CONCEPT ART + LOOK DEVELOPMENT
3D Concept Sketch
The first step in creating a Character in an Animated Production is to decide upon the “look” of the character and environment in which the character will be placed. This step includes extensive research including sourced reference imagery, mood boards etc.
The more thorough this step, the more likely the modelling artist will create something that accurately represents your vision.
Visual elements to consider are:
- Facial Features
- Brow Shape
- Brow Color
- Hair Color
- Hair Style
- Ears Shape
- Skin Colors and Textures
- Eye Shape
- Eye Color
- Nose Shape
- Mouth Shape
- Lip Color
Motion elements to consider are:
- Facial Shapes – Does the character have any specific facial expressions?
- Hair - Does the characters hair move or is it rigid?
- Clothes - Does the characters clothes move like real cloth or are they rigid?
- Body – How much of the characters body will be revealed? Full body or bust shot?
- Animation – What quality of motion are you aiming for? Low-end or photo-real?
- Camera Animation – Is the camera zooming or panning across a scene,
or is it one static shot?
We will happily develop your character with our in-house concept artists. We can provide examples of character styles, facial features, body mannerisms, lighting styles and environmental options which will help guide your decision making process.
HAIR, CLOTH + FUR DYNAMICS
RIGID + SIMULATED 3D HAIR
There are three different strategies used to model and animate hair. The first is Hair Simulation, which is used to create life-like, dynamic hair and is commonly used in high-end animated films. The second strategy is Bone-Driven Hair, where visually the hair does not flow as naturally, and the final strategy is Non-Dynamic Hair (Rigid Skin Binding) which can be described as short, solid hair which is defined by a hair-like texture. We are experienced in all three strategies, so depending on your vision, budget and time frame we'd be happy to advise and create your ideal 3D Hair solution.
RIGID + SIMULATED 3D CLOTHES
Like 3D Hair, digital cloth also can be created using two differing strategies. Cloth Simulations create animated clothes which move and flow like natural fabric, where as Rigid Cloth (commonly called Smooth Skin) is a technique in which weighs the clothes directly to the “bones” (animation rig) of the body meaning that the clothes essentially move as the body does. Mimic is experienced in both services and is happy to advise as to which strategy would most likely suit your project.
Digital fur for Ho Tzu Nyen's acclaimed 3D Tiger
Mimic is highly experienced in the creation of digital fur, having developed the renowned Singaporean artist, Ho Tzu Nyen's, acclaimed digital Tiger for multiple of his 3D art installations, developed over several years.
Camera Animation by Mimic for fashion brand, Hermione Flynn
Camera Animation can be described as "Digital Cinematography", and the particularly exciting aspect to cinematography outside of the live realm, is that in 3D, there are no physical limitations or boundaries! We would be happy to either work directly with your Art Director to develop the angles, shots and cuts in your project, or we can offer our creative "digital cinematography" alongside our Camera Animation services and develop the creative edit in-house.
Head Tracking is a service we offer to compliment our Digital Face Replacement services. Essentially, the tracking of an actors head, allows us to place a digital face seamlessly on top of a live video. This process is ideal when wanting to replicate a famous performer, ensuring that the facial model and animation perfectly represents the talent, yet the body, clothing and hair has the natural motion of a live video - perfect for holograms, such as Hit Parade - the longest face replacement hologram in history.
Digital Face Replacement for a Hologram in Hit Parade
LIGHTING, RENDERING + COMPOSITING
When lighting a digital asset, it is important that you are familiar with the varying texture maps and shaders in the 3D object to ensure the best quality and realism. At Mimic, our skilled lighting artists work directly with our texturing department to ensure that the 3D asset is optimized for the desired lighting condition. We also offer creative advise and dynamic visual solutions to ensure that the atmosphere and mood projected through the digital lighting design, supports your concept and final 3D project.
Rendering is the final phase that occurs in the animation production process. In general, the density of the modelling, and the more detailed the textures, materials and quality of the animation - the longer the render-time of each frame. We offer in-house rendering on small projects, and coordinate the outsourcing of rendering on larger projects. We will advise you as to the most economical rendering solution for your project.
The final touch in a 3D project, the Compositing integrates the various digital assets and visual elements to create photo-realistic effects and captivating imagery. Our skilled post-production artists have produced high quality compositing services for multiple digital projects and many differing industries, creating a final project which looks natural and seamless.
Mimic has had the incredible opportunity to work closely with medical doctors specializing in the cosmetic impact of the ageing process. From skin elasticity, to levels of radiance, and disintegration of bone-structure, we are highly experienced in the re-creation of the physical affects of ageing. The depth of these experiences also lent itself to the creation of the "ideal" face, including the facial proportions, structure and skin conditions associated to the scientific definition of "beauty."