Monday, April 21, 2014

Skate 4 Life

Long time ago, when I was enrolled at AnimationMentor I saw an impressive skateboard animation.
For some reason that animation stuck in my mind, and many years after, I decided to do my own skateboard animation.
I started it with one shot, the guy jumping from a stair level. I've got all the references, drew the poses and I've animated very quickly. In less than 3 days the polished animation was done.
Most of my animator's friends liked the shot. The positive feedback gave me confidence to keep working with the sequence, and thought that would be nicer if I could add other shots to create a story for that jump. At that point, I started the journey of getting that sequence done.
One of the references for the textures/render
Planning the sequence I've started watching a lot of skateboard and Olympics competitions.
In sport events, slow motion cameras are heavily used to analyze the performances. I thought that I could be using slow motion shots telling the character performance in the sequence also.
After blocking out and combining/editing the shots I started getting feed back and polishing the whole piece which took over than an year as I couldn't work consistently.
Adding all the accessories to the Morpheus rig was a fun job. The most challenging task was getting the t-shirt's simulation working in all shots.
I had to make it sure that the cloth performance wouldn't take the attention from the performance yet it should sell the shots nicely. For some shots, I had to hand animate the t-shirt's vertices, getting the shapes to work properly.
Venice Beach Skate Park
After animating the character, I started modeling and rigging the accessories.
I rigged the shoes and the helmet, and for the skateboard I've added simple controls to move the main piece along with the wheel's rig. The knee protection, socks and the trousers I've modeled from the character's rig, extruding and modifying the model.

When I was texturing the character I found pictures from the Venice beach skate park located in California, at the sunset. The yellowish sky over the palm trees and the city's skyline creates a dramatic 'mood' that I was looking for the sequence. That was the concept art I used for the renders and the compostiting.
Most of the textures and some models like the palm trees I've got from free models/textures websites.
Well, this piece gave me so much work but I reckon it came along nicely!



Below the final render and the last animation pass:

I hope you like it!
Dan

Skate 4 Life from Dancellos on Vimeo.


Skate for Life Animation Polishing Pass from Dancellos on Vimeo.


Song: 'On the grind' performed by Nelly - 'Nellyville" album

Morpheous rig provided by Josh Burton:
http://www.joshburton.com/projects/morpheus.asp

Software: Autodesk Maya
Render: Mental Ray




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