Since my last post I worked mainly on two aspects of Ara’s Tale.
- preparation work for Ara’s rigging
- adapting the roughsets to match the new storyboard and mapping out the shots
The rigging preparation included some rework on Ara’s mesh and (again) some research on how to combine Ara’s animation with the cloth simulation.
I was able to get some very useful information from these threads on blenderartists.org
A good point made there was to see cloth simulation as seperate step during production, which will demand its own portion of time that has to be done carefully. That means that I will concentrate on Ara’s animation and once thats finished (ha!) I will tackle the cloth simulation for her dress. The same I think should be true for her hair.
Rigging will be interesting, to say the least. For mapping out the storyreel in the rough scenes I just set up a extremely simple rig with deforming bones only and using Auto IK for very crude posing. The process of mapping out the shots showed me quite well where emphasis has to be made on the rigging and where I can get away with less effort.
The rigging process will be next, new territory again but just lets see …
I already created an animated storyreel based on the original storyboard. I decided not to do a full animatic this time as it tended to get me distracted and in the end gained nothing from the extra effort put in. Once I have broken down the production to individual shot files I may come back to 3d animatcs to try out camera work.
The 3d storyreel isn’t completely finished yet, but I have put a video of the frst 80 secs on vimeo to see for the interested. The sets are VERY rough, but at least Ara is used with her actual mesh, but very crude posing.
Once animation for the actual shots starts, I will have to enhance the sets, maybe not final but certainly finalizing the terrain Ara moves in. All the parts where Ara and the dragon are interacting with the environment should be finished. I hope this workflow turns out to be feasible.
Work on Ara’s Tale will be dormant now for the next 6 weeks. After waiting for 25 years I really do not want to jeopardize my real life wedding by spending too many hours intimately close to a girl like Ara 🙂