Thursday, March 08, 2007

Render tests part 1

Taking 2D artwork and translating it into 3D throws up a lot of
questions. Much has to change in translation but what is kept should
still hold the essence of the source material. Chris has started
working on a model of Tom based on this fairly loose model sheet.
Once he has something to show I'll post it here.
In the meantime we are using two older models to test out our render setup, surface detail and animation. They are both 'Tom' models, one is a head built by me about 4 years ago, the other is a full body mesh built by Ged about 2 years ago. This was one of Ged's very first models in 3D, the proportions are not quite right but its good enough for our tests.

I think I mentioned before about trying to get some surface detail into the models to take the edge off the 3D look. 3D is great but it can often look clinical and cold, we are trying out various methods to avoid killing off our characters before they have really come to life! This is one of those tests, the surface has a bump map made up of marks and finger prints to emulate claymation's unique look. (Ged has brought in a large slap of Sculpy clay for us to hammer away at and use for reference.)

It's hard to make out on this clip so I've enlarged part of the image. The full resolution version shows the surface detail nicely.


Gordon Fraser said...

Very interesting point regarding the 3D look compared to stop motion, just see the reaction of Nick Parks to the Dreamworks films compared to their homegrown films. Personally, I don't have a problem with it looking CG. Just look at Open Season....CE LA MAGNIFIQUE!!

(Nice fridge BTW Ged!)....MORE SEVERED HEADS!!!

Niel Bushnell said...

Open Season rocks!

Gordon Fraser said...

It does indeedy my friend!....MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Niel Bushnell said...

No loss

Gordon Fraser said...

ARF!ARF!...(your piccies gone all real like...I prefer the cartoon version...not as scary)

Niel Bushnell said...

Thought it was time for a change!

Andrew Glazebrook said...

I think the thumb print idea is novel but ultimately a waste of your time,it's never going to look as real as a stop motion model,even Aardman/Dreamworks know that with 'Flushed Away' so you might as well concentrate on coming up with a unique render style or nice materials for the skin, I don't think anyone is going to be fooled by the odd thumb print here and there.I think you really need to come up with a distinct render style of your own to make this show stand out,or something in the look like detailed characters and basic backdrops etc... Personally I love the high quality drawn stuff like the Tank and the guys in the rocket etc... and would love to see it as 2D animation or cell shaded 3D.

Niel Bushnell said...

Glazy, we are not out to fool anyone, thats not the point at all. We are just trying to make it look as good as we can.

Jo Bling said...

Did I hear someone mention thumbs and plasticine??? :-D

Niel, this looks smashing. I concur in that a bit of texture on a CG character adds an organic element to a potentially plastic looking character - the thumb prints will do that.

I've hung fire on going to see Open Season as I hate Martin Lawrence - isnt he in it??

Niel Bushnell said...

Open Season isn't the best story our voice talent but its a visual treat. Watch it with that in mind Mr Bling.