Project name, “Happy Birthday from The Ceramics Studio!” An E-Card
The Studio’s Mascot
I designed the original coyote character on paper. The drawing was then transferred to the wall of the ceramics studio, and painted with acrylic paints.
The Production Process for the Digital 3D Version
Phase I: Modeling
Character modeled in 3D Studio Max™ (4360“tri’s”)
Phase II: UV Unwrapping
Unwrapped with 3DS Max’s UV Unwrap Modifier.
This phase is necessary before it can be be digitally sculpted and painted.
Phase III: Digital Sculpting & Painting
The models were imported into Mudbox™ and details were sculpted into a very high-poly version.
The sculpted model was used to make (a.k.a. “bake”) the ambient / occlusion and the normal maps.
Mudbox ™ and Photoshop™ were used to paint the color maps (a.k.a. “diffuse”) for the model.
Phase IV: Rigging
Adobe Mixamo™ was used to Rig the character mesh to generic bones.
I converted the generic rig into a 3DS Max Cat™ rig.
The 3DS Max Morpher modifier was used to capture the “targets” used for the facial animation.
Phase V: Animating
3DS Max was used to animate the character.
Below, are a couple of trail runs. The final version is displayed at the very top of this page.
Phase VI: Compositing & Formatting
The final birthday e-card (Seen at the top of the page) was saved out as an animated gif, with these settings: “Restrictive” color, (216 web colors) Transparent – The trick to achieving the smallest file size was to make the character’s coloring more solid (blocks rather than smooth gradients). The solid background is transparent, which drastically reduces file load time. I also limited the movement and reduced frames to 21. [Dimensions: 640×480 Used Adobe Photoshop’s “Frame” animation tools]
The version seen below is on The Ceramics Studio website, used as an ad, to encourage patrons to post a review on Yelp.