My Rigging Animation Tutorial

For those reading this and want a quick and easy way of rigging a character for animation that isnt 9 minutes long in about 10 different parts on youtube follow this, I read a book on animation in 3ds Max, I followed it carefully for about a week and once I figured it all out and kept repeating the process for countless times I could rig a character in a couple of mintues, I am sorry for the small picture, was my fault when creating the video, and I had to writing on the tutorial because I don’t have the quipment for voicing the tutorial

I used this rigging technigue for or client project ”project warlord” and another student placed them withing the level

Hope this helps and thanks for looking

FINAL MAJOR PROJECT CHARACTER

These are my final characters which have been used for my final major project, I researched a lot of designs for these pirates, using Sculptris to model them, I tried to give each one of them there own unique style and personality while also trying to keep there clothing textures consistent with each other, trying to show some of there personalities while modeling them through there faces, I wanted somebody but me to recognize  what role maybe given to each of these pirates through sight alone on a pirate ship, using references from films like pirates of the Caribbean and a big contributor for me for the idea behind this project was Assassins creed Black flag and I took some personality ideas from that game and looked at what those unique characters where wearing , I went for pirates because doing a futuristic or present day type project seemed to obvious to do, I had done a futuristic style project in my second year of university and so instead of carrying on with that I decided to refresh my mind and start with a brand new slate to work from.   Here are my first models of each pirates I did in sculptris unpainted :

First I shall start with the captain, I knew straight away what I wanted this guy to look like, he had to look experiences,he had to be of a fairly older age and his face and his clothes and his over all look had to represent this interpretation, I looked at inspiration from black beard, quite a scary pirate who wore all black and had incense sticks of some kind sticking out of his beard to make him appear from demonic, I didn’t want to go that far into his over all design, I wanted to keep it simple but as well as make him look like the big boss of the ship, I spent more time on his over all model, giving him addition items to his wardrobe giving him a holster for his chest and giving him a long coat (which had to be taken off for rigging purposes and to make him easier to pose for the ship in UDK, I gave him an over all dark look, mostly black colours as this was a pirate ship with black sails I wanted to match the captain with the look of the ships sails, while also adding parts of dark red to represent evil or blood and also brown boots for the same reason as the black clothing, to represent parts of the ship, making the captain and the ship linked to each other.

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Like all pirates known in history and media, they all like to drink rum, this character was my second design and an easy one to represent, taking references from the captain jack sparrow character from the Pirates of the Caribbean, giving him a bandana and shaggy hair style and quite simple clothes, giving him a sense of that he doesn’t really care about his appearance and is maybe the joker/drinker or the ships crew I gave him a merry drunk pose. I started out out thinking I should give all my character beareds with them being on a ship for so many weeks or months on end, but after this character I decided I need to give myself as much space for design as I could.

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For this character I wanted to make some kind of muscle guy, the guy who takes care of buisness, to create this character I simply used an ordinary base of a human mesh, and built up the body and tried to get his proportions right, tought guy are usually sterotypicaly bald, and need to look intimidating which lead me to giving this character no hair and a slightly different kind of beard, I stuck with simple clothing, no other character is as dressed as the captain, giving them all ragged clothing giving them a look of a hard worker or that the rest of the crew are lower in rank from the captain.

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As not all characters would be fully clothed, some would just simply wear even less clothing by only wearing trousers, I also gave this character a bandada as this was a very recognisable piece of clothing for a pirate, I also gave him a chinese kind of look to add more variety of culture to the crew.

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These are the last two character I have made for the ship, I decided it need another kind of elderly pirate, who could possibly be the first mate of the captain, I gave  him slightly more up to class clothing to differentiacte between the rest of the crew, I then also created another character who would stand out from the rest because of his style of clothing.

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Over all from a creative point of view creating these character was probably the funnest part of my project as it gave me complete freedom to work from my mind, i have gotten very accustomed with the sculptris programme, using the techniques I know to help me create all of my characters and paint them from the programme, I had created all my character before I rigger and posed/animated them as that had taken much more of my time up and then I had to import all these characters into the UDK engine for the pirate ship, I then realized that my pirate ship didnt look as populated as I wanted it to as some of the scaling on my ship made my pirate look tiny or my ship to big.

This is my own tutorial of the way i rigged my characters,once rigged I posed them in a state so they where ready to be placed onto the pirate ship, while also trying to keep some of there personalty into there pose, while doing this I came across a problem of importing my model into the UDK engine, my character where not keeping there posed position and the texture was not being placed on the character, so I had to use the SKIN tool in order to change the envelopes of each character in order for them to be imported into UDK, I then had to manually import the textures of each character and place them on each character.

 

Teaser of pirate ship in UDK

Just a quick upload of part of my ship in UDK, in the stages of getting it set up in UDK for my characters to be added, I just need to get the right feel and mood to the ship and the environment to give you a sense of creepiness, much like the first Pirates of the Caribbean, when you first see the skeleton pirates in the moon light, I want a bright mood light with fog and a sense of mystery is what I am trying to achieve in the end and just this image alone tells me I’m close to my goal

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Pirate ship figure head

This is the finished figure head on my pirate ship, I am happy with the finished out come, I wanted something different and creepy looking but I was told ships actually had women on the front of there ships made me think about changing the figure head until I found out that this isn’t true with all ships, but after thinking about it I think if I had enough time to put enough effort into just a figure head of something a little better I may do that but at the moment I think I am happy with the one I have made because I am the one that has made it,I wanted it to have some sort of trademark of being the ship I made

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this is just a hand full of real figure heads I looked at for inspiration,as you can see not all figureheads are in the same pose so it helped me to figure out a pose for my own figure head

HMS Unicorn figurehead 31 Jan 2006 bow4_1584218i cutty-sark-figurehead figurehead-of-falls-of-clyd Warrior_figure_de_proue

Character Poly Count

Poly count is something I have a big issue with, I can create good looking characters in mudbox or sculptris but they have a very big poly count,now there are a few ways to lower the poly count on a character, you can rather have a high poly character with texture and a low poly version and projection map the high poly texture onto the low poly character, or you can use the tool in sculptris to lower the poly where there isnt high quality texture, and doing this myself because I have no idea how to projection map and it seems like a tedious process and so the poly tool in sculptris took me along time, you lose most of the detail you put effort and its hard to even then get the poly count low enough where you are satisfied with the poly count and the quality of your model so you have to make sure you try and keep things such as creases and facial features, I have recently made a pirate for my ship in sculptris and the finished model came to about 700 thousand polys, and the lowest I got it to is about 130 thousand polys, now you may think that even this is far to much for one character, but doing a little bit of research on poly count for characters in the next gen consoles (xbox one and ps4) I found out that just the main character in ryse has 170 thousand polys in game, of course you probably couldnt have this many poly in a game engine like udk and unity because of the surrounding environment plus how many other characters in the same screen but finding this put me at ease a little, but here are the different models of my characters, the lower poly model is on the left and high on the right. You can tell the difference straight away with detail,there are some parts of the model that didnt matter at all how many polys was there such as the beard of the chest. Due to the fact I wasnt fully happy with my final low poly model and the fact that projection mapping is a tedious process to go through for one character I am going to research into projection mapping and see if I can get the out come ii wanted with the higher detail.

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these are images of the ryse character poly count charts and official banner of the poly count for the characters

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