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June 14, 2013
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:hooray: ENGLISH…






:bulletred: The process of creating characters at Disney is an evolving, collaborative effort. We start with a strong design and must maintain the appeal it conveys throughout the animation pipeline. The design evolves throughout the process, but a large part of what we do is maintaining the attitude and personality of the original drawing as it translates into 3D.

We use ZBrush at WDAS as a tool that allows us to make changes and explorations quickly with designers and animators. We can explore facial expressions, and test out proportion adjustments on the fly without waiting for draw-overs or note sessions.


:bulletred: It's always an interesting challenge translating a drawing to 3d, but particularly at Disney I've felt an importance to keeping true to the use of linework that is such a basic component of the Disney animation 'feel'. We are trying to keep the spirit of a 2d drawing in 3d space. Using the ZBrush tools has helped enormously with this sculptural side of modeling, it gives the freedom to explore shapes and proportions quickly. Coming from a traditional sculpture background this software feels like a familiar way to explore form.

When modeling a character we work closely with the character designers in an interactive way. We have 'Working sessions' where by, after an initial pass at the model ourselves, a character designer will make suggestions on the model while exploring options. With ZBrush these notes can be addressed immediately, for example, scaling a head up or down or changing the placement of a plane change in a certain area of the face. Working this way helps the evolution of a character a great deal, and I've personally noticed the benefits of elevating a character this way.

I think what's most important to me about ZBrush is that it helps me find the arrangement and balance of forms fast and efficiently on a production schedule. I also find that the materials in ZBrush can help 'sell' the character, even a quick pass at this can help with presenting the work.


:bulletred: Hello all, my name is Stefano Dubay, and I am a character sculptor here at Disney. Like many other Zbrush users, I used to use the program to create detail-heavy characters. Upon my arrival at Disney I was somewhat surprised to see how crucial ZBrush is in this pipeline. The first lesson I learned here was that simplicity DOES NOT mean translate as easy to sculpt. In animation every minute angle of a 2D curve defines different plane changes that compose the form in 3D. The exactness of your execution is what gives the correct feeling and mood to the character- in one word it's appeal. ZBrush comes in as a necessary tool to sculpt these forms. This is because of the flexible control of the surface given by the sculpt approach to modeling. The various tools already in ZBrush make it possible to change the model very quickly and exactly. I usually start by finding where the curves break, in design these places are called hits. The various hits build up a rhythm in the silhouette that has to look good from every angle.

After that I figure out what exists between these curves, might it be plane changes or the way a highlight travels along a surface (and that depends on how the plane curves between two specific plane or contour changes. This and much more is involved in the development of an animation character, and it has to happen fast, and it has to be quickly editable too since we have interactive modeling sessions with the character designer on a daily basis. My experience here at Disney taught me a lot and also made me better at making the cute, creepy, and detailed critters that I make in my spare time, but that's another story. Again remember that simple doesn't mean easy. In simple designs streamlined shapes have to coexist in perfectly balance without the help of a load of details that help hide possible shape inconsistencies. As an analogy think of an animation character as a high end sport car

There there is no need or rivets, gun-ports, turrets, needless air grills and such. All those superfluous details are irrelevant when the design is made out of just a few aerodynamic curves. Those curves, though are crucial to make something with an intrinsic beauty as an object of design.


:bulletred: Coming into Disney Animation, I was thrilled to find out that not only were we allowed to use ZBrush, but it was encouraged on our characters. It's a useful way to have productive working sessions, present models, clean up and simplify our meshes for production.

ZBrush is a powerful way to handle our face shapes. With our facial systems, it's important to control the direction the vertices travel and how the forms build up when blending one shape into another. Without subdividing, move and smooth brushes quickly get us where we want to be. Our riggers bake out blendshapes and we clean them up nice and pretty. Sure, we could do it all in Maya, but it just doesn't have the same delicate touch that helps us preserve the simple and elegant forms we've defined in a model's neutral state. Having working sessions with our riggers and character animators in ZBrush is painless and we can give them exactly what they want technically and artistically with a lot less back and forth. Keeping those characters appealing and "on-model" by Disney standards from start to finish is our priority.


:bulletred: A lot of this early vis dev modeling really started happening on Tangled. Now we carry this philosophy onto the beginning of every film we make here at Disney Animation. All the main characters went through this on Wreck it Ralph. We've realized that so much of the design changes after we get into CG, that it would be to the productions benefit to start modeling much earlier than we have on previous shows. ZBrush allows use to do these sculpts quickly and with a more organic feel.


So far, so good... I found this really interesting; specially on the focus that a lot of effort is put on CGI animation, as much as 2D ones.
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:iconturbotastique:
Turbotastique Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I want to see more images...
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:iconmrottweiler-dog:
MRottweiler-Dog Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013