- 01. Modeling Intro Free!
- 02. Base Sculpting
- 03. Finish Form Sculpting
- 04. Beginning Retopology
- 05. Finishing the Body Retopology
- 06. Finishing the Body Mesh
- 07. Modeling Major Feathers
- 08. Helpful Shapekeys
- 09. Texturing Intro Free!
- 10. UV Unwrapping
- 11. Base Textures
- 12. Feet and Beak Bump Maps
- 13. Shading the Body
- 14. Painting the Feather Texture Maps
- 15. Feather UVs
- 16. Creating the Feathers – Part 01
- 17. Creating the Feathers – Part 02
- 18. Creating the Feathers – Part 03
- 19. Finessing the Feather Shaders
- 20. Texturing the Eyes
- 21. Rigging Intro Free!
- 22. Rigging – Deformation Bones
- 23. Rigging the Wing – Part 01
- 24. Rigging the Wing – Part 02
- 25. Rigging the Wing – Part 03
- 26. Rigging the Leg
- 27. Rigging the Tail Feathers
- 28. Rigging the Head and Face
- 29. Rigging the Spine
- 30. Rigging – Custom Bone Shapes and Rig Mirroring
- 31. Rigging – Mesh Skinning
- 32. Rigging – Facial Mouth Shapes
- 33. Rigging – Facial Brow Shapes
- 34. Rigging Facial Controls
- 35. Animation Intro Free!
- 36. Animation Preparation
- 37. Animation Blocking – Part 01 – Key Poses
- 38. Animation Blocking – Part 2 – Timing
- 39. Animation Tweening – part 1
- 40. Animation Tweening – part 2
- 41. Animation Polish: Overlapping Action
- 42. Animation Polish: Face and Eyes
- 43. Post Production and Rendering Intro Free!
- 44. Lighting and Cleanup
- 45. Background Setup
- 46. Render Settings
- 47. Post Production: Composition
Who is Piero?
Piero is a retired carrier robin who’s great achievement in life was delivering messages to and from the feathered allies during the Great Pigeon War of ’98. He’s since retired to a quaint Ash tree in the hills of Yorkshire. Though very little happens during Piero’s care-free days in the British countryside, trauma from his service in the war has left him skittish of anything out of the ordinary.
From Vision to Animation
I think many digital artists, like myself, see animated films from Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney or Blue Sky and they begin to invision their own worlds, characters, and stories. Computer Graphics make it possible for artists to bring these visions to life inside a tangible medium that’s accessible to anyone with a computer.
However, the accessibility and capability of a computer doesn’t mean the creation-process is a one-click operation. Taking a character from vision to animated reality requires many devoted hours in each discipline of computer graphics.
See how Tim illustrated the Piero’s concept art here!
The first step is modeling where the character is built with 3D geometry. No object exists in the computer intrinsically; it must be built by hand. Every subsequent step is dependent on modeled objects.
Being a bird Piero is a unique texturing task because he needs to be covered in feathers. We’ll take advantage of Blender’s paint tools and Photoshop to paint our texture maps. A particle hair system will allow us to procedurally grow and groom our feathers.
While modeling and animation are perhaps the most coveted CG skill sets, rigging is the narrow bridge-less-traveled that connects them. Just like our human body needs a complex system of bones and joints to make movement possible, our digital model needs a complex system of bones and joints to make animation possible. This is a highly technical and polarizing process requires much more research and practice than artistic instinct.
Piero will be rigged in Blender as an general-purpose armature with full control over wing and tail feathers.
The art of movement is arguably the most difficult skill set in computer graphics. But don’t tell an animator that – they think highly enough of themselves already!
Jokes aside, good animation requires a hefty combination of practice and talent. With Piero we’ll apply the principles of “The Nine Old Men” to realize his personality in motion.
With the animation finished, our “ingredients” are finally ready to go into the oven! Post Processing begins by rendering our scene into individual frames that make up our entire animation. Once the hours of rendering are finished, we can edit the final shot together in Blender’s compositor.