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Gerry

Underground Meatball Railroad

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Here's a first render of the main character for my new short. I did this several weeks ago and now I feel guilty that I haven't done more! Just posting this to motivate myself to get back to it.

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Hey Gerry, I really like his design and proportion. I'd love to see more renders. Is he going to be umm...what's that...flexible rubber hose character? I went to your website, wow you're quite an artist.

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Thanks Andy. Here's a sketch of the main setting. I've done a lot of preliminary sketching so far, as well as some storyboards.

 

On this model, I'm still working out how I want to do the eyes, as well as fine tuning the texturing. I want to get a a little more involved with the surfaces than I have in the past.

 

You mean Gumby? I hadn't thought about it but he does seem to lend himself to it!

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Interesting Character will have to watch what developes

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Cool character...

 

Slap some texture on him and soon... he seems to be quite cold being naked like this ;)

 

 

Keep on the good work!

 

Drvarceto

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Hey, Wow, Gerry, you're not far away! About an hour and a half! Ever been to the Rennaisance faire in Tuxedo? Or the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Nyack? (It's not there anymore...)

 

Anyway, the character looks really cool. The lines are very organic. He almost looks like he was made from clay.

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Hi, Gerry.

 

This character has loads of potential! He looks kind of familiar.

 

I enjoyed perusing your website, particularly the sketches and the Flash work.

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Thanks for the comments everyone. Hey Brainmuff, I must need to update some info somewhere! I've been in Charlotte for about a year and a half but I thought I'd updated my address in *most* places. In fact I have been to the Renaissance Fair in Tuxedo, but years ago! A sister lived in Warwick when I was a kid and I also traveled through the Sterling Forest area many many times, pre-Fair. I know I've got an old sketchbook with some sketches of the park that I did when I was about 15. I have a distinct memory of trying to figure out perspective at the time. Also been to Nyack for a few gallery openings.

 

Tell me where you saw my old address so I can fix it.

 

Traj, I've already changed his texture but I am now officially between a rock and a hard place with AM. Just upgraded my Mac to Panther and now Classic won't launch, which is fine since I upgraded to get to the OSX version of AM. Now I find that my video card is underpowered, so I am in the midst of a daisychain of updates and in the meantime I only have AM on my Dell at work.

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Thanks Andy. Here's a sketch of the main setting. I've done a lot of preliminary sketching so far, as well as some storyboards.

The sketch is so good - you can really draw...

And what are you trying to say?

An alien seeing the train pass... or is it a human? seeing the train pass...

 

Your model I think is too much alien... I am fed up of all those marsians... seen too many... well a marsian is an alien... seeing things - the outside - from his or her inside...

I believe this character ought to be more human... letting the public identify themselves a bit moore... a human... juist a little bit mixed up... with an alien... an alien touch... that is what I believe your sketch is trying to catch!

:D

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Well seven, all I can say is don't jump to any conclusions about the nature of this critter. I wanted to model a character that would let me get on to rigging and animating without getting bogged down in an elaborate model. So, an alien!

 

If it's any consolation, he probably won't be green in the finished piece. Green was kind of a kneejerk choice (see my avatar) that I've since reconsidered. And I doubt you've ever seen an alien with such bad posture...maybe he's more human than you think!

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Hi Gerry,

I like your character, even though I noticed some uncoerency between the detailed head and the more simple body!

I was very well impressed by your sketch and the atmosphere it evocates, and I have a challenge for you:

Why don't you try to give the same rendering and sensations to your 3d environment aswell, I think it would be very effective!

Let me no!

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Thanks Rago. Do you mean do the texture maps with pencil sketches? that would be interesting! I may just play around with that. there have been some pretty cool effects on some tv commercials lately melding sketchy hand drawn lines with 3D models. I had been planning on using photos of concrete surfaces to texture the subway platform, but I like your suggestion.

 

As for the "detailed" head, that's mostly lumpy mesh problems. Still working on smoothing some of that out.

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Hi Gerry -

I like your alien guy. I have a green one that I'm gonna get back to again one of these days. Aliens must be green ! Who said that?

 

As far as the pencil sketch thing goes, i've experimented with toon rendering a tad and have stumbled on some of that sort of look. There is also a toonation plugin (that I think is still included on the A:M cd) that Rodney mentioned will help to achieve that look.

 

Cya,

Doug

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Well. a mere 5ive months later, I have a bit more to show on this project. I've been building and texturing the set mainly as a way to avoid rigging the character! I want to get a good deal more detail into the subway station environment, and been studying the "Basic Bones and Relationships" cd. I know there are pre-made skeletons and rigs but I'd sure like to actually do one myself from start to finish.

 

The track bed is actually a pencil sketch, although after doing this I remembered that subway tracks are laid somewhat differently from regular train tracks, so I'm going to work some more on that. The concrete platform is created directly in Photoshop. I'm doing the subway station strictly from memory as I now live in N Carolina. I may use some photo reference at some point but so far so good.

 

Comments welcome!

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WOW!!! just five months later and subway station grows around the character all by itself!!! ;oP... I'll have to check out my projects that I've been neglecting even longer... maybe something has grown there too... (a lot of weed, I'm sure)

 

Cool developements, keep the good work and keep us posted

 

drvarceto

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WOW!!! just five months later and subway station grows around the character all by itself!!!

 

Yeah, if only...! When will Hash add a "Create environment" button??

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Yeah, if only...! When will Hash add a "Create environment" button??

 

You mean you don't got one? LMAO....Hang in there, maybe NEXT update

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WOW!!! just five months later and subway station grows around the character all by itself!!!

 

Yeah, if only...! When will Hash add a "Create environment" button??

It is right next to the create dragon button.

and the instant lighting menu.

Very nice work I look forward to seeing more

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It is right next to the create dragon button.

and the instant lighting menu.

 

Dang, I've got to upgrade!

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Believe it or not I'm still working on this. Had some false starts with rigging but now I've got him set up for the most part. As I told Luckbat at our last NYUG meeting, I'm rigging from scratch as a learning experience, and boy am I learning.

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he's a cutey hoooman frogman insect pale lime/olive green alien - obviously waiting for the next train.

 

(10 months later?)

 

I like him.

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How in the He.. did I miss this thread.....absolutly love the character/model....

nice to watch this develope...

 

Mike

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Here's another test. I had to recreate the subway platform since I seemed to have deleted the earlier model, but it needed work anyway. This chor is pretty much just for testing. There's some foot slippage though it's not apparent at this distance, but in most respects I'm happy with this so far. Comments please!

Gerry

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I remember the subway station, but not the green dude for some reason (old age).

 

Happy to see an old project come back to life. Please keep us posted.... and not in ten months!

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Here's a closeup render of the same sequence. the modeling problems are a little more apparent here, with some creasing around the mouth and lumpiness in the shoulders.

 

I also want to get the eyes moving as well as some secondary movement in the antennae.

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Here's another test I did of the meatball of the title (In case you were wondering). this is rough. I want to work on the lighting and camera motion but I'm pretty happy with the procedural "meatball" material I created.

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Here's a beauty shot of the meatball. Well, "beauty" may be overstating it, but...anyone hungry?

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i cant belive it you brought that scene to life love the texture is the metal for decal or dark tree???

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Curiouser and curiouser :D

 

You're building up mystique for this project, quite intriguing actually. I want to know more about the story. Keep it up dude.

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those clips look great!

 

Put some overlapping motion on the antennae.

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The project is really looking good. I really like the camera work and the station shots look awesome!!!

 

I'm not understanding the meatball part but I'm sure you have your reasons for this.

 

Keep up the excellent work!!!!

 

 

George

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Thanks everyone for your comments!

i cant belive it you brought that scene to life love the texture is the metal for decal or dark tree???

Case, not sure what your question is. Which metal exactly?

 

Rob, yup, I need to get some secondary motion going. Unfortunately I tried rigging the character "on the cheap" and it's comin back to bite me! I had to take a break from the rigging so I worked on the meatball and camera work.

 

Dhar, sorry, but don't expect the story to make much sense. It's more of a blackout sketch than a story and I didn't want to get bogged down in character motivation etc. this is mostly an exercise in silliness.

 

I know there are premade rigs but the whole reason I started this project was to learn more about the nuts and bolts of rigging so I'm doing it myself. Of course this approach has its drawbacks.

 

Yesterday I pitched an idea to my boss for our company's animated Holiday greeting and got the go-ahead, so I need to put this project aside again. But the Holiday animation will of course be in AM. I hope to be posting some stuff on this shortly.

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i meant the scene 1 sorry should have made it more specific!

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Well, the concrete floor of the platform is an image I created in Photoshop. I started with a photo of concrete but tweaked it quite a bit. Everything else in the scene is just procedural materials. I'm glad you like it!

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I took a break from animating this to step back and get serious about learning something about rigging. I did Mike Fitzgerald's excellent cog joint tute and got it about 98% done. I'm still struggling over a few details (and Mike has been a great help), but I also finally created eyelids and put in some pose sliders for the face etc. here's a test of some facial movement.

 

The rigging problems consist of not being able to bend the elbows and knees. I have a prj file I would be more than happy to post if anyone would like to look it over.

 

I've also had a few ideas about fleshing out this animation. As I was rigging I decided that this is way too much work for the brief blackout sketch I had planned, so I'm toying with adding some dialog and a few other touches. Who knows, it could end up as a feature film!

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What a great character, Gerry. I'm looking forward to the feature :)

 

Are these in poses? With the nod, maybe his antennae could move - are they dynamic whosits? (I haven't got that far yet!)

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Yep, there's supposed to be some secondary movement in the antennae. If you look close you'll see it happens slightly, but they bounce up instead of down. You mean spring systems?

 

The facial expressions are all pose sliders. and I've smoothed out the face a little after this render.

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Here's another test of some of the facial pose sliders. I thought I had some dynamic constraints in the antennae but I guess they're either too stiff or the head motion is too leisurely to get some bounce in the secondary motion.

 

I'm also still trying to make the last fixes in the rigging.

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Yeah, I was just moving things and setting keyframes to see how some movements looked rendered. This is all too slow.

 

Oddly, in the chor, the antennae movements were much more pronounced even when I was scrubbing or stepping through frame by frame. In the render it's almost nonexistent. What do you think of the unsynchronized eyeblink? I think it adds to the character, but someone commented that it looked weird. I pointed out that this is an alien, so weird isn't a bad thing!

 

I'm also taking a (nother!) step back on the rigging. I'm not as far along as I thought.

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