A Day with George Animatic

A Day with George will be a 3D short for the Advanced Project Workshop in the upcoming Fall/Spring semesters at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Music is currently in production with Fabian Fabro.
(http://www.soundcloud.com/firahfabe)

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Character Concept to 3D Models

George Concept Art, rrgonzalez.com
George Concept Art, rrgonzalez.com

To develop a character, I love to engage myself in various character studies to grasp the character’s overall design, movement, and emotion(s). George is a fun-loving (pug) puppy that loves to sleep, play, and go for walks outside. Because he’s young, the ideal big-eyes, and an extremely happy face would work perfect for George. I chose a really round-look for him because I felt if his character was more square and angular, it wouldn’t quite fit right with his fun-loving personality.

George ReferencePugProfileCompressedGeorge Reference

I gathered a handful of pug pictures for reference. George was originally going to be a corgi, but because my sister likes pugs, I decided to go with a pug. Plus, they are really cute!

George Turnaround, rrgonzalez.com
George Turnaround, rrgonzalez.com

Here is George’s character turnaround. I decided to have him roughly 15 inches tall; that is pretty tall for a puppy, but he’s George, he had his growth spurt already.

George 3D Turnaround, rrgonzalez.com
George 3D Turnaround, rrgonzalez.com

Here is George’s 3D model. I love how he came out, and I can’t wait until I get to animate him.

Owner Turnaround, rrgonzalez.com
Owner Turnaround, rrgonzalez.com

Because the Owner does not show her face in the animation, I decided to leave a lot of detail in her character out such as her face. I was more concerned with the rigging and paint weights for her because she will be the one crouching down and have simple, yet complicated, hand movements.

Owner 3D Turnaround, rrgonzalez.com
Owner 3D Turnaround, rrgonzalez.com

So here is the Owner’s 3D model. Because of the title of secondary character, she doesn’t pose as much character study or detail as George. But nonetheless, she came out good and she will be able to move the way I need her to in the final animation.

3D Environment Process (Part 1)

House Concept Art, rrgonzalez.com
House Concept Art, rrgonzalez.com

3D Environment building is not my strongest point in the pre-production pipeline, but I’m definitely willing to give it a go. First, I needed to layout how the interior of the house is going to look like. I had an idea of the layout as I was drawing out storyboards, but I need something to reference to once I start laying out my cameras.

House Layout, rrgonzalez.com
House Layout, rrgonzalez.com

Because the short only focuses on the Living Room, the Home Entrance, and Room 01 for the end of the short, I decided that I do not need to build anything in the kitchen. And because I need to build everything to scale, my small background in AutoCAD came in handy as I was measuring and laying everything out.

You can’t have a household without various assets that accompany it, right? So I compiled a list of the interior and exterior assets I need to build and a set of reference pictures.

  • INTERIOR ASSETS:
    • Couch
    • Pillows
    • Side Table
    • Coffee Table
    • Center Piece
    • Books
    • Lamps
    • Rub
    • Hook Rack
    • Hat
    • Coat
    • Leash
    • Wall Crown Molding
    • Window Crown Molding
    • Front Door
    • Canoe
    • Treadmill
  • EXTERIOR ASSETS:
    • Front Door Porch
    • Roof
    • Flowers/Garden
    • Bushes
    • Tree (Corner)
    • Sidewalk
    • Hill

candle_01 candle_02 crown_molding_01 crown_molding_02 crown_molding_03

garden_01 garden_02  garden_04

hook_rack_01 lamp_01 table_side

windows_01 windows_02 windows_03

And the following are screenshots of the assets I have built in 3dsMax.

Three Seat Couch, rrgonzalez.com
Three Seat Couch, rrgonzalez.com
Two-Seat Couch, rrgonzalez.com
Two-Seat Couch, rrgonzalez.com
Coffee Table, rrgonzalez.com
Coffee Table, rrgonzalez.com
Side-Table, rrgonzalez.com
Side-Table, rrgonzalez.com

And to top it off, the living room is almost complete.

Living Room, rrgonzalez.com
Living Room, rrgonzalez.com
Living Room Layout (Top View), rrgonzalez.com
Living Room Layout (Top View), rrgonzalez.com
Living Room Layout (3/4 View), rrgonzalez.com
Living Room Layout (3/4 View), rrgonzalez.com

There’s still a lot to be done, but things will go into high gear once my other classes are complete by the end of this month.

3D Environment Process (Part 2)

Since my last update, I’ve been actively working on building the 3D environment and assets of A Day with George. Everything has been going pretty smooth; I haven’t ran into problems I couldn’t solve, so everything is going as planned!

