Mar 24, 2008
Check out the turnaround video in the preview files for a better look onto this beautiful and expressive model.
Most of the pieces of geometry are low poly cages, connected to a high resoultion proxy mesh, using the freely available Connect Poly Shape script (http://www.lightstorm3d.com/download/html_en/cps.htm). This enables you to render a high res mesh while quickly animating the lightweight base mesh.
The model is rigged and skinned with an easy to use skeleton inluding finger controls, Ik/FK switch, squash and stretch. Check out the options in the various control objects. Tricky deformations are corrected with blendshapes. Only the bib and braces may need some manual corrections with clusters etc. in extreme poses.
The face is animatable with a blendshape combination system. A plugin wich you can find here: http://dpk.stargrav.com/
You need it installed for the head mesh to work properly.
I set up about twenty targets following the FACS (facial action coding system) which enable you to create a broad range of expressions. But phonemes are not included. Use the AnimUi script from http://dpk.stargrav.com/ to easily animate the face.
The dpk_BCS is free for non-commercial use, but must be licensed for commercial use. Therefore I included a second maya file without the facial animation, which works without the plugin.
The model is set up to be rendered in mental ray with some high res textures.
I also added an archive with the custom mental ray shaders mix8layer, bumpcombiner, madvelvet and lglass, which are used on the model, but can also be easily found on highend etc.
The hair is created with mayas hair. It's best rendered in a seperate layer, because the rapid scanline renderer and shadow mapped lights produce better results with hair and faster render times. Later you compose it back onto the render of the geometry.
The scene file is set up accordingly, check out the render layers and the layer overrides in the mental ray settings and on the hair brush/ hair description.