Here is an update on the facial rig for my character.
I decided to make individual controls for the eyebrows, as I want flexibility, and I'm not sure of all the facial expressions I will need. I followed the Pipeline 1 tutorial for the brow movement, but mostly used a similar setup to the lateral mouth movement. It seems to be working and I have tried out making a few of the expressions from my expression sheet.
There is a problem with the central control on the upper lip. When I click off of the keyframes I make for this control, that part of the lip appears to move back to its original position. It hasn't actually moved back and I think this is just a problem in the viewport, as it renders fine. I'm not sure how to fix this, but I would like to. I want to be able to see how I'm posing my character for animation.
This is what happens in the viewport when I move one frame over. There is a similar issue with the some parts of the brow, but again, it renders fine.
This is a render of the same frame as the above screenshot.
Aside from this, the rig seems to be working. Next I will make sticky eyes and attach the eyelashes.
I am pleased with how my film is progressing - I can see the path from my current position to my complete film. I have found some parts of this project very challenging - particularly with getting the flow of my film set.
My abilities in Maya have improved a lot this past term. I know that I have been slow, but I can feel myself speeding up and I am pleased with what I have made. I have been able to successfully translate my drawings into 3D, my model looks the way I want it to and the texturing has really helped bring my character to life. Figuring out the toon shader for my model was tricky but rewarding and my confidence in terms of using my knowledge of Maya and figuring out problems has grown a lot.
I am aware that I have not completed all of the things that I set out the finish for this submission. I had intended to complete a pre-viz and the facial rig for my character. At one point I considered creating rubber hose rig in addition to the main one. After changing my audio and rethinking my film, I realised that I didn't wouldn't need this.
I have found developing my story to be the most challenging aspect of this project. Even though I was pleased with my output from Premise, I struggled with taking it further. I haven't made a pre-viz, and I will need to do this quickly and effectively to create my film, but I have made some steps towards it.
After many attempts, I am much happier with my new audio. Having started to experiment with combining 2D and 3D, I now know what I want for this film. My 2D effects concept shows how I plan to use 2D animated backgrounds and character animation to show feelings, without needing to make physical changes to my character's body. I will continue to build on this and link in the animated textures I have been experimenting with in Maya. Working across different software and with elements such as displacement maps, that don't show until rendered, has meant I need to keep a strong image in my mind of how things will work together. It is exciting to see the results of this begin to appear. As I have not finished my pre-viz, I have also not made a shot list or reached out to a composer.
At some points in this project I struggled with knowing and committing to what I wanted and needed to do to make this film work. I didn't stick very well to my schedule and I spent too much time on things that I already knew how I wanted, rather than on the harder task of pushing new ideas.
I am pleased with the work I have completed, though I wish I had done more. I had expected to become better at working in Maya but was still unsure how well I would be able to deal with the technical challenges - I remember being frustrated in the past at not being able to realise my concepts in 3D. Throughout this project I could feel my 3D skills improving as they were tested and I am excited to continue producing this film and learn more as I do.