In this video, learn the production elements to watch for when you design a CG character.
- Creating a puppet using a 3D program helps you to create perfect versions of your character from various angles. But, there are different development issues you need to consider. (dramatic music) Now I'm not a classically-trained 3D artist as probably a number of you, but I know just enough to make myself really dangerous. However, luckily, Adobe Fuse has come to the rescue with their new software that allows us to create 3D characters really quickly without having to know all the details.
One of the characters I'm using in this course, I call the Grunt, and I built him in Fuse. I'll step you through it here real quick on how I did it. And, if you want to use your own 3D program, the rest of this video will cover everything else that you need to know. So, it's very simple to build your character. So, for instance, for my Grunt, I liked this head here. So I select that head and then let's find a good torso. I'll just take the first one here. I'll click on Male Brute A for the torso. And I want to give him very muscular legs, so, again I'll take A.
But I can choose male or female or any leg that I want, or any torso that I want. And then, again, Male Brute A in this case, for the arms. So you can see how quickly I built a character here. And, I can go through and make whatever changes I want at any time. So, for customizing, let's say I want to give him really big biceps. As I move the slider to the right, they get bigger. If I move it to the left they get smaller. I like the idea of kind of short arms. So, left makes them shorter. Right makes them longer. So where's the elbow? Closer to the hand or closer to the shoulder? Let's make 'em closer to the shoulder.
So, as you could see, I can adjust virtually anything that I want to in here. So let's go into the face, but, I want to open the mouth a little bit. Long legs or short legs? Let's give him really short legs just 'cause it's funny. And thicker thighs, all right? And of course I can go in and I can adjust the face in any number of ways. Even by going in very close. And I can actually push and pull various options. But let's just move on quickly. I actually didn't give him a shirt, but I did give him some pants, wait for the texture.
I could give him a cute little skirt. There we go. Now he's Scottish. And then to pose the character, we actually export this character out and then we pose him in Photoshop. So once you export out of Adobe Fuse, and save it into your Adobe Cloud, open up Photoshop CC or later. And what we'll do here is we will go into our Library. Scroll down to your library of models. Here's my Grunt. I'm going to drag him into my scene.
Make sure you have your timeline open. If you don't you can go to Window, Timeline. Also make sure you have Properties and your 3D tabs open. Again, 3D and Properties. I'm going to select my character. I have a number of different things on here but your 3D layer is the one that has the 3D box on it. Turn off the still. So once that's selected, I now have a number of options here. So, I can pick a number of different actions. To pose my characters a few things I can do.
Let's look for Walk. So I can do a search for different walk cycles. Anytime I click on one, transfers to my puppet. Make sure you select a puppet that is moving. You hit play and you can see your character moving. Down my space key and move him around. Of course, I can move my character around any angle that I want. Say we want to move out like this. I can adjust my lighting. You got numerous different lights that you can bring in.
So once I'm happy with where I have my lighting and shadowing, I can hit the little render icon over here. And rendering can take quite a while. So what I'll do is, I will render out a number of different angles of my character. I can also adjust my face by clicking on the face icon over there on the property. Simply click on it and whatever expression is shown there, that allows me to get my different eye shapes and mouth shapes. And, again, I will export as many of these as I need to.
Once I have good exports of my 3D character from what any program that I'm working in, now I need to start breaking it apart into the different layers and elements that I need. So, as we'd seen in the other videos on how to lay out a puppet, your first group needs the plus sign and then character or the character's name. In this case I'm calling him Grunt. And I have two folders underneath, Head and Body. Let's look at Body first 'cause there's not much in that at the moment. So I have the torso as one layer, his left arm as a layer, and his right arm as a layer.
Now notice I have his shoulders ... I kept the shoulders in there and there's an overlap. Grab his left arm here. You could see there's an overlap. That way, as one shoulder is rotating, I don't see a gap behind it. And then in Head, I had exported a number of different angles of his head. So straight on, left quarter view and right quarter view.
So let's just take a look at straight on really quickly. I have different pieces of his hair as layers, so I can have them move around with dynamic dangles. His right eyebrow and his left eyebrow. Notice as I turn them off, they disappear and I painted them out on the lower layer. So I had to copy them and paste them onto a new layer and then paint them out on the base layer. So we have a face background that everything else goes onto. So as I turn on my eyebrows, there they are over the eyes.
Let's take a quick look at one of the eyes, I have the left eyeball where the pupil is on. Then I have +Left pupil. The + means that it can move around without distorting the look of the face. And then I have a eyelid so that the pupil can move underneath the eyelid. Again, all of this was copied off of the render and pasted onto a different layer. And if I turn off my left eye, and we turn on the face background, notice there's no eyeball layer.
And we have a blink, which I painted in. So you do that for each eye. And then the mouth. We could turn off the face background and let's turn off the body. Actually because the jaw moves around and the cheeks move around, I actually have full lower-face replacement for every phoneme. So, as we open this up, we can see the 14 phonemes. I can turn them on one at a time. They're all slightly different. So that he'll speak properly.
And all of that lines up perfectly with my face. And if I turn off the lower jaw, you'll see I kept some of this in here and it just overlaps. To turn to a quarter, I have multiple images. So these are my in-betweens, going from my full frontal. Then I have in-between 1, in-between 2 and then we land on the quarter angle of 3. And then, on the third one, where we land, again I'd break down the eyes, eyebrows, the mouth and the background as we could see the different mouths for the last one.
Once my puppet is broken into all the proper layers, now we can bring this in and rig it inside character animator. As I'm creating the separate elements on my Grunt character, I may want to have a walk cycle and have his arm move around or swing around. Now I can separate his arm here from this image quite easily. However, the problem is ... Let me zoom in here. If I remove his arm, I'm going to have a giant area in his body that won't be there. And that's going to be very difficult to paint in and look right.
So, one of the things that I did, was I exported with his arms up, so I have the body. Now I can just take the arm off of the other one, remove the arm here and use this body that's not being blocked by anything. Now I also have the same issue with the legs. So, his back leg is going to be different than the front leg, mostly because of the toes. And this is blocking it. So, I can pull the front leg, his right leg, off of this image, but I don't have a good back leg.
So I also do an export with one of his legs out of the way. I just find a position. And now, I can straighten this leg, but now I have the foot completely that's not being blocked. So make sure when you're doing your exports and renders that you're giving yourself all the different elements that you're going to need without having to paint in too much information. Plan your poses and exports and prepare for a lot of Photoshop work to prepare your CG puppet for animation. (dramatic music)
- Creating a list of production needs
- How the varied styles of animation impact production
- Creating usable digital puppets
- Working with drawn characters, objects, and CG characters
- Adding value to the look of your production
- Exploring various audio recording options
- Organizing files for production, backup, and transport
- Using animation cycles
- Building and editing a scene
- Troubleshooting issues
- Tricks for enhancing your production
- Post-production and delivery