This course covers Term Three for CG Essentials 2022. For our final term, we’ll be looking to push our character creation skills and integrate the character into an epic action shot. We’ll start by breaking down the creature design, concept sculpting, topology, rigging and surfacing. Following on from this, we’ll look at creating a believable performance and photorealistic render for final presentation.
Throughout the term, you will learn:
- Concept creature sculpting
- Creating suitable topology for deformation
- Creature surfacing
- Pitchvis, Previs and Techvis
- Creature rigging
- Creature FX
- Motion Capture and animation
To strengthen the technical skills, we will underpin the teaching by exploring fundamental topics such as:
- Breaking down a script for VFX
- Anatomy and kinesiology
- Muscle, skin and hair
- The principles of animation
- Newton’s Law of Motion
- Mindset and Acting for Animators
- Pushing the narrative
Lessons in this course
Week 01. Character Design | Concept Blocking
This term, we’ll kick things off by analysing the concept design, discussing appeal before jumping into ZBrush to start blocking out our primary forms. We’ll be working with scan data this term, so we’ll look at how best to start the character creation process.
Week 02. Artistic Anatomy 1001 | Concept Sculpting
In order to create a believable character, let’s first study human anatomy. Following on from this, we’ll continue to develop our concept sculpt using ZBrush and look at finalising the design of the costume.
Week 03. Artistic Anatomy 1002 | Topology for Deformation
We’ll continue our study of anatomy this week along with developing the topology for our character. We’ll look at existing base meshes to understand what works and what does not, before designing our own topology from scratch.
Week 04. Skin, Hair and Fabrics | Character Surfacing
This week, we’ll study the physics behind skin, hair and also fabrics. We’ll then look at techniques to create photorealistic textures and materials for a CG character.
Week 05. Kinesiology | Character Rigging 1001
With our character now modelled and surfaced, we’ll now begin to create our animation rig. This week, the focus will be on creating the rig for the upper half. This includes the torso, neck, head, arms and hands.
Week 06. Animation Friendly Rigs | Character Rigging 1002
This week, we’ll continue to build our character rig with a focus on the lower half, covering the pelvis, legs and feet.
Week 07. Muscle Analysis | Character Rigging 1003
With our animation rig ready to go, we’ll now look at painting the skin weights, allowing us to deform the character mesh.
Week 08. Mindset and Breath | Layout and Blocking
Here we will look at how developing the mindset and breath for our character can inform its movement. Once we’ve figured out the “why” behind the movement for our character, we’ll then look at character animation tools and techniques.
Week 09. Becoming the Creature | Character Animation 1001
This week, we’ll dig deeper into the psychology of our creature to bring it to life and add emotion to the performance. We’ll also look to finalise the performance and look at caching out the animation.
Week 10. Pushing the Performance | Character Animation 1002 and Shotsculpt
With our animation ready to go, we’ll look at how to go about pushing the performance, adding subtle nuances and also ‘plussing’ the deformation.
Week 11. Refining your Eye | Lighting, Compositing and Grading
This week, we’ll focus our attention on lighting and compositing our shot and creating the final grade. Throughout the process, we’ll look at what makes an image cinematic and how we can use this information to push our work.
Week 12. Contracts and VFX Business | Final Dailies
For our final week of the term, the focus will be solely on completing the VFX shot to a high-end industry standard. We'll also look at breaking down contracts, freelancing and starting your own the business.
This course is part of the CG Essentials 2022 Programme
Click on the link below to find out more about the programme and to apply.