Painty heads – Early development

Today I switched gears to focus on one of our assets for the interview scene. We had edited the animatic to feature the painty heads which appear as Colin talks about celebrities. The vision for these is to feature rough line drawings, almost like the sketches he creates before a painting.

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Technique

After Fiona had done a few tests with animated alpha channels for the paint strokes, we decided that this same technique could lend itself nicely to this asset. This involved editing a script that she had found online, to fit what we needed it to do: fade in and out. Once we got to grips with this (with some help from programer, Ronan Duddy!), we were able to edit the timing, and intensity of the fade effect. In our animatic, the celebrity heads feature a dissolve to transition into the scene and this technique allows for that in an elegant way.

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Process

I began by getting a generic model of a head and taking a texture snapshot of the UVs. Then with the snapshot, I began roughly sketching a line drawing, referencing the painting of Glen Hansard.

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I then set up the alpha fade in and out script, to allow for our dissolve transitions.

Inspiration

When we were thinking about creating these assets, we loved the idea of them looking like continuous line drawings – reflective of Colin’s early sketches, but not limited to that style. The mood board below reflects my thinking on the topic – I like the idea of giving just enough information to show the subject, but leaving the drawing stylised enough that the viewer has to fill in the gaps.

I also looked to the art of Martin Senn, an artists who creates line drawings out of wire. What is interesting about these in comparison to the drawings above is that they are 3d – I can see the depth of the drawing and how the pieces overlap themselves from different perspectives. To see a stylised 3D reference is really helpful to help me think about how to wrap the image around the 3D mesh, and what level of detail is needed to achieve the right effect.

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