Sep 152014
 

Spent the weekend updating my new laptop and putting on all the programs I use back on it and also working on Wooden Doll. I came to the conclusion (reluctantly) that my hawk rig isn’t going to be quite what I want for this project and it needs some adjusting. Mainly, the model. My old model was heavily done in my own personal style, which tends to be a blend of real and cartoon. For Wooden Doll, I need something more realistically accurate and not what I -think- a hawk should look like. Wooden Doll will allow artists to pose “dolls” so having it be as close to realistic proportions is the goal. problem is that my old model, if seen from head on, the eyes face sideways (like a pigeon), instead of forward like a hawks. So I went back to my model. I’m working on re-shaping the base mesh to that of a Ferruginous hawk*. I’m going to use mudbox to give it some fine detail (scales in the feet, “feathers” in the body, etc) and add a texture. I’d like to check out Ptex and see how it works anyhow! (Seriously been itching to play with Ptex)

Got the base mesh almost done tonight. It needs a touch more re-shaping to the back of the head and around the brow (and to tilt the whole head up a bit) and he’s done. The last touches and cleaning it up a bit tomorrow before I go play with the fine details in mudbox! He looks a little bit goofy but he’s more accurate now. Without texture and color or detail on him, he ends up with that slightly goofy, slightly manic, look. One big problem I had is that hawks have flatish disk like eyes that don’t rotate in the socket (like someone took a UFO and turned it on its side so that the dome was facing outward), unlike humans which have spherical eyes. The iris is set far back in the skull and there’s a huge cornea and this magnifies the iris and gives the optical illusion that the eye is spherical, looks directly forward and the iris is close up when in reality it’s the not the same. It makes it -really- hard to model both accurately and look good. I think I’ve got it close enough to accurate and functional in this model now.

Reference:

IMAGE SOURCE

Old hawk: (This shows the main problem here- nothing but beak in the front view!)

New hawk:

Old hawk:

New hawk:

*I really just want to paint a ferruginous hawk. I got a bit tired of staring at redtails so I went with a Ferru instead this time since I had to reshape the head entirely anyhow.

Finished Hawk

 Posted by at 7:04 am
Sep 082014
 

I always seem to fall behind on posting here. I’m not huge on social media and tend to interact with people more in person than via social media so I always forget there are actually people who read this blog. I’m trying to make that up now and post some of my work, both finished and new!

I finished my hawk rig some time ago and it includes a more polished version of the wings. He’s been shown in my demo reel, but I forgot to post pictures here. Here he is (in all his smirking glory):





I think maybe I’ll get him textured by a fellow artist of mine to really “finish” him. He was only a rigging project and modeling practice, but I’d like to see him -fully- rendered!

Nov 012013
 

More progress on the hawk! Almost done with the first pass on skinning. I think I need to unbind and shift around a couple joints for better deformations. I’m not quite so happy with the placement on a couple of them. He still can strike a decent pose however! Even more so now that the skinning is not doing weird deformations like on the last quick bind.

Oct 282013
 

I really should be in bed since I have work in.. 4 hours… but I’ve been working on the hawk all weekend and wanted to post pictures. I finished the rig, updated the model. Now I just need to mirror the model and I can start skinning it. However I wanted to get a quick (and I mean quick) look at how it was coming out and to see if my changes to the mesh were working so I bound the geometry and threw it into a quick pose- folded the wings and the tail, pulled his head down and foot up and voila, pose! This is the DEFAULT bind, no editing of the bind at all so the skin looks funky in places (really, don’t look under the wings- yeeeesh!) I’m extraordinarily pleased with it so far. Can’t wait to really skin it and work on the deformations!!*

Here’s the rig:

