We also wanted to go for a stop motion, Claymation look. I took up the task of developing a boiling fingerprint texture in Maya's hypershader with my classmate Connor Bugni. The end result mimics the fingerprints and surface deformations which appear as a byproduct of hand molded clay in stop motion. To further sell the effect, our animation was stylized in a variable framerate. The effect was set up to only boil on frames which the character moved. I'm fairly happy with the end result. This was a great opportunity to dive more into the technical side of character look dev, and practice my skills in surfacing, rendering, and basic scripting.
30 second Short
"Ratburger is a short I worked on in collaboration with 5 peers as a part of my studies in Visualization at TAMU. I was responsible for layout, rigging, editorial, FX, rendering, compositing, story, some animation, and sound design. In such small groups, we all have to wear many hats, so it was a pleasure to work in areas of the pipeline I don't have as much experience in. The largest areas of growth I had from this project were in character rigging, FX, and compositing.
Previously, I hadn't worked on any character rigging, but when no one else on my team specialized in it, I took up the mantle to rig both the girl and rat character. We wanted to go for stylized toon animation, so we knew that the rig had to be capable of hitting extreme facial poses. We also had hand interactions with the steering wheel, so we planned to implement an FK/IK Switch as well. To achieve the extremes we needed, I developed an original facial rig system based off of a "toon eye" video tutorial extrapolated to every part of the face. Doing so allows each facial feature to seamlessly slide across the mesh of the face in a cartoonish manner. I also added squash and stretch controls to each feature, as well as a global head squash and stretch. In the end, this method produced a competent rig that allowed the other animators and I to give the girl unique unique animation and appeal.