Digital character design in Cinema 4D

As usual I like to set myself extra goals. As soon as I was introduced to the Cinema 4D (excited as hell) I wanted to experiment with designing my own character. The character I wanted to make is a bit of an alien, an intruder, a stranger. A bit of me people would say ha

I have started off with scultping a face just to take baby steps. That was fun. The outcome: creepy, old version of Thomas the Tank engine 🙂

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I have moved on to creating a full body character. After watching many different tutorials I can see that there is many different ways to do it.

I found one when you create a character out of your sketch and that is exactly what I had a go at.

For those who use digital packages I don’t even have to explain that sometimes third time lucky is not a rule. You fail badly then you fail then you fail again but when you finally get it right it feels right. My issue is that I want to get things right straight away. Unfortunately, unlike analogue I am not not much in control, my hands can create what I want, with digital I can crate as much as much learnt skills will allow me to.

So I have sketched out a quick character.

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This is the view of the screen divided into 4 sections so as you can make sure it’s all symetrical.

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I have created a cut out from a cube which then dot by dot connected to my drawing so as it can get into shape.

The tutorial I followed made a model with no head. I have done it just to get a gist of the idea but then I have redone it including a head.

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Adding hands is a case of extruding it from the existing body. As you can see hand drawn images help me to make sure hands are in the right proportions to the body. I used to be overwhelmed of the amount of details you get on each screen but now I love it as I can see things happening especially when things go as I have planned.

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Creating a character was not enough for me as now I am ready to animate it. This next step has proven more difficult than I thought. I have tried few different approaches. Creating a skeletal structure and connecting it to the model I made earlier and also creating a spinal structure first then modelling around it.

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I have been quite good with documenting my work by making sure I take screenshots. This is extra effort needed for digital work but it is what it is.

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Each part of the root had to be adjusted to the right place so as it can be controlled right. “Adjust” is the word very familiar to me as currently I am working as a chiropractic assistant so I understand that I have to get the spinal structure right for the character to move correctly.

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The screen is divided into 4 parts so as you can make sure it’s all adjusted correctly because what you can see from the front view might be misleading.

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One of the other options is to create joints but then movement is more limited than when you have a spine created as you have more control over each individual part.

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Okey first attempt failed. He supposed to walk, simply walk. I don’t get put off by it because I know I am exploring very advanced areas and as a student I will not achieve first time effects that professionals do. I have always had an admiration for people who create cartoons,  moving image as learning and experimenting it I know how much it takes.

I used to be too desperate to use my experimentation, that I have spent a lot of time on in my final so as I can show how much effort I have put into it. Now I will definitely do what works best for me and I know that creating a digital character and animating it is not going to bring me as much satisfaction as hand-made models. What I always wanted to do is give clay animations a go, so called claymation. In my next blog I will research into some inspirational examples I have looked at.

Bring on claymation!!!

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