, I quickly got over it because I knew I had back-up files that were ready to animate. And when my files disappear for some reason, I go back at it and I end up getting to the point where I lost my work a lot quicker than I originally worked for. But I’m kind of psyched to go work on it again since I went through the normal trial and error when beginning to animate. Other than that, just animating and more animating for the next week. I may throw in a quick storyboard so I can see what camera angles I can work with since the only geometry I have is Quorri herself. But we’ll see.

That’s all for now!

More Rigging & Morph Targets

So I didn’t update last week due to the fact that rigging really kicked my butt. No really. I didn’t want to update until Quorri’s whole body was rigged, and now she is!

Lower Body IK & Rig,

Lower Body IK & Rig,

Alright! So there was A LOT of trial and error after I rigged her head and arms. The body part that gave me a hard time was her torso. I was ultimately trying to rig her spin with the various types of IKs in 3dsMax, and none of them would work or move the way a spine should. I looked up tutorials, look up troubleshooting blogs, and etc. but none of them could fix the problem I was having. I then later found out that not only the HD IKs are glitchy in 2014, but the IKs glitch around randomly. Hours upon hours trying to rig her spine, I finally just gave up and just started painting weights. After painting weights, I realized that I never had to rig her spine, and just weight paint her torso to her spine and create a control, therefore having more control over her spine and torso than an IK. So in conclusion, I threw even more useless hours out the window. After painting all of the weights, I managed to get the IKs in Quorri’s legs to work perfectly with controls for her feet and the master control (pink four-way arrow). At this point in time, I just did a double-fist in the air and celebrated the relief I felt that I don’t have to rig her anymore. HA!

Morph Target Setup,

Morph Target Setup,

So after rigging Quorri, I dove into my morph target set up to create phoneme/lip sync targets. Morph Targets in 3dsMax is a method of 3D animation when a “deformed” version of a mesh is stored as a series of vertex positions. So I would move the vertices on the duplicated head to create a facial expression or phoneme. I start off with the general facial movements such as blinking, eye brow movements, and a mouth that is closed (top row of morph targets). There are generally twelve phoneme expressions, but I tend to create a few more that are useful when animating a lip sync (second row). And the lone head on the left side is the default head; the one I copy and paste if I need to create a new morph target.

Rendered Morph Targets,

Rendered Morph Targets,

I haven’t completed all of the phonemes just yet, but I have:

TOP ROW: Idle/Default, Blink, Eyebrows UP, Eyebrows DOWN, Mouth Closed

I’ll be updating next week of the other completed phonemes of: FV, JJ, LL, NN, OH, OOUW, RR, SH, & TH

Until next time!


Quorri's Skeleton,

Quorri’s Skeleton,

Rigging. This has been a very troublesome task this week I must admit. Like I said before rigging is totally not my thing, but it is coming along! Surprisingly. So first off, I built Quorri’s skeleton. The only difficulty I ran into was me putting too many bones. Weird to say, but it’s true. For example, putting a separate bone as a joint when in reality, I didn’t need it. I eventually got rid of those, applied a Skin Modifier, and started painting weights.

Skin Modifer & Painting Weights,

Skin Modifer & Painting Weights,

Everything went pretty smooth while painting weights. That was only short lived until I applied an HD IK Solver in Quorri’s fingers. Keep in mind, I have a VERY LITTLE idea of what I am doing at this point, so I’m doing this not necessarily blind, but wearing really fogged up glasses in a sauna. The HD IK Solver worked for a little bit, but I didn’t like how the fingers were bending overall, so I tried to delete it; but it would delete the bones as well. I later found out 3dsMax’s HD IK Solver has been glitchy since the 3dsMax 2012 and you could NOT disable or delete the IK’s. I tried importing Quorri’s hands (bones) from a previously saved file so I could keep the weights I painted earlier, until I realized it was a file where I barely started painting weights in her hand.. Yeah, a couple hours of painting weights down the drain.. My goodness I was really to flip my computer and rage for a good hour. But I managed, and I swear to never us the HD IK Solver in 3dsMax ever again. Haha!

Arm Rotation Controls,

Arm Rotation Controls,

So after repainting weights in Quorri’s hands I attached a few circular splines (white arrows pointing in the picture above) around Quorri’s major joints for easier control when I animate her later down the line. Yellow controls will be the left side, blue controls will be the right side, and pink will be the center controls such as neck, waist, and etc.

Quorri's Arms with Weights,

Quorri’s Arms with Weights,

Here’s what Quorri looks like with her arms bent. I think I want to go back to the weights and edit them a bit more if I have more time. But overall, not bad for an animator/concept artist rig. Haha!

Hair Flex Test,

Hair Flex Test,

After painting the weights for Quorri’s head, I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to animate Quorri’s hair, but then I remembered the Flex Modifier in 3dsMax; it makes the assigned object move when the parent of the object moves. Luckily, there was an option to paint more weights in the Flex Modifier! (yay?) So I painted the ends of her hair loosely so they could move when her head moves back and forth. The test render is on the left.

