Though Conceptually I am not 100% certain on design elements I feel I have pushed enough concepts through that I have a strong understanding of the feel that the character should have. I took to sculpting software to start blocking in main forms over the previous basemesh. I decided to do this as I knew I'd be able to push around some of these base forms even after sculpting them to get them into a position that works. This also lets me better visualise the character in 3D.
I explored some new design choices through sculpting and did some changes that I felt weren't coming through in the concept art but were still coming strong with the character design. I also felt moving to 3D gives me a larger range within my personal limitations of both drawing and sculpting.
Some choice changes along the way are notable in the face, hands and legs. I decided to have the hands as 3 fingers and a thumb, this is due to chickens only having 4 toes on their feet and I wanted to mirror this in his hands. I also found experimenting with the legs much easier in 3D and found some proportions that I feel come across as both chicken-like and strong enough to hold him up without compromising the chicken legs.
The initial test of feathers around the neck will be re-done and further experimented. This is due to the layering of feathers requiring to be started lower but also because I wish to make multiple Alpha's to add more variation to the feathers.
I exported the current state of the mesh into Maya to do a quick turntable on my look-dev setup to get a feel for how he looks from all angles in a lit environment. Honestly very happy with how he has turned out so far though looking forward to iterating on his design.
Moving into the realms of pre-visualisation I have begun to set up my maya project folder to lead into production, setting up various reference and look dev files to easily visualise how visual development of the piece is going. I began to block in the smaller chicken character and referred back to BiRB to see how both characters stand next to one another.
Pre-Vis has really helped better visualise shots and analyse their strength within the piece. This still requires some extra work and iteration but really starts to pull together an idea for how the shots are working and getting an idea of how the environment is working in the shots. After creating a small previs barn its become much easier to see what shots need more props and an ability to visualise how those props will best be placed in the scene. I also put some consideration into aspects that may not be seen in the shots to get a feel for what is going on in the environment as a whole.
I put in some simple green lighting to help get across the mood of the piece and to consider how I may light the environment. Currently only Hardware 2.0 for quick concepting but will move into arnold toward final.