Don’t know where to start, other than that we messed this up good. Not that I think that the final character doesn’t look good, in fact I think it looks really well when you consider the time spent on it, but this was done as a last minute job. Things should never be done that way where you feel that you need to hurry. I have pushed myself to the limits when I was working on this one. I have to write this down, so this won’t happen again. I need to reflect around this, and see where it all went wrong and why.

When the pieces of the story fell together, we saw that we needed the mum of the little girl in the end sequence to show that she comes to life, and the smoke was the symbol of the mum trying to get her to back to life. Reading this, I feel that the mum has a big part of the story. She is important, and should had been take more care of, and maybe given a bigger role at the end.

I wrote that she is important; this is something I just realized. And it’s too late. At the start we said that this character was not taking a big role in our movie, and will not be shown much. We were trying to put cameras so we would hide her face and she would only sit on the end of the bed so we didn’t have to animate her that much. All of this was our first mistake.

And the worst thing about this is that I think that we were warned about it. Not directly aiming at what I wrote over here, but when we showed the animatic in the classroom, someone mentioned that the camera angles at the end should be thought through one more time. Its first now that I can see that this I probably because the mum is being hidden from the audience. So it gets a bit weird.

And the second mistake is that we did not divide up our schedule good enough. It was too unclear when it comes to what that should be done. We put up “Character modeling”, when it really should been divided up in “The girl” and “the mum”. But that we didn’t do, and then we get as we deserve. We forgot the whole model, because we were so eager to get the animation going. Things like this shouldn’t happen at all.

So when we came to week 12, and we had only 5 weeks left, we saw that we missed a character. Everybody kind of watched on each other, and didn’t do anything about it. We were trying to come up with an easy solution. We asked one of the other students of the school if we could use his girl model and just remake it a bit. He said yes, but none of us did actually go get it. Weeks went fast, and suddenly we needed that model. And the person we were supposed to lend the model from was not at school. We get what we deserve once again.

So, two and a half weeks to deadline, and I decided to get things done. I am sure, and I know that others of the group could have done this for a long time ago when some of us were drawing storyboard for an example. But it all comes down to taking initiative. And I am now. It’s a bit frustrating, but all of us are guilty in failing as bad as we did.

Since I did not have time to model a whole model, I went to a classmate (Alexander Edvard Fusdahl) I knew that had a female test model he made for test renders. And because he is a floater, helping many others groups, I felt that this was ok. I’d like to do all of it myself, but we are in a hurry now. I got a high poly model, and a low poly. 300k polygons were too much. No way am I going to skin that. The low poly was about 10k I think. I went for that one.

Model by Alexander Edvard Fusdahl
Model by Alexander Edvard Fusdahl
The first thing I noticed with the model was that the face was too low poly. But as I have mentioned, we are going to hide this as good as we can. So I thought I could just do some simple modeling, and it would be okey. WRONG. When it comes to modeling realistic faces, or faces in generally, I need to study that. And the hair I was working on, did not look good either, nor did the clothing I tried to get on her. Things needed to be done, so I aired by brain by watching a football game, and just relax.
This is how things end when you rush through it.
Nothing is like watching an intense match and getting some good fresh air too. My head was cleared, I was working again and before I knew it I was on my way against a finished model.

I found a head on of my many discs form 3d world magazine, and deleted the old head. One of the many reason we are going to hide her face, is that she would have no facial rig, and therefore could not show any emotion. I wanted to give her a bit of life, so I made some morph targets. This was really easy and a fast way to get some life into her. A method I would use later in my career for sure.
Head from ir-models
When I talked to the others at school, we wanted just to push her mesh out a bit and make a sweater and some pants. My first reaction was that that can work, but its night and she really should wear a nightgown. But we wouldn’t go through the simulation of more cloth. So I tried the pants and the sweater. Sweater looked good, but the pants looked more like tights. Was she out running?

So I made a skirt on her. Now she looks more like a mum and I am really happy with the look. I moved on to the hair. I took some time to place out all of the polygons, but I was worth it. I think that she should have gotten some longer hairs in the neck to give her a more of the mum look. But she got a more of a trendy mum look.
Suddenly the clock turned half past three, and I really needed to go to bed. I knew that I had a long day of rigging and skinning the next day. I was really happy about what I achieved that day.

I woke up at 10, and got myself some breakfast before I sat down creating a rig. Since I have already rigged a character this project, I feel that thing went much faster than the first time. This rig is a much simpler tough and I didn’t have any big problems with it. I am sure that I could have used more time on it, and done it a bit better, but it should work fine for the small amount of time she is in the movie.
When I skinned the teddy bear, I said to myself. Never again. But the mum model needed to be skinned as well, so I needed to suck it up and do it. I felt that this also did go much faster than last time I when I skinned the teddy. When I left the model for the day, it was almost done skinned, only missed the neck and some spine problems. I went to bed, not so frightened about skinning. It’s really just time consuming.

I met up at school the next day, and was eager to show my group mates the result I had achieved. It kind of looked like they didn’t care. No critique or praise. So I just finished the skinning, and went ahead and textured it. The colors where simple and something that would blend into the room. For the skin and hear, I used the shader that Knut created for the little girl, just changed the color.
Since Fredrik is the one who shall animate the mum, it was a big advantage that I could sit beside him when I handed the rig over to him. It was some small things that I had missed, that could be fixed immediately. We also come over a major problem with the shoulders, so it had to be fixed. I didn’t really know how and why it happened, so I went around asking. This day, people were not so found of helping out, except Alexander Edvard Fusdahl who helped me with some other problems. But at that moment when we discovered the problem with the shoulders, he was not in our classroom. So I sat down and tried to think like a rigger, and found a solution to the problem. Seems like I am learning a lot of rigging and starts to really see how thing should sat up.

So after working intense in about 2 and half day, the mum was finished. I think that I did a good job on this, all though everything are not done by me. But I have showed that I can find easy solutions to problems that could ruined our project.

I have learned a lot from this. Do things when it should be done, never delay things. You can never sit down and think that other should do the work, even though they should. It’s always yourself you can trust, because you are never sure that others will completely the work. On the bright side, I have discovered that rigging and skinning don’t are so difficult as long as you just sits down and do it. It just takes a good portion of time, and can be a bit hard sometimes.

That’s all to say about this character, and hopefully I and my group mates have learned a lot from it.

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