Here’s the latest mesh of Sally, co-star of our 3d short, iRover. I think this is pretty much the finished mesh now. I still have some tweaks to add in a few folds to her clothes, and I need to work some more on her textures, like her eyelashes, eyebrows and hair. I’ve decided not to use particle hair in this, I still haven’t quite got the hang of it, so I’m sticking to poly hair for now. She’ll also need a couple of wardrobe changes throughout which I’ll work on later. But this will be enough for now to work on a rig. I did some mild tweaking to her face and head, my previous version seemed a little too young in my opinion, you can see the comparison in the pic below. I think you’ll agree she looks a lot more natural.
This week saw the release of the 4th short film from the Blender Foundation called ‘Tears of Steel’. Traditionally these shorts test out and implement any new features that have been in the pipeline for latest versions of Blender.
This time round, we see a slight change to the style of the short. The first three films were all exclusively 3d animation, but with Tears of Steel the focus is on visual effects. In the later versions of Blender, the Foundation has been gradually working on some major new features, most notably the 3d camera tracking system. Along with the various node and compositor improvements, the purpose of this short was to try out the with visual effects enhancements.
Although the film has generally received favourably, it has been slightly slated for not having much of a storyline compared to the previous shorts. The acting is slightly hammy in some places, but the music is beautifully produced. As a demonstration of Blender’s current abilities though, it’s a great showcase. In the short time that the small team had to produce the Mango Project, its working title, visually looks great and they’ve managed to cram a great deal of concept into the 12 minutes. Although Sintel stands as the more inspirational of the four films, because of its combination of great design and storytelling, Tears of Steel still manages to create a feeling of pride amongst the Blenderhead community.
As a bonus here are the links to the other three films, have your own little Blender film festival and enjoy!
Here’s a beautifully made 3d short about a ballerina who learns that she must be content with her life in a clocktower since she plays such an important role in the life of her village. Made a few years ago by Californian Cara Antonelli, for her senior thesis animation at the Ringling School of Art and Design. Cara is now a conceptual illustrator and 3d artist, and is currently working on Madagascar 3. You can check out more of her work over on her blog at Carakhan.com.
Great characterisation, nicely rendered, and brilliantly funny, and although it’s 3 years old now, it’s still one of my favourite 3d shorts. It was 4 years in production, and you can check out some behind the scenes podcasts and even get a special edition DVD over at the Pigeon Impossible website. Definitely worth a look if you’re interested in how a short is put together.
This is Sally, she will be the other star of the iRover short, in other words iRover’s owner. I built her head over the past couple of weeks and her body was adapted from the Pepper model I built a while back. I was never happy with Pepper’s head, the topology was very messy and didn’t animate very well. Here’s my initial sketch of her, I did play around with her proportions quite a bit.
So I did a bit of searching and found a few good professional workthroughs on youtube that helped me sort the head topology out. So a quick thank you to Angela Guenette of Ponder Studios for her ‘Sintel’ making of videos:
And also a thank you to Glen Southern over on 3D World’s youtube channel for his 14 episode topology workthrough. Be warned his whole tutorial is around 2 hours long.
After studying these videos for a bit, I started building Sally’s head and got a better feel for the flow of the curves, it’s looks and feels a lot better now, and I’m 100% confidence that it will animate a lot better.