These are the variant outfit designs for the alternative Housewife characters. They each consist of the same colour scheme, just revolved around different elements. I will upload the Puppet outfit variants tomorrow.
I've began to texture the Puppet character, making sure that there is a distinct contrast between this and the Housewife. I'm pretty happy with where its going, with the design bearing enough similarity to the Housewife to dictate a metamorphosis from one to the other. It needs a few tweaks in regards to the accuracy of the shaders, but other than that, this is pretty much the final outcome.
After spending the week rigging, I decided to take a break and move onto something that wasn't literally breaking my mind. Texturing seemed to be a safe option. I've almost completed texturing the Housewife character, although its patchy in places, so I'm going to need to refine it before it can be used. The hair is acting as a placeholder for the time being, as hopefully I'm going to create this using paint effects. Once I've tidied up this character, I'll create the alternate outfits for the other Housewives.
I've managed to rig the majority of the Housewife model, although this wasn't without its issues. For a start, the pole vectors for the legs were misaligned when constrained, making it impossible to align the legs in a natural position. Also, the scale constraint on the main ctrl caused the model to either bug out and bounce around the scene, or expand massively completely obliterating the controls. Hopefully these issues will be addressed in my tutorial tomorrow, though.
I'm yet to figure out a rig for the dress, but that should be a simple case of setting the individual joints to individual attributes and animating them using driven keys. As for the Puppet model, I plan to simply export the controls as a separate unbound entity, to save me a little time putting them in the right position (as they are in exactly the same place for both models). I also won't have to spend time adding attributes for the hands, as the fingers are completely inanimate. It should hopefully be a case of just simply parenting and constraining the controls to the obvious places.
I have skinned the Housewife model almost completely now. There are some minor adjustments to make, but the vast majority is out of the way now. To skin the dress, I've created a series of joints that work together to fan out and spread the dress, giving me considerably more flexibility around how it can animated, as well as eliminating clipping issues with the legs. Its not perfect, but for the moment, it'll serve it's purpose.
As for the Puppet model, I've already skinned the rigid components of the character, I.e, the forearms, calves, head, jaw and hair. This was literally a case of just binding the components directly to their allocated joints and leaving it at that. As they do not bend or stretch, there was no need to modify the skin weights in any way, an absolutely huge time saver. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to export the skin weights of the dress from the Housewife model and apply them to the Puppet, completing the skinning process in a matter of minutes, although we'll see how that goes.
If all goes smoothly, I should have both characters skinned and rigged, with full controls and basic blend shape expressions, by thursday, ready to figure out how to create the Puppet's strings during my tutorial.
Below is the playblast of the skinned Housewife character, as well as a couple of detail shots of the dress' rig construction.
I've arranged both characters' UVs now, placing all body elements on one map and all head elements or another. I've also installed the basic joints although they're yet to be skinned, which I will be making a start with tomorrow. The joints are almost identical, in the sense that I created the rig for the Housewife character and duplicated it for the Puppet character. The only difference in the rigs in the position of the elbow joint, which is is centered on the bolt on the Puppet character, and an extra joint in the calf bolt of the Puppet character also.
Below are the UV maps and shots of the joints in place.
The two characters are pretty much completely UV mapped now, although I still need to rearrange the UVs properly so that I can efficiently texture them in Photoshop. For the moment though, I should be able to go ahead and put the basic joints and controls in place without skinning the characters just yet, just in case I need to delete the history of the characters and readjust the UVs one final time.
Below are the two characters UV mapped, the dress needs some adjustment to both fit on the map and to reduce the warping across the surface, but other than that, everything appears to be going pretty well.
Whilst making final adjustments to the Housewife character, I began to a duplicate of the model up for the Puppet character. I've managed to separate the mouth piece out, as well as split the arms and legs up into segments. Seeing as this is more or less just modifying an existing character, I should have the character sorted either tonight or tomorrow.
I would like to change her facial expression somewhat, plumping up the cheeks and making her look more doll-like, as well as giving her less defined features, such as softening the eyelids and ear details, and replacing her eyes for a more artificial doll-like alternative. I also plan to add a seam around the side of the neck and down the length of the arms and legs, to make her appear as if she were cast, injection moulded or varnished and lacquered.
Below are a few screenshots of the Puppet character's early stages (looking particularly Ice Truck Killer-esque, for any Dexter fans out there).
The Housewife character is more or less done now, with only some minor tweaks here and there left to be sorted out. The majority of these tweaks will be universal to both the Housewife and Puppet characters, so I can incorporate them whilst creating the Puppet character and save myself a little time.
Below are shots of the almost complete Housewife character.
Just a quick update on the progress of my Housewife character after a day of solid repair and refinement.
I've near enough finished the head, although the ear needs to be more accurately constructed (its one hell of a mess at the moment) and the hair needs a considerable amount of livening up, not to mention her distinct lack of a means of fastening her head to her shoulders. Other than that, I'm pretty happy with how its turning out so far. I've also attached the hand to the arm, although some further tidying up and refinement is also needed on the knuckles, as well as around the wrist and some more definition on the palm. I have also restructured her overall body shape using a Lattice deformer to make her more svelte and willowy as opposed to the tree trunk aesthetic she was sporting before. The collar needs to be rebuilt and the underside of the dress needs to be completed, but I don't see any reason why I shouldn't have this finished by late Sunday night (even with going to work in between).
The final model has somewhat gone the opposite way in relation to the orthographics, although I feel this may ultimately be for the better.
Below are some images of my progress so far, looking particularly Weeping Angel.