I've been asked to join a team of people to create a 40 seconds of opening animation for a Child TV Show(competition) that'll be broadcasting on national TV. (Turkish Radio Television-TRT) Well...in fact the Team includes one people... me. :) Actually I wasn't looking for any job until I satisified myself with making a dezens of ShortFilms flying in my mind. But this was big... so I jump right in and join the... team. :P
There was a very short deadline to finish the animation before the Show's premier broadcast day. Less than one month in fact. In that time I had to model four creature characters that they sent me the 2D drawings of, and create a cute little girl character. Girl character's design is leaved to me. (with only a few minor changes) Also, all environment modeling and animation is leaved to me as well. I don't know what was I thinking when I said "yeah I can do it..." before. I knew it'll be a very difficult job. It was really a hard work even for a teamwork. Anyway, I'm more proficient with character animation than modeling, in fact I think my modeling sucks. But nevertheless this job consist very intense modeling work to do. So... All I can do is to sacrifice some sleep, some lunch, some movies to miss, some games to play, and try to do best I can do, but also get the job done before deadline. That was the key. Because I can spend days and weeks to tweak the animation of one character until it become exactly what I want it to be. But that makes one perfectly animated and 4 T Posed non animated character on deadline. :) One of my friend said to me that "better that finish an average job than never finish a perfect job." So, there must be a line to draw.
Creature characters was smiliar to each other, so one bone type should be used to rig all creatures. But I didn't have time to spend on rigging 4 chracters. So, I signed a contract with the devil and decided to use Character Studio for the first time. :) I always wanted to try that new Character Studio 4 for a project. Well... but I wasn't thinking of using it under pressure. But let me say this; pressure is very good way to learn something new. :) I just learned used all the basic features of the Character Studio in a week. Was It fun? Yes. Was it limits animators? A little. Was it annoying? A little. :) Only thing that bothered me was there is no good animation Curve editing tools for CS. Other than that, it was great and I'm planing to use it in my future character animations.
I also made custom rigging on eyes of the characters. You know, animating a blink for 13 eyes without a rig takes some time. :) Anyway, Iused "Spring Controller" to add a nice secondary motion to those. And all set...
Little Girl character's hair needs to be animated while she walks, her ponytails flows etc.(as always) It could've been very time consuming to animate it by hand. So I've signed another contract with the devil and decided to use Reactor Plug-in... again. First I've tried to seperate two ponytails and include them in a Reactor Cloth collection. It worked bit it doesn't flowed like a hair. Looks more like a rubber. So I've created a spline object inside the hair ponytails as a bone, then include this spline in a Rope collection. It surprisingly worked very well. Rope dynamics fit more like this character's hair. Thank god it didn't caused me any trouble. :)
After the character setups finished, I started making environment. There was 2 scene. One is a forest where the Little Girl walks and finds a magic shoe, scene 1. Then she sucked into shoe to a different world, something like an alien planet. Kids might find it interesting. :P
As you may see there are many trees in first scene. (that's where the forest are heheh) These are scattered on surface by Particle Flow. I knew that times I spent on making stupid tests with PFlow will pay someday. :)
Animation proccess is more fun than struggling with modeling or texturing or Particle Flow. As I said before I'm more proficient with character animation than these things. But there is a one thing different this time... I've always animated characters on ground floor, not on a sloped surface. But there is a slope this time, and little girl must walk over it... Well... why the hell did I model a slope anyway? They didn't asked me to do that. I'm most proficient with making thing more challenging for myself. :) Modeling hills like that gives a more cartoonish feeling. Actually I liked the way it looks that way but I knew that animating a walk along a sloped surface will cost me more time. Fortunately, I've find out another cool feature of the Character Studio called "Footstep mode" and used it there. It needs lots oftweaking after all, but it's a great feature for situations like this. I'm starting to love that CS. :)
Anyway. I completed the animation just in time. Whoohoo! :) It was an interesting month though. :P
PS: By the Way, the name "Pabucu Yarim" means "Half of a Shoe" in english. Well... It's a very old riddle/song/play thing that kids plays each other. It's a common knowledge in Turkey. But don't ask me how is it though, because no one knows it exactly. :P But it's a common knowledge really. :)