That is all for this week. I am going to try and complete painting weights for the rest of her body.

Maybe I can be ahead of schedule. ^^

Until next week!

UV Mapping & Texturing

Quorri with Hair,

Quorri with hair,

This week I finally finished Quorri’s hair! To be honest, it was a bit challenging because I’m used to building hair with planes and her hair is straight geometry. Overall, I am pretty satisfied with the outcome. Now, it’s time for the UV Mapping and texturing!

Objects & Materials,

Various Objects & Materials,

After hours upon hours of UV Mapping, texturing, and mostly organizing, I finally reached the “look” of my concept art of Quorri. The only difficulty of this process would be the fact of how long it took to texture her. I didn’t think it would of taken this long as it should, but I think it’s because of the fact the test renders were taking longer and longer the more I put textures. And of course I would have a character that has a BUNCH of reflections and a visor that requires a Raytrace map. But, she looks good! ^^

Quorri's Head Turnaround,

Quorri’s Head Turnaround,

Quorri Textured,

Quorri Textured,

So for the next two weeks I plan to start rigging her. I am honestly…not the best rigger, seriously. But I know the basics. I’ll be logging my (many) trial and errors here so I’m hoping for the best!

Until next week!

3D Character Model & Progress

This week I managed to build 95% of Quorri’s body and accessories, the other 5% being her hair. I wanted to do her hair last because I knew that would take the longest, so getting the easier things built was a better idea for now.


Quorri 3D Model Turnaround,

Quorri is translating into 3D a lot better than I thought so I’m very happy about that. I wanted to organize all of the pieces of the model together so I put together the schematic map of what object is linked to what. As you can see, everything is linked to the pelvis for now.


Schematic Map of Quorri,

Although I was just shy of meeting my weekly goal, I know I can catch up a bit as next week comes by. Speaking of next week, I’m really excited to start texturing! Digital painting in Photoshop is one of my favorite hobbies, so I’m looking forward to it.

Setup & Progress

3dsMax Setup

3dsMax Setup,

This is the setup I used in 3dsMax. I usually set up the character turnarounds as the environment background but the update for 3dsMax 2014 took out that option. It wasn’t a problem, just a minor set back. I locked the planes with the turnarounds on a separate layer so they would not be accidentally moved while building my character.

3D Head Model Process

3D Head Model Process,

After a few hours, Quorri’s head started to come along. She wears her head gear 100% of the time so I didn’t think her ears were needed to be built.

Head Gear Progress

Head Gear Progress,

So these are the basic test renders of what Quorri’s head and her head gear looks like. I didn’t quite wrap her head gear all the way around her head because her hair, and it would create unnecessary polygons. But so far so good; I know I’m going to have a little trouble with her hair, but I don’t think it’ll be that bad.

In the next week and half, I’m planning to get as much, if not finish, building her body so I can get to the texturing process.




Character Description

Quorri Expressions

Quorri Expressions,

Now introducing.. Quorri! [kwoh-ree]

So after two years of trying to find a name for my humanoid-robot, it finally came to me last week. Although I haven’t fleshed out other characters that interact with her within the story, I have a general idea of who Quorri is as a person robot.

Quorri, a humanoid-robot. She was built by her creator to help fight resurrecting robots that suddenly started appearing from what happens to be an ancient underground city. She was the last robot to be built within the her creator’s team; specializing in energy and agility. Quorri developed an emotion to dislike fighting because of almost permanently damaging one of her team members during a sparring practice day. Her creator knows she does not fighting as much as others, so she collects various materials for more robots to be built in the future. Later, Quorri helps the creator make her “second half,” Quota.


I gathered a reference board on pinterest for a more detailed idea than my concept art I already have:

And here’s a basic profile overview of Quorri.

Name: Quorri

Age: 2 years

Gender: Female

Height: 5’0”

Birthplace: a Laboratory

Family: None

Friends: Quota

Habits: Speaking without thinking

Hobbies: Making things out of scrap materials

Career: Fight opposing robots from an ancient underground city

Education: Built in Data

Clothes: Refined Metal (Recycled) as gear/equipment

Favorite books: Craft books

Addiction: Collecting random items that propose a sentimental value

Self Esteem: Being afraid of her strong energy and agility she possesses

Fears: Bugs and large bodies of water

Hopes & Dreams: To be able to wield her strength

Moments: The day when she helped build a fellow robot, Quota, with her creator

Final Character Turnaround

Robot Girl Turnaround Line Art,

Robot Girl Turnaround Line Art,

So here is the final turnaround I am going to be working with. I decided to keep the turnaround in a line-art format because in previous 3D character models, I couldn’t see exactly what I was working on. All the color and shades in the turnaround were too much for me to see the basic shape of the character on the computer screen. In the following weeks, I’ll be updating on the creation of the 3D character model, texturing, expressions and phoneme shapes.