I Know the rig looks like a mess of controls, but it isn’t. I took a page out of the Norman Rig’s book and have the whole lot controlled by that little control over on the left that says “CTRL Viz”. It controls the visibility of different sections of controls, so that you can turn on and off controls that you need. This way they’re not cluttering up the screen all at once and you still have access to all the controls you need. So far they work well, but there are a few I need to change around. The wings are also Version 2.0 of Wing Creator that I mentioned and linked to in my last post, with better finalized feather geometry on it. When I give this hawk some animation I’ll put the 2.0 rig through it’s paces and see what bugs I find so I can fix it and publish 2.0. You can also see where I did the extra modeling finessing. The right hand side shows the more detailed foot, the left side shows the old foot. I think I’m looking forward to the deformations on those feet the most, and the head and neck second most. I have some good ideas for them I can’t wait to try.

Anyhow, had to post this and get it out of my system before I went to bed. I’ll post more details tomorrow or tuesday night, and hopefully an actual bound skin with a first pass on it. I also need to scan in the sketches I made last weekend. Natalie and I went to the Houston Zoo and had a sketch fest. I discovered I really like drawing ungulate animals when they’re in odd poses (like sitting/lounging on the ground giraffes) and animals with wrinkles. Sketchdump and more hawk updates soon!

*3 am in the morning dictates that I use excessive amounts of exclamation marks to show how giddy I am (probably from sleep deprivation). Here have some more!!!!!!!!!!

Hiatus Updates

 Posted by at 5:41 am
Aug 012013
 

Hey all. I know I’ve suddenly disappeared when I’ve been insisting I’m going to post the new bird rig. Apologies for that. I’ve been spending time with my family. My brother recently lost his battle with skin cancer so I’ve disappeared from work and online stuff lately and am only now catching up. Thanks for your patience. I’ll be updating my thesis project with the fixes and cleaner rig soon as well as adding more glasswork for sale in the shop.

For my brother, we are not having any services, it’s just family. Please consider donating to your local animal rescue in his honor. He loved dogs, so any donations to local shelters would have made him happy.

Thank you and all the best.

Hawk Progress – 12/3/12

 Posted by at 6:04 am
Dec 042012
 

Been working on the hawk rig and I got it together. This is the first pass of the base rig. All the main controls to see how they work, what needs adjusting, and what needs to be added. There’s a lot of finessing I need to do on it (like making the controls less cluttered, adding a switch control for the head so it can lock to the body or to the world since birds have that stationary head thing going on*, adding a tail and eye rig, adding feathers, blendshapes, etc., etc.)
For a first pass I’m rather pleased.

DRAMATIC HAWK POSE, GO!!!

*For kicks: Chicken Head tracking steady cam! Ok… I’ll get some sleep now and stop goofing around. I think the doc took more than bits of tooth out with that root canal earlier; I seem to be missing a bits of my sanity.

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Hawk Progress – 12/2/12

 Posted by at 6:50 pm
Dec 022012
 

I’ve been remiss in posting this! In addition to the gryphon, I’ve been working on a hawk. I needed something to instead of the sausage-err I mean temporary bird body for my wing rig so I went whole hog and decided to finish it by making a full bird rig to compliment the wing rig. This also allows me to play around with a simpler rig (hawk) before making it more complex for the gryphon.

I updated my reel with the break apart rough of my hawk model in order to get sausa- temporary bird body out of it and make it look nicer. I’ll update it again when the hawk rig is done to have animation on the bird and to show off my hawk!

I finished the model for the bird.



I also have been trying out different ways to generate feathers on this hawk and I finally found one I think will work well. It’s using a really snazzy script from creative crash called Dodo Master. This is the first -really- rough test done on the break apart rig to see how it generates feathers and how to groom them. The only problem I’ve had so far is that it requires a NURBS model to work, and my Hawk is a Poly model. It’s going to be interesting to convert it to NURBS for this. I think I will create another mesh underneath the base mesh that is only in the areas with feathers (so no legs, beak, etc.) and use that for the feathers layer.

I’ll post more images later of the breakapart rig.

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