We gave you a little update on the Beastie’s cave scene a few weeks ago but one of the huge tasks that we faced was building the forest that stretched from beyond the cave. You will have noticed in our last post about the cave that it features a tree – this is our master tree – the one that all other trees are based on.
The village sign is a prop that we had been debating for some time… did we really need it? As the Beastie makes the journey from his cave to the village we needed to show a point at which he had reached the edge of the village, to show that danger to the children was imminent. Plus, as we still were not showing the Beastie’s body at this stage, we wanted to use his shadow to engulf the sign as he approached.
In the end, we decided that we wanted to keep this element, and the sign carried on going through some changes. We used the village name ‘Tuffles’ as a placeholder in the beginning, but we all hated it by this point, and decided that the village doesn’t need a name, so decided to drop it for the simple ‘Welcome’ message.
As you saw in our last post about getting the sizes and proportions right, we have almost finished the 3D modelling of the children. These will go off for texturing now, but at the same time, we start to rig the models – which basically means giving them a skeleton – ready for when we start animating them. We then put the characters through rigorous testing – pulling their joints, arms, legs and body around to test for any abnormalities. As you can see below, there were quite a few issues – some subtle and some massive! We’ve highlighted some of them, but see if you can spot the issues on the other images…
With the bulk of our 3D environments and characters now built, and ahead of the texturing of the children, we had our first look at what the characters look like in their environment. As the children interact quite a lot with the surroundings (especially when they hide) it was very important to ensure they were the correct size, or at least the correct proportion for that shot. We did this by placing them in some of the key places they needed to go, and next to each other to gauge their relation to one another, as you can see from the images below
Like us, you will probably be pleased to hear that there will be no more posts on the village after this one! We have completed the modelling and texturing of all village props and assets – the next stop will be laying them out and lighting the scenes. And where best to get texturing inspiration than from a holiday in Disneyland Paris…!
We have been a little quiet on revealing one of the key locations from the film: the Beastie’s cave. While a lot of work has been going into the village and interior locations, we have been quietly working away on the cave and it’s surrounding location. This post will cover the whole process that saw the cave go from concept art to final 3D model.
Things are moving fast now – we have almost finished modeling the children – both their bodies and faces. There are still plenty of tweaks and improvements to make, as you will see below with the comments (and problems) from these photos. However, it is not just about making things smooth and slick – it is also about making the shapes and models work well when we come to the rigging.
The process of building the village, piece by piece, is a time consuming one. After Katie has designed each item (from houses and streets to lamp posts and benches), Jon then builds a 3D model in Autodesk Softimage, as you can see below. However, there is quite a lot of ‘back and forth’ between Katie and Jon as assets are refined and re-modeled, as you can see from one of Katie’s notes about the street below.
The Fearsome Beastie’s cave is one of striking images from the book, and a scene that we were relishing getting stuck into in the film! But it wasn’t only the cave that excited us – the trees, woods and screnery that surround the cave (and that Beastie would have to traverse to reach the town) were environments we could really be creative with. These 2 images are concept designs of the trees and atmosphere, very much when we were still seeing things in 2D:
The last time we showed the house, it was much more blocky and square, and was a much simpler, white 3D model. Since then we have done further refining, colour tests and have fully textured everything. This is a bit of a summary post, as we don’t have a lot of visuals from the texturing process, but we hope you can see how the house progressed from half colour tests to final texture: