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Lessons in character design

Posted By Paumanok West 9 Years Ago
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Paumanok West
Paumanok West
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Here we go again: another year, another significant improvement of my character design, using several techniques for customizing an iClone avatar.

The new body is based upon the G3 Nude avatar. I painted most of the clothing directly on the skin.

The cuffs on the shirt and pants are the Rolled-Up Sleeves from the G3 CloneCloth kit.

The Lower body mesh was resculpted using ZBrush; I improved the abdomen and thighs. The lower pants legs are accessories created from iClone primitives.

The forearms are based upon Superhero Gloves, resculpted in ZBrush.

The beard, hair, and shirt collar were created in Organica.

I extensively experimented with ZBrush to customize the head. I succeeded, technically, but failed, artistically. The previous head, customized using iClone native's tools, was far superior to anything I could reshape in ZBrush, so I reused it.

The moral of that story is: I believe you can create ANY human likeness inside iClone, as long as you supplement the head with accessories. You don't need any fancy tool such as ZBrush, Max, Maya, Mudbox, or Hexagon.

The only thing to add is that the color wheel is your friend. I rebalanced the color scheme to include more cool colors to complement the warm.



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9 Years Ago by Paumanok West
Paumanok West
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Exciting discovery: Inkscape has a "2.5-D" bitmap filter called "Diffuse Light."

It automatically adds a convincing lighting and shading to cutout flat characters such as mine.



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Paumanok West
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Whoo hoo: you can make the effect even more impressive by adding a drop shadow.

I have this dream to export my character animations as transparent PNG sequences and figure out how to batch-process them in Inkscape...

... too bad I'm a lousy programmer....


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Paumanok West
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Thanks, swoop.

I have some good news for using this effect on animation.

The Diffuse Light filter is apparently a web standard filter; you can get the same effect inside Firefox!

I am pretty confident I can program Firefox to load a PNG sequence into an SVG file containing the filter and call Fireshot to write out each image.

BigGrin

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bluemidget666
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This is some very impressive stuff ... love the look Smile



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Paumanok West
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Even if you're not tooning like me, someday you may need to relight certain aspects of your animation.

If you're serious enough to export those props (or characters) as an image sequence of 32-bit PNGs for further processing, you can either turn to After Effects (expensive) or Inkscape (free).

If you choose Inkscape, refer to my handy cheatsheat to adjust the simulated lighting.

You can also quickly and easily accomplish the same things in Firefox or Opera by search-and-replacing the parameter values in the SVG code. Note that Opera is always ahead of Firefox in SVG support, and currently, you can create more complex effects in Opera. Filters can shut down SVG rendering entirely in Firefox.

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animagic
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PW, I searched a little bit for batch processing with Inkscape as to make it easier to transform/manipulate large numbers of images. I found the following tool, InkscapeBatch, that may be of interest.


https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/1a09220f-ab50-42ac-ad1a-33ec.pnghttps://forum.reallusion.com/Uploads/Images/d14339d0-cd32-4b35-88f9-40a0.png


Paumanok West
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zuijlen (6/20/2010)
PW, I searched a little bit for batch processing with Inkscape as to make it easier to transform/manipulate large numbers of images. I found the following tool, InkscapeBatch, that may be of interest.


I looked for something like this and couldn't find anything. Bless you! Tongue

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Paumanok West
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Several people have asked me about tooning iClone, so I wrote the tutorial above.

The only thing new to add is that my latest character designs include lots of color gradients, and I have found it worthwhile to create my avatar textures in Adobe Illustrator.

The reason I am writing now is to ask: is anybody actually using my methods?

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Paumanok West
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Here are the two leading men in their two costume changes. Check out the new color-gradient look using Adobe Illustrator for textures. Note that it's a big PNG, 3000x1500 pixels.

http://generalpicture.com/fwvibrance.png

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