A New Year, a New Weekly: January 9, 2015

12 January, 2015 |  6 Comments | Gallery | by Elysia Brenner

Does anyone else still feel weird writing 2015? But, indeed, the new year is upon us — and with it a new weekly! Check out where the project and the gang are as Cosmos Laundromat heads into production in the first weekly wrap-up of 2015 (45 minutes long this time)…or just skip to the highlights below.

The Highlights


Blog Posts You Might Have Missed

  • The actors‘ voices have been recorded! Read Ton’s report on the two-day recording session last Thursday and Friday (and what other behind-the-scenes goodies you’ll be able to expect from this session) here.
  • Victor’s new rig, by Juan Pablo, is so elaborate that you’ll probably need a tutorial to figure out everything it can do! Luckily Juan Pablo has made just that, and we wrote all about it here.


Final Models

We did a very silly thing during this week’s round-up: we forgot to present Angela’s work! She’s been hard at work finalizing the dragonfly model, and both models of Franck (caterpillar and sheep) — and in thorough Angela style, she’s created a series of infographics to lay out the changes! Check out a line-up of all 3 jungle characters side by side right here, plus Angela’s take on Victor’s facial expressions, and then head to the Blender Cloud to see 4 more Angela infographics laying out the model changes (and some final models) plus a .blend file of Victor’s facial models you can play with yourself!

Jungle characters to scale

Victor's model facial expressions

Sarah has tweaked and finalized Franck’s caterpillar model to get him ready to go to Daniel for rigging. Note that, in addition to the facial changes, the antennae are droopier so that they look more like sheep ears.



Facial Grooming, Step by Step



For his first week in the studio for this project, Andy has begun grooming Victor’s face based on Sarah’s concept (above). Click through the images in the gallery below to see how Victor’s face has evolved over the week, step by step.

The final view in 360:

Next week: onto the clothing and other details!


Baa, Baa Fuzzy Sheep

In addition to her briefings for Victor’s face and Daniel’s rig, Sarah also refined Victor the sheep’s concept for Manu to build upon (with texture). Note that Franck now has different colored eyes to make it easier to follow him from body to body.

Manu has continued working with the new hair system, testing it out on sheep Franck to give him a fuzzy face and ropy fur. His conclusion thus far? “Hair is not easy.”



Let’s Get Riggy Wit It

In addition to Juan Pablo’s new Victor rig, Daniel has also been busy rigging in Costa Rica. His task? The caterpillar! So far he’s started tackling the spine, based on input from Sarah. But he’ll tell you all about it himself:

Speaking of the Victor rig, Hjalti has started experimenting with it. First, two iterations of Victor’s walk cycle (see video below), using reference footage from Victor’s voice actor, Reinout. You’ll notice in the first that Victor is walking a little too far on his toes, but after some trial and error and feedback from Mathieu (“feminize his walk very slightly”) Hjalti put together the second version you see here. A lazy swagger he calls it, borne of Victor’s deceptively long and not-so-easy life — as a character he’s confident…but also a little bit desperate.

Hjalti also began testing Victor’s climb out of the washing machine at the end of the pilot. At this point, the focus is getting the posing right rather than a totally smooth animation.

In the weekly Hjalti mentioned he shot reference material, and some of you asked how he created the “washing machine” opening. Well, here’s your answer:
Laundromat reference


Developer’s Corner

  • Hjalti asked Antonis if he could create a way for him to paste an inverted pose onto an armature, and Antonis made this happen. Watch his explanation in the weekly video above (at 35:55), or just the video demo without sound here.
  • Antonis also added the ability, when painting textures, to rotate around a stroke of paint (based on a user request).
  • Lukas continues to tweak the hair system. As the child hairs were causing some problems due to their complex settings, he’s created a simpler system to control the clumping and coarseness of the hair using curves. Watch him walk you through it at 7:19 in the weekly video, and then play with the .blend file he uses in his demo yourself on the Cloud.
  • Nicholas, the new kid on the studio developer block, has started integrating Ptex into Blender’s existing texture systems by importing and testing sample files provided by Disney. See how this turned out at 10:37 in the weekly vid. The goal is to replace the need for UV mapping by letting artists paint directly on their 3D models. So, faster working without the need for 2D! Next up he will work on fitting it more seamlessly into Blender’s existing systems.
  • Francesco spent time this week working on the render farm as well as the integration of BAM into the Cloud (hopefully done soon).


Coming Up

  • Antonis has left us to go back to Greece for a visit! But he will be back soon. :-)
  • The goal for the month is to focus on character building through facial details. Ton would like each to look “alive and lovable” by month’s end.
  • Project Gooseberry is in full rigging mode! Expect new iterations of Victor’s rig soon, plus comprehensive rigs for all the other characters.

6 Responses

  1. Digidio says:

    Wow the quality has come to the next level very lovely to see these creations. The hair also looks great and the rest. Can’t wait to see the next show. :-)

  2. Marcel says:

    Hey i love the direction this thing is heading.
    Only the facial hair of victor is not quite there yet. The mustache part and mouth area look wrong still. The hair there is much too sparely placed, looks like a pubertystache. Rest is great!

  3. rio says:

    This is amazing! I love Blender Institute and all the team. Wonderful!!!

  4. Jakub says:

    This project just gets better and better !

    good luck!

  5. Karlis says:

    Those child particle curves look reeeeealy useful! Finaly hair system starts to get usable! Keep up the good work!

  6. Warren says:

    That center sheep looks exactly like mathieu :)

    Any news about Cloth sim yet? It was one of the development targets, but I haven’t seen it mentioned yet, or any particular use case for it- perhaps some of Victor’s clothes?

Comments are closed.