Here are some of the other interior assets I built:

Hook Rack, rrgonzalez.com
Hook Rack, rrgonzalez.com
Hook Rack Keychain, rrgonzalez.com
Hook Rack Keychain, rrgonzalez.com
Hook Rack Scarf, rrgonzalez.com
Hook Rack Scarf (cloth simulator), rrgonzalez.com
Hook Rack Leash, rrgonzalez.com
Hook Rack Leash (rigged with a spline), rrgonzalez.com
Hook Rack Leash Close Up, rrgonzalez.com
Hook Rack Leash (close up), rrgonzalez.com
Crown Molding (Ceiling), rrgonzalez.com
Crown Molding (Ceiling), rrgonzalez.com
Crown Molding (Floor), rrgonzalez.com
Crown Molding (Floor), rrgonzalez.com
Interior Items. rrgonzalez.com
Interior Items. rrgonzalez.com

I added onto the house with a small porch, a door, and window trim. I raised the height of the entrance area to follow my original concept. I extruded the base of the house walls to enter into the ground because I knew my landscaping was not going to be flat. I also deleted the unnecessary polys on the walls that were never going to be seen.

House Views, rrgonzalez.com
House Views, rrgonzalez.com
Window View, rrgonzalez.com
Window View, rrgonzalez.com
Porch View, rrgonzalez.com
Porch View, rrgonzalez.com
Roof View, rrgonzalez.com
Roof View, rrgonzalez.com

As I was almost finished building the house, I sketched out what the garden outside would look like. The left side of the house is never seen on the animation, so it didn’t concern me what was going to be there.

House Garden Sketch, rrgonzalez.com
House Garden Sketch, rrgonzalez.com
Tree Designs, rrgonzalez.com
Tree Designs, rrgonzalez.com
Individual Garden Assets, rrgonzalez.com
Individual Garden Assets, rrgonzalez.com

I sketched out a few plant assets and trees I would build for the garden. I thought about what would work as 3D planes, poly-count, etc. And because the visuals of my animation are more cartoon-like vs, realistic, I decided to exaggerate the trees in their odd shape. I thought it fit pretty well.

I’ll be showing the garden models in my next update. So until next time!

3D Environment Process (Part 3)

After sketching out what the garden would look like in the A Day with George animation (you can check the sketches in my previous post here), I started building the plant assets I would be placing around the house. Luckily, my parents are avid gardeners, so I took some inspiration from their own garden to create the garden for A Day with George.

Tree Models, rrgonzalez.com
Tree Models, rrgonzalez.com

I varied the twist and bend of the tree models to give the visual some variety. The design of this tree was inspired by the Italian Cypress trees. My parents have a huge line of them along their fence, so I often see them when I visit home.

Plant Assets (01), rrgonzalez.com
Plant Assets (01), rrgonzalez.com
Plant Assets (02), rrgonzalez.com
Plant Assets (02), rrgonzalez.com
Plant Assets (03), rrgonzalez.com
Plant Assets (03), rrgonzalez.com
Plant Assets (04), rrgonzalez.com
Plant Assets (04), rrgonzalez.com

I didn’t necessarily need a huge variety of plants to fill the garden, so I decided to have three different plants (Plant Assets 01-03) in the front garden and one (Plant Assets 04) that hugs the side of the house.

Flower Assets (01), rrgonzalez.com
Flower Assets (01), rrgonzalez.com
Flower Assets (02), rrgonzalez.com
Flower Assets (02), rrgonzalez.com

I also didn’t really need a variety of flowers but I just build a few base models. I plan to do a simple texture swap with different flower colors to give the garden more colorful visuals.

Vine Assets, rrgonzalez.com
Trellis with Vines (rigged with a spline), rrgonzalez.com

Because the side of the house that is seen in the animation is very bland (it doesn’t have windows), I decided to fill that area with a small trellis with vines. It gives the idea that the owner of this house is an active gardener, or has someone who takes good care of the landscaping.

House Garden Complete, rrgonzalez.com
House Garden Complete, rrgonzalez.com

And finally, the garden is complete! I varied the sizes and placement of the plants (with a dummy) so the assets didn’t look too uniform. I plan to collapse the groups of plants after I texture them.

I plan to start building the walkway, and focus on the look of grass around the house in the next week or so. Until next time!

3D Environment Process (Part 4)

I found this efficient grass generator a year or so ago when I was working on another animation. Since the A Day with George animation has a yard, I wanted to use this grass generator. You can find the download for 3dsMax here.

