Behind the Scene –
The Aliens in the Incubator
I am not used to simply conducting my work
with one single tool because I know well that all these tools
are assigned for different fields. Speaking of modeling, Nendo
will be my first choice. Nendo is a 3D modeling and 3D painting
package and it can quickly work out 3D "rough" models
with a small, light application. As to detailed process with
the model, Modo is a plus for me to make my model more exquisite.
Modo's modeler is the fastest, most advanced polygonal and
subdivision surface 3D modeling environment available. As
to detailed surface, ZBrush is highly recommended since the
new version 3.0 is greatly expected by 3D animated artists
all over the world. Moreover, I will use Maya to edit the
animation of the aliens because I think its motion editor
is the best one.
iClone... surely would be my necessity in this
case. Real-time preview would be the most beneficial feature
in 3D animation. As we know, to make a live 3D object is already
arduous, not to mention a 3D anime short. However, iClone
did it. With the release of 3DXchange, iClone's best partner
ever, iClone now can import most kinds of .3ds/.obj and thus
largely expand the creativity.
Inspiration for the Aliens
A world devastated by pollution and nuclear
wars produces a sterile generation of higher mammals, and
clones are developed to continue the human race. With an increase
in germ line mutation rates in humans living close to the
nuclear power, there is a mystery about the stimulus for this
tradition of strenuous defense of science in the post holocaust
world. Most people were more prone to congratulate the physicists
for their creation of the atomic bomb than to criticize them.
The aliens in the cultured bottles reflect the manipulation
from the human society and the pounce of the aliens for freedom.
In addition, I also took the moth as the base for reference
to make the aliens like these ones.
map and bump
To generate normal map for low polygon model,
we must lower the SDiv (Subdivision level) in ZBrush first.
Then, select Zmapper under the ZPlug-in menu, and use the
projection tab to generate normal map. After generating the
normal map, we should load it from "Bump" in iClone.
And you will see a low polygon model with an amazing visual
impact in iClone.
‧Glow and reflection
To make the alien more fancy, I put some auras with
green light around its body. This gave the alien a terrifying
look. Moreover, applying the function of "Reflection"
in iClone helps me create a shining alien which looks incredible.
The animations of the aliens
are edited in Maya 7.0 because it got great power to compose
a series of smooth motion easily. I am happy with the Maya
plug-in beta to make it reality in iClone. In VNS export dialog,
you can just simply select "Props" as your export
type. And then select "Idle" to make your aliens
default with a constant motion or "Act" to assign
it freely. Finally, open the prop in iClone and identify its
animation by the series of key frames.
‧Extensity of the room
The 3D scene is always important
to produce a shot. In this case, I use some easy surfaces
diffused with elegant walling to build it as the tumulus.
The incubator was also conducted with "Reflection"
to have it as a mirror. Applying appropriate lighting and
camera movement, you can see the arrangement of the ideas
in this short.
As to the new feature in iClone "SFX",
it really helps to make the environment more solid and abundant.
I love it since the easy usage with double click and friendly
UI to modify your parameters. I select "bubble",
"fog" and etc to become the crucial elements in
Suggestions and Comments
I think iClone is a winner since it is positioned
as a smart application. Besides the facial morphing core technique,
iClone provides an easy and friendly way to make your own
short. So far I think there are still big room for the refinement
of the AP, such as the 3D window controller, smooth camera
editing function, all-purpose lighting system, and more powerful
and compatible motion editor.
After the release of 3DXchange, iClone becomes
more popular with 3D animation market. This is the successful
step for sure, but what would be the next surprise? I am looking
forward to seeing it. First of all, I am expectant that iClone
can become a draft script of film production. Take Hollywood
movies as example, every shot will be a respectable investment,
but iClone can lower the cost since the clear display of the
concepts. Moreover, iClone is potential to be adopted by agencies
to make TV commercials and music videos. I think iClone is
cool with that and will become more attractive with the enhancement
in "the technology of concept".
Aliens in the incubator