Thursday, 1 May 2014

RUST Final Major Project ~ Props, Rigging and Animating Leo

With props now on the agenda next, Looked at creating his basic mask that Leo would wear over his 'head'.  Decided on basing this initial mask (as I'm hoping to make alternate ones with varying expressions for him later, and if i have time) off one of his early sketches, as I really like the expression and the idea of it being made out of crumpled up old cardboard.... The innocent nature of this hulking war droid putting together a new face out of something so flimsy I think reflects his child like personality perfectly. 
Another Prop I decided to make for Leo was a cuddly toy to again highlight his softer personality. I like the idea of him having a little friend perched on his shoulder as he travels along, and as my original concept of having a small child being looked after by my robots as part of the story was scrapped, I've wanted to replace the idea of having something riding on his large shoulder with something else, so this helps keep that original idea. 

And here is Leo with the final textured props. Like with the rest of him, I made them grimy to show wear and tear and to highlight that they were salvaged from a world that has long since vanished or moved on. I liked the idea of him having holes in his mask for his visual sensors to pop through, so it doesn't obscure any of his   sight. Also putting the military helmet on his Bunny stuffed toy I thought was a fun way to show a clue to his military background.

Again using a CATRIG setup for Leo's rigging, I made one from scratch to adapt it to his unique body type. Initially there were some odd glitches preventing me from manipulating the scale of each bone, but after restarting Max which seemed to resolve it I was able to move on. This rig needed a few extra bones adding to it as well as the  regular anatomy, for things like the shoulder cannon and the stuffed toy on his shoulder, as these elements I want to wobble and bounce about as he moves. 

Working from the basic CATMotion walk cycle, I tweaked each individual aspect of his movement to give him a movement that I think suited his character best. I I tried to make his stride shorter and slower to make him more looming and clumsy looking, and his arms have a more exaggerated swing to highlight their large size. 
Also, i had to limit his head movements as I had to take into account its not exactly a head in the  traditional sense as a sensor array attached to the forward part of his chest, and so only slight movement (to make his mask seem animated more than anything) was necessary here. Also, away from the walk cycle itself, I used keyframes on the timeline to move both his cannon and stuffed toy about on his shoulders, so that they bobbed about along with his walk.

Below, Final render of Leo, Fully rigged and posed: Through trial and error with my first character, Sprocket, I think that I have been able to not only work faster and smoother but also that the end results of my second character have worked out better than i expected. I liked the opportunity to animate other parts of the character that weren't directly part of the CAT Rig as I think the end result is something more dynamic and believable with various elements on the character moving about at the same time. 

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