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Remedy: Prime Episode 1

Started by Rob, July 25, 2010, 04:38:22 AM

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I don't release much about this to the public because it takes so long to make an animated film (especially when you are working with very few people and orchestrating it pretty much alone like me) that they generally get disappointed and give up on ever seeing anything (ask a Looking For Group fan when the announced animated film is coming out and after they wipe the disappointment off their faces they will most likely say "probably never" or something like it... I know better). All the artists and voice actors I worked with on this project have already given it up for dead. Even though I cautioned them about the timetable. Once again, I know better.

So anyway, we've been working hard on getting all 7 characters modeled and getting a stable rig we can use (one rig can be used across characters of similar design [bipedal as opposed to quadrupedal] so we're ironing out the kinks in the main one before transferring it to other models for tweaking).

Frankie... the main antagonist and leader of a small gang of thugs in this first short is our most complete model and rig. Remedy is almost done too but we've had some IK/FK issues with the rig on the knees (I made a run action with Remedy running around and it flipped his knee joints backwards so he looked like a taunton from Star Wars running around the screen) so we're tweaking Frankie's rig and getting it perfect before going forward with any of the other rigs.

So I made a walk action for Frankie.... nothing special... just got him walking around the choreography a bit. The render is a low res Quicktime setting (mpeg4, medium quality) that has been translated to flash (thank you Photobucket). I laid on a "toon" setting which gives him a hand drawn, cartoony quality. I think the lines might be a bit too thick but it's just a test and that's something I can play with.

Most of Remedy's neighborhood is already modeled. I just need to decal it up, add a skyline and a sky dome, maybe a few more props (vehicles parked on the side of the road and whatnot... already got some garbage cans on the set) and it will be ready for animating.

So we're getting pretty close. And I'm kind of excited. So look at these crappy test renders if you want to. LOL. The final product will be a lot sweeter. But still, this looks pretty good, even if I do say so myself.

EDIT: I forgot to mention.... Frankie's face is not rigged at all. We're working on the body right now. The face is a whole 'nother set of issues because of the mouth having to move to words I input into the system and facial expressions and blinking and all that good stuff. So that's why he's walking around with his eyes closed. The eyelids aren't rigged so they are basically skin flaps right now. Thats why you can barely even tell he has eyes.


Pretty good for a test render. Movement's a little mechanical, maybe try having him swing his forearms in towards his body a bit more on the forward swing.


What I was testing was the overall ease of use of the rig. Making sure the bones and whatnot did what they were supposed to do without any errors (like that backwards knee thing I mentioned). I rendered it mostly because I just wanted to get an idea of what the character looked like in Toon settings so I could start thinking about whether i'm going to do toon or run with standard 3D rendering for the animation.

Because I did find some minor issues (theres an issue with the rotation manipulators on the rig.... when I use them the model basically turns inside out until I click off of them and a couple other small things) and because we still have to rig the face this walk action can't be used again once the rig is fixed. So there was no point in making it perfect.

I created this walk action, entered the character into the choreography, defined his path and had him walking around it in under ninety minutes. It took over twice that long just to render the sample. So I did it quick and dirty and if this was going to be THE walk action for Frankie I would give it a lot more effort and polish. But since it's just a test I didn't see the point.  ;)


You've pretty much already said whatever can be said about it, not sure what kind of other input you're looking for, or are you just showing off? :D It's pretty good, especially for a test animation. Although I'd pay a little attention to making sure the animations feel like they have "weight" to them. It felt a little like Frankie over here was filled with air. I know it's a test, but just sayin'. Weight is the bit where most 3D animators (myself included) go wrong.
I'm so optimistic, my blood type is 'B Positive'!


No sure I'm definitely looking for feedback. Just more on appearance than anything else simply because the walk action was so hastily done.

I am not a hugely experienced animator so when I do get to the point where I think something is "done" I will be looking for more feedback on the animation part of things. It's a subtle art and I don't do subtlety well.

I also wanted to show Swinsea what I was working on because we were having a discussion on Flash animation verses something like this.

More to come. ;)


Actually, I think that looks really good. The movement seems fluid and pretty realistic at this point. Very nice!



Quote from: Rob on July 25, 2010, 07:11:34 PMI also wanted to show Swinsea what I was working on because we were having a discussion on Flash animation verses something like this.

I was recently thinking of this, Flash sort of has a monopoly on web-animation but I can see this changing soon. 3D animation is slowly becoming more accessible and I think it may soon really take off.
I'm so optimistic, my blood type is 'B Positive'!


Rather than make another thread which would be a bit arrogant I'm just going to add on to this one.

I got back Frankie (the guy walking above) with his face rigged and the first audio test with him. This time I rendered him in standard 3D with no effects and Toon so you can see the difference. I'm really towards Toon render for the entire short. Again I'm going to have to play with the line thickness a bit until I get the look I want (the lines are a bit thick I think) but I like the effect the flattening and thicker lines creates... it really does go a long way towards making it look more like old 2D animation.

Anyway, let me know what you think... yes that is an actual audio clip from the voice actor who plays Frankie and I really love what he did with the character. Feel free to voice your opinion on that as well should you so desire but I won't be changing anything with the voice acting/audio so your complaints will fall on deaf ears LOL.

Here's the standard 3D render.

And here is the Toon Render.


Yeah, I think the Toon render is better. It's more distinctive.

I like the voice acting, too, I might add.



Yeah the guy who did Frankie here did a particularly good job. The guy who did Remedy also did a really good job but I'm not ready to show any of his stuff. Well... maybe one image...

The models got some issues (you can see some bleed through of the background around the neck area for some odd reason) but it's coming along.


This is looking pretty good, Rob!


Thanks man. Coming from you that means a lot. I am eventually planning on showing this stuff off over at Hash but I wanted to wait until it was done. I can't take much credit for it either. It's pretty much all Ken and Bruce's work (PixelPlucker and PencilWedgee). I don't know what I would do without them.


Go with the toon render.

As an animator, I disagree with the assessment that animation is a subtle art! It's all about exaggeration. Subtle things don't come over at all, exaggerated things can still come over as subtle.
I'm so optimistic, my blood type is 'B Positive'!


I like it quite a bit, I can see why you went with that program. Reminds me of a neat effect I found a while back -

What that artist did with 3D modeling/animation was clever, a bit different than your look and feel, but still neat. : )

We're wrapping up development of the template for our animation project and I'll be making a "how to navigate" tutorial. When I'm done, I'll post it here for critique.