Do you recognize this character from Page 28? Actually, this is a precursor of that model, I think, because the later versions used the "Taper 2" command to get a more over-the-top anime-cartoony feel. Another major difference, besides the interim cleaning-up around the nostrils, upper lip, forehead, etc. -- this is a MORPH POSE. Lip-synch time.
The eyes were simplified and made bigger for more of a cartoony feel. A bump map of sand for the skin somehow got lost in the shuffle, but looks good with low anti-aliasing and -70% setting. This was a pleasant surprise: in a morph animation test, the pores around the upper face contributed a nice feeling, while the shifting pores around the chin were completely ignorable.
The area lighting of 64 point lights was loaded from a utility scene file that was a recent project. The area light probably wasn't needed -- the character has been rendered with a single point source before.
The ivy that the character is presumably lying in was a seamless texture from http://www.totallyseamless.com/ . This was copied, fiddled with to create a high contrast bump map file, also useful as a negative transparency file, and textured onto two cards, one below the other. This could be a lot of fun if carried to three or four layers, however, I have done tests like this for trees, and geometry turns out to be faster to render. Between the transparency mapping and the area lighting, though, this render took over 20 minutes without anti-aliasing -- one may as well use geometry for the ivy.
One interesting thing about morph poses for mouths, sometimes the thing to do is just lassoo/select from the jaw socket to the lower lip and rotate from the jaw, and ignore all the fancy magnet, dragnet, pole 2 tools. Select 500 polygons and shift them, put 50 back, and rotate/shift the rest some more. Of course, if it doesn't animate flipping from one layer to another, give it a relevant name (trashead112) and move on to another productive morph.
This character was begun with a somewhat open mouth on the advice of fellow animator Tim Granberg. Bunching the points together closer to make "M" can be a trial, but the vowels don't seem to mind. Building on my experience with chin motion, I also moved the nose and cheeks around a little for each different morph pose. Nothing like what Nick Park does, but respectable. Someone remind me to use "bones" for the eyebrows in the next test too.
Hardly the best use of my time when "Atomosaurus" is menacing the National Park system, I know, but I figured we would all be levitating by 2001, you know?
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