So I’ve teamed up with Jordan Rutter on his project. Immediately I feel more comfortable and within my element. I have begun with character concepting for the security/police character and will be taking on the task of rigging Circuit and adding extra details to his model.
For the security, Jordan specified that he would be more of a defensive build rather than aggressive, with a large form that acts as a blockade. With this in mind I looked into police uniforms, riot gear, police cars and a glimpse at how other robot enforcers have been developed within animation. The search for a character starts broad, sketching any crazy ideas that come to mind, then once I got some feedback from jordan I began to refine my search to pull the character into a design that best suits what might fit the animation. This design is not yet final but definitely serves as a base for what this character will represent.
Taking on the role of rigger for Circuit is unique in that I have not yet rigged a mechanical character before. Jordan provided me with a work in progress model, from here my first step was to go through the model and establish his kinematics and whether there would be any issues. He required a ball joint in his Axel and the finger lengths did not allow for movement that was attune to the concept art.
Once these changes were roughly implemented I took him into Zbrush to begin adding further detail. I did not have much experience with Hard Surface sculpting though I did understand some basics. I created some of my own custom brushes to add uniform bolts and rivets to his body.
Within ZBrush I created some custom brushes for some specific repeated elements such as rivets, screw heads and a couple ventilation meshes. These can be used in their specified context or within new contexts and can be inverted or placed within one another. This makes these very dynamic while also allowing a consistency across the character. For the future characters I intend to create a toolset specific to their design. i.e. the police robot is a more modern design and will use a more refined binding method. i.e. Inlays for all screws.
Once these changes were roughly implemented I took him into Zbrush to begin adding further detail. I did not have much experience with Hard Surface sculpting though I did understand some basics.
I started to create the rig for Circuit. As he is a hard surface material, this allows me to easily ‘Skin’ the character and make changes to his topology with zero affect on the rigging process. Once this was complete we started doing animation tests.
Now that the rig is at a point ready for animation we have created some animation tests. Exploring the character has been a visual discussion as each test allows us to see ideas for how the character may move and build upon each other to create a uniform character personality.