Grass Generator Test, rrgonzalez.com
Grass Generator Test, rrgonzalez.com

I tested the grass generator to get a better grasp on the script. You can customize the size of the grass blades, patches, etc. It also provides a(n) (optional) Multi/Sub-Object material to be made, which would help later once I dive into texturing. The only problem I ran into while doing this was how much longer my computer and 3dsMax took to read all of the polys on the 3D plane. I was slowly going crazy to be honest. (Time to get a new computer!)

Grass Generator Test in ADWG Environment, rrgonzalez.com
Grass Generator Test in ADWG Environment, rrgonzalez.com

Anyways, I took the ground planes I had in the asset file into a new one (I didn’t want to smash the grass polys with the polys I already had). I then applied the grass generator on the ground planes and deleted the mesh that was obviously under objects such as the house and the walkway. Edges of planes could be seen, but I plan to work out the kinks soon. As for rendering, I am more than likely going to composite the rendered grass because if I have everything in one file, I’m 100% sure I will break my computer.

Ground Layout, rrgonzalez.com
Ground Layout, rrgonzalez.com

After toggling with some grass, I jumped back to my house file to get an idea how high the water will rise. I raised the elevation enough to where I would like the water to be. Because I didn’t mention it before, the darker area is the sidewalk/road area. It is next on my building list!

Water Elevation Test, rrgonzalez.com
Water Elevation Test, rrgonzalez.com

I did play with water particles in 3dsMax 2012 and in Houdini this past semester. Therefore, I’m probably find a script for water in 3dsMax or import the ground elevation in Houdini to try which set of water works well in the animation.

ADWG House Views, rrgonzalez.com
ADWG House Views, rrgonzalez.com

But I can say the house is complete! I just need to build the last set of items and texturing will begin! So until next time!

3D Environment Process (Part 5)

For the past couple weeks, I have been texturing the environment. It was a bit of trial and error here and there because of the fact I wasn’t exactly sure where I visually wanted this animation to go. After playing with different color schemes, contrasts, and saturations, I had a better idea in what direction I was going.

Because of the overall feel of this animation is very child-like, I decided to go with a lot more color; an environment that I child would enjoy to play. And because we are seeing the world in the eyes of a young puppy (despite the fact dogs are colorblind…) a reflection of child-like world would fit with the story.

Here is the test renders of the exterior of the house:

3/4 House Render. rrgonzalez.com
3/4 House Render. rrgonzalez.com
Front House Render. rrgonzalez.com
Front House Render. rrgonzalez.com
Side House Render, rrgonzalez.com
Side House Render, rrgonzalez.com

After researching a few more houses and how they were constructed, I found myself leaning toward the brick visuals in the front of the house. I originally had the front door white, but it didn’t quite stand out. And by switching the color to a deeper red in contrast of the lighter brick color and the mass of greens in the garden, I thought it would very well.

Also, because the porch and the trim of the house is white, I decided the side of the house should be a deeper off-white with hints of a dark green. To my surprise, it worked extremely good while I was texturing. And the back of the house is not rendered for viewing because I never built that side of the house since in the final animation, you never see it. (Saving polys and memory space!)

Here are a few more renders of the exterior environment:

Front Garden Render. rrgonzalez.com
Front Garden Render. rrgonzalez.com
Side Garden Render, rrgonzalez.com
Side Garden Render, rrgonzalez.com

While I was texturing the leaves, I found out I love texturing organic environments. I was skeptical on how the garden looked and how I placed the bushes and flowers to prevent such uniform, but once I input the textures, I was patting myself on the back. Haha!

Now for the interior renders:

Living Room Render, rrgonzalez.com
Living Room Render, rrgonzalez.com

I was never good at interior designing and color schemes, so this was a bit of challenge for me, but I love how this turned out! I originally had the couches, and the tables together, but I didn’t know how to exactly unify them. I did a lot of research on interior decorating and how experts put together amazing rooms. I came to a conclusion that things as simple as pillows and carpets can put the overall look of the room together unanimously.

I kept in mind that Georgie was a light color with a green bandana. I wanted him to contrast his indoor environment, so I thought a neutral brown and blue color scheme would work well. I’m really happy with the outcome.

Table & Candle Render. rrgonzalez.com
Table & Candle Render. rrgonzalez.com
Living Room Lamps & Couch, rrgonzalez.com
Living Room Lamps & Couch, rrgonzalez.com
Window View Render, rrgonzalez.com
Window View Render, rrgonzalez.com
Window & Garden Render, rrgonzalez.com
Window & Garden Render, rrgonzalez.com

There are still a few items I need to build, but the main environments are complete! I am currently in the process of fixing the lighting of the scenes, but temporarily, I have a Sky Light for atmosphere, and an Omni Light for the interior.

I will be posting a 3D flythrough of the environment in my next post!

Until next time!