milo - (bge) game character

this is milo, a seahorse - character which is in development for a pretty long time now, perhaps because i was thinking too much about how it should be and could be during the modelling process and i surely had been disneyed to the bone while i was sketching, considering and looking for reference - pictures, which complicated the case a lot in retrospect. maybe that is why the workflow while modelling this character has been cumbersome and painfully and came to a standstill frequently as i failed at carrying out a personal style again and again looking too closely at the references. finally i found mother natures reference for a seahorse shape to rely on which was the template for the actual appearance of the character.

however i do not want to abandon this character and i am planning to put it into action, so critics on the shape, appearance or just one or two words how this looks to you at a first glance would be very helpful to improve this!

edit:updated render

[ATTACH=CONFIG]300811[/ATTACH]

So far so good :slight_smile: I like face expression even without eyes open :slight_smile: I’m waiting for more.

Well Done ! I think your style has been very successful.

thanks! milo - say hi.

edit:updated render

Nice! He looks like he just woke up and fall asleep again :smiley:

Wow, how could you not like that sweet character…love it.

the closing eyes…really cool, did you use shape keys for that?

glad you like it, seems that there is something to the small-child-pattern like big eyes, small head.

i’ve been using shape keys, had to do 2 keys for every single eyelid and a proper eyelid movement, but there are still issues like the bump on the upper left eyelid at the end of shapekey 1.

to be honest, neither the shrinkwrap modifier nor the snapping tool were handy for the eyelids in this case (both tips from people at freenodes’ blender channel which is worth visiting at irc/freenode #blender), so i had to do the shapekeys single-handed at last. for the shrinkwrap, the mesh resolution seemed to be too low to work properly and the snapping tool wasn’t a snap as expected. i am still wondering, if it is possible just to keep vertex or vertex-groups above the surface of a sphere while moving over the eyeball in this case, this would help a lot and save time animating the eyelids.
as far as i see, the shrinkwrap - modifier is just calculating the surfaces above the target object, disregarding the position of the vertex and i haven’t found any option to force the modifier to keep the vertex also above or snapped to the targets’ surface. after i put a lot of time in the investigation how to do the eyelids’ animation easily with blenders’ tools and modifiers it is kind of curious to me, that i still haven’t found any easy way to do the eyelids movement and that there is not a simple, time saving solution regarding how often people are creating characters and animate them.

but maybe it is just a lack of skill and there is a simple solution i just haven’t found yet.

what was the reason you decided to use a sphere for the upper eyelids? looks pretty cool, so i guess this was a style - related decision or have you been struggling with the eyelids too?

Yes, I too struggled to get the shape keys to work for the eyelids.

So glad to hear I am not alone in the struggle with eyelids. I spent way too much time trying to solve that with shape keys and failed.

Since shape key vertices move in a straight line you won’t get them to follow a curve…unless…as you found… you do small steps and shape key each eyelid with eyelidcls_001.L, eyelidcls_002.L etc…that still did not give me smooth look to the simple rotation I needed.

I did not find a solution online but it seemed to me that a bone would rotate my eyelid. So I added a bone for the eyelids and a bone controller. I then made those bones part of his facial rig controls it was then pretty simple to use. It also gave me a perfect mesh fit over my bulging eyes.

You should be able to use a bone to control the vertices of your eyelids. Then you can have a nice tight eyelid with smooth movement. Assign those verts via a vertex group and you should be good to go.

I too wonder why this is not looked at a bit more …perhaps its too simple and folk don’t think anyone would need help with it. My eyes are pretty extreme so that might make it an exception.

Eyes are so important. They convey the soul of our 3D characters, I think my next build will give the eyes a lot more control and shape keys. This will give me more bullets to show the viewer how they think and feel.

sorry to go on so long…you’ve most likely already go through this same thinking for your character.

-j

Yes, I too struggled to get the shape keys to work for the eyelids.

So glad to hear I am not alone in the struggle with eyelids. I spent way too much time trying to solve that with shape keys and failed.

Since shape key vertices move in a straight line you won’t get them to follow a curve…unless…as you found… you do small steps and shape key each eyelid with eyelidcls_001.L, eyelidcls_002.L etc…that still did not give me smooth look to the simple rotation I needed.

I did not find a solution online but it seemed to me that a bone would rotate my eyelid. So I added a bone for the eyelids and a bone controller. I then made those bones part of his facial rig controls it was then pretty simple to use. It also gave me a perfect mesh fit over my bulging eyes.

You should be able to use a bone to control the vertices of your eyelids. Then you can have a nice tight eyelid with smooth movement. Assign those verts via a vertex group and you should be good to go.

I too wonder why this is not looked at a bit more …perhaps its too simple and folk don’t think anyone would need help with it. My eyes are pretty extreme so that might make it an exception.

Eyes are so important. They convey the soul of our 3D characters, I think my next build will give the eyes a lot more control and shape keys. This will give me more bullets to show the viewer how they think and feel.

sorry to go on so long…you’ve most likely already go through this same thinking for your character.

no problem - thanks for your reply!

i’ve been thinking and investigating a lot about the eyelid issue. parenting the vertex-groups of the eyelid to a bone didn’t work as expected with this character. tried this already at early stage but had no luck with it espc. because the forehead of the seahorse is pretty flat and the eyelid has to fold under the eyebrows while moving up for example.

eyes are important but i think what lasts is the whole composition of the character and its expressiveness.

fully rigged the seahorse now and did some early animation tests…

looking cool! nice to see the animation
.