Character animator and other solutions

Character animator and other solutions

While trying to figure out a way to meet the tight deadlines for the training courses we have on, after a bit of research, I’ve started testing the lip sync features of Character Animator, one of the newish apps Adobe has made available through CC. Turns out, it works like magic, the team really liked the results and was happy to add it to the workflow.

If anything, perhaps not as cool as the actual 3D mouths, in my view, but it’s a way faster process and will save us loads of time (equals budget). Pretty decent compromise to get the issue solved and the project delivered on time.

Groo the Wanderer in 3D

Groo the Wanderer in 3D

Here’s my first attempt on an old favourite character, Groo, from the brilliant Sergio Aragonés. It’s a side project I’ve been considering for a while but too often kept hitting a wall with both rigging and rendering. Did I err? said the Wanderer. Well, not this time.

I was pretty happy to manage the whole thing in Maya, using its human IK and rendering it with Arnold. Groo does what Groo does best!

ZBrush speed sculpting

ZBrush speed sculpting

This is the end result of a 3D character I did based on a speed sculpting tutorial from Shane Olson and a sketch made by Dean Yeagle. It’s also my debut in working with Dynamesh geometry, a pretty amazing tool. I’ve worked on many 3D character before but nothing like this one, with the speed and flexibility it offers. Below, a work in progress.

3d-deanyeagles-head-wip1

If you don’t know what Dynamesh is, in short, it’s a technology that allows you to re-design the geometry on a 3D model, on the fly, re-mesh it, as if you’re working with real clay – although you could also say it feels a bit like magic. It’s been years, I’ve been hearing how great it is and now I finally got to have a taste of its power. So good.

More info for those who work with or are studying ZBrush

I’ve been working on this cartoon character for weeks, not because it’s super difficult or anything – but because I couldn’t figure out why PolyPaint wasn’t working. If you search the internet, most posts discussing this issue will tell you it’s because the layer is on record mode. But I haven’t had setup any layer, let alone activated record mode, so no clear answer to me. Long story short, the problem was that, for whatever reason, my brush was using the secondary colour, which as white.

Turns out, white colour won’t show at all, no matter which shader you’re using, so it seems to act more like an eraser rather than white ink. Ok, you’re probably thinking “rookie mistake”, but… ok yes, I see now that was rookie. However, on my defence I will say, that’s not intuitive. I did post the issue on both PluralSight, where I got the tutorial from, and also Facebook and GooglePlus. I got one good answer from the tutorial owner, which didn’t solve the problem, and not one answer with a plausible solution from the social media.

So there it is, if you were stuck with PolyPaint like I was, try checking your secondary colour. Or try painting with OPTION key pressed. Hope it helps someone else too.

Before and After

Before and After

In photography, and I guess I can also include graphic design here as well, every now and then we get an image to work with which is almost there but not quite. And we get people saying, can we delete this guy, can we add that one. So here are 2 examples of “Photoshop magic” that is required from time to time.

Please add the chef.

Corporate group lunch to celebrate 10+ year employees

I did this photo for the lunch celebration of employees with 10+ years in the house. Problem was, by the time we organised the people and did the photo, no one noticed David, the head chef, wasn’t actually present. He went back to the kitchen to make sure everything was according to schedule. So in the “after” version, you’ll see him has been added to the left. Note, the body comes from one photo and his head from another.

Please delete the chef.

In this case, we had the assistant chef with her beautiful smile, something not that easy to capture due to her shy nature. Only, this time Dean, the head chef, wasn’t quite participating on the shot, and the hotel manager really wanted to use this one photo. Photoshop to the rescue. So, there he is in the “before” photo, the original one, and Hanna on her own in the “after” (edited) photo. I had to rebuild the painting in the back, which I grabbed from another shot I had, and also got rid of some red elements (eg. coffee machine at the bottom right) which are notorious for screaming for attention.

SPASA SA 2013 Awards of Excellence

SPASA SA 2013 Awards of Excellence

“We are extremely pleased with how the event turned out and it was a wonderful evening made possible by our generous sponsors and platinum sponsor, SoftSwim. The exceptional quality of the award entries is a huge credit to our members, solidifying that we have the best in the industry.

Polvo Digital Arts was an integral part of the evening, providing the digital presentation for the awards ceremony. Kudos to San for creating a presentation that fit our brief perfectly, it was exactly what we were looking for. 

On behalf of the Committee, we would like to thank everyone involved for making the night such a success, particularly MC Lindsay McGrath, the sponsors, our members, the awards judges, the staff of The National Wine Centre and the entertainers. If this year is anything to go by, next year is going to be even more exciting!”

S. Rowley, Association’s State Manager and event organiser.

Elders Insurance Conference Video

Elders Insurance Conference Video

“Within a tight timeframe, it was important to be as specific as possible with the brief and to provide some creative direction. This was well followed and while amendments were required, as they always are, they were not extensive which was great given the deadline.”

A. Lucas
National Communications Manager, Elders Insurance

Elders Group – overall projects

Elders Group – overall projects

Alessandro is a brilliant, creative and highly competent Graphic and multimedia expert that I would recommend to anyone looking for creative solutions that are executed really well. Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert – (from LinkedIn)

D. Mallinson
National Marketing Manager at Elders Group

 

Brazcom Imports print and digital media updates

Brazcom Imports print and digital media updates

We have engaged Polvo Digital Arts several times on an as-needed basis throughout 2011. The work they have performed for us has included technical and aesthetic modifications to our e-commerce websites; poster and brochure design; and video editing.
Each time, results were delivered in a timely manner, on budget and at a very reasonable cost. The quality of work and creativity were excellent and exceeded our expectations; and there was a real concern from Polvo that everything they produced met the standards we require to accurately present our brand and products. I recommened Polvo to anyone seeking to propel their brand identity above the crowd, and would happily provide a personal reference to that end.

Dr TC Nielsen
MD, Brazcom Imports – June 28, 2011
Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Good Value