Character creation

Building the interesting characters you'd actually like to meet.

One of my earliest victories for producing The Sword of the Watch was latching onto Reallusion's Character Creator software.  I'd attempted 3D character creation on Newtek's Lightwave 3D years earlier, and I had this feeling of absolute despair in ever being able to get the work completed. Did it work? Yes. Was it practical? For me, no. A simple character was taking me months to complete.

Character Creator changed all of that.  For some reason, their workflow just clicked for me, and characters began spilling out like the proverbial fount of hope.

The second big challenge was getting animation to be believable. Now that was a killer. I have a whole new, well-earned respect for the animators of yesteryear! After years of brute force animation by hand, I fell upon Motion Capture, and again, it was a game-changer.

Body and Facial Motion Capture finally gave me a lighting fast way to bring 3D geometry to life. Of course, there were only the Carnegie-Mellon motion capture tests available for free (which fit my budget well), so I began working first with body motion capture rigging in 3D geometry.

Reallusion iClone brought that together for me again, in a package I could afford, and suddenly, body and facial motion began to look convincing! This was huge! I worked feverishly toward understanding how to fit motion capture into my workflow.

I soon progressed (ok, it was 2 years) to creating one or more characters in a day. Convincing characters, the kind necessary for digital doubles and animatics. Now The Sword of the Watch characters were coming together in glorious 3D!