Project 2 Animation Studio :Dialogue, action and interaction. The House, The Gnome and the Rat. -Design in Zbrush

With the Zbrush class now being over and done after 8 weeks of work, I have successfully created all parts needed for the scene.

The house was designed several times, with the starting design being a kettle and front ‘porch’, which I eventually didn’t go for as the room within the house was not what I wanted it to be and other interior simply didn’t translate as I wanted it to.  The second design was a tree trunk.  The design being simple, but too large for me to work with after some debate with my course leader.  To my knowledge there should be some flow in the movement when filming, just like the previous 1st year project ” The lair.” where we were meant to create a house with 4 rooms through which the camera guides the viewer.  This wasn’t the case with the current project, we are meant to create a small animation with cinematic value and so we were meant to implement cinematic ‘scenes’ instead of a ‘walk through’ through the house.

I eventually decided to leave the house be with its final design, simply because I was losing too much time on creating a house rather than starting on the main characters of the story.


The gnome.

The design for the gnome was there and again I was stuck in Maya with the design, feeling that I wasn’t able to do it just yet in Zbrush as we were only 2 weeks into learning the program (1 session a week).  However, I did eventually decide to go for it and created the gnome.  His outfit was textured onto his design with the aim to lower the poly count as much as possible.  The complete design of the gnome took place in Zbrush, however, I did create his teeth and eyes in Maya and coloured them in Mudbox rather than with Zbrush’s polypaint. – The original design of the gnome had a large moustache. One that moved whenever he spoke or mumbled.  Though further into the week I started to doubt the ‘close mouth’  and after some feedback from my course leader I decided to reform his lower jaw and part it, add teeth to it and see how that would work.  The moustache was still there until one of the other students in my class pointed out that it might be a bit too much on his design and with the jaw being able to move now, a redundant part on his face.  Therefore the final design is much different than the original concept, but much more able to translate the emotions that will have to happen during the final animation.


The rat.

With the rat I first thought I’d create him in Zbrush after the gnome was a success. During the 4 week training in Zbrush I became more confident in creating anything in the program and created the rat in there as well.  My initial idea was to have him walk into the introduction scene and have him slump down in front of the door where he’d fall asleep, this action being the main issue later in the animation as the gnome would be unable to leave his house and so interaction would be met.  Though, when creating the rat, I didn’t meet any problems but when going over the several story lines for interaction the introduction scene became more and more of a hassle and moot point rather than an addition to the animation. This is why the final design of the rat is a simple model of the rat, laying on his side asleep. The only movement he will make will be some breathing and his tail which he swoops upwards at one point in the story to rest it over his head to not be disturbed during his nap.

rat 6.png



Overall the progress in Zbrush has gone great.  I can’t say I’ve struggled with the design of the gnome or the rat within the program and the transition to Maya went very smooth aswell.  I do see myself using the program much more in the future as it made modeling models a much more stress free experience than character creation did for me in Maya.


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