Here is the rough sketch of the Robot Girl’s 3D turnaround. Everything is going good so far; I plan to clean this up a bit and keep the turnaround as line art. I had to tweak a few measurements and angles (such as her lower half of her legs and her feet) to keep everything aligned and consistent. Still debating if I want to keep the vest on her, but I think I’m going to let it be in the turnaround for now.
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.
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
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: http://www.pinterest.com/raquelgmail01/quorri-reference/
And here’s a basic profile overview of Quorri.
Age: 2 years
Birthplace: a Laboratory
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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! ^^
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
I haven’t completed all of the phonemes just yet, but I have:
TOP ROW: Idle/Default, Blink, Eyebrows UP, Eyebrows DOWN, Mouth Closed
BOTTOM ROW: AA, AH, AW, BMP, CDG/SS, & EE.
I’ll be updating next week of the other completed phonemes of: FV, JJ, LL, NN, OH, OOUW, RR, SH, & TH
Until next time!
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.
TOP ROW: FV, JJ, LL, & NN
BOTTOM ROW: OH, OOUW, RR, SH, & TH.
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.
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: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c_hdytSgOM&). 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.
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.
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!