I'm currently doing my first 3D course at the university, and I have to be done with a short animated movie (aiming for 1-2 minutes) by mid-January. I'm aware it might not be optimal to start out with a project where you have to animate a short movie, but I don't really have a choice
The plot is a bit odd but will be about this scary hamster who'll escape from a scary-looking mental asylum (which will only be seen from distance). He'll sneak about the stone wall outside the mental asylum and out into the woods where he'll find a random riot shield which he will use as a snowboard to escape faster. Randomly he'll also try a rail trick in the woods and after a cool and nice start he falls over at the end of the trick and will look up and see the "camera man" (well, just the camera really) for the first time and take a knife out and kill him. Bloodsplatter on camera lens. Maybe not the greatest story of all time, but hey
Anyway, I have to be done with models + textures by this Sunday midnight (although I am allowed to add more later) and will start the animation part of the course on Monday. I have quite a few objects left to create and texture, but my biggest problem (and what feels most important to have done by Sunday) is that my main character isn't turning out as I'd like him to.
I'm attaching a sketch that I made by hand as well as a render of how he looks right now. I'm also attaching a WIP render of the mental asylum and some other pictures that will be used as reference for some of my questions
Character head issue:
Mental asylum WIP overview:
A few questions:
1. First obvious point is that the fur looks like shit around his eyes, nose and mouth giving my character a scary look (childs' play vibes). I'm not really sure what to do here. The nose also really doesn't look good and I have no idea how to sort the fur out nicely around his nose and mouth. Should I change the length of the hair around them or how is that usually done? It feels like maya isn't responding well to fine/precise touches like removing the fur from the lips or similar. Also, any other things I should think about when making the mouth and such? As you can see in the wireframe picture, the mouth might not be constructed in an optimal way.
2. I'd also like to be able to actually change the shape of the eyes during the movie, and with my current model (with separate eyes) that wouldn't be good because of the fur. Would it work well to add some details to the model around the eyes and then remove some faces and simply merge the vertexes or is there a better way?
3. I'd like to be able to do some kickass lighting in this scene for my screenshots on Sunday. I've been looking into HDRI based lighting and I have quite a lot of HDRI pictures on my hard drive, but I'm not really sure what would suit this movie. It's winter and night time and outside setting. Any advices on how to get really cool light fixed?
4. I've run into many issues with my fur during this and you can see one of the remaining issues on top of the head in picture 2. I can't seem to remove the baldness up there. Any suggestions? Now, I might end up making a hat for him for this project (as in the sketch), but I'd still like to know how to resolve it.
5. Currently, you can almost not even see his feet, but they're very tiny feet because I couldn't figure out how to make them as they are in my sketch.
6. This is going to be a hard one to explain. For the mental asylum, I didn't use the optimal way to model the houses, and each block of houses is basically one object (extruded a lot). Now, I UV mapped these and snapshotted and textured each whole block of houses in the same file in photoshop. Using this method, I've brought in textures which I have then resized, placed and rotated to my likings. Now, I wonder how would one easily add a bump map or specular map for instance to a specific wall? Would I have to create a file with the same layout and resize and rotate the bump/specular maps exactly the same way as I did with the texture, or is there an easier way?
Any advices or comments are also highly appreciated. I'll do my best to keep you all updated with WIP screens as well as the finalized movie when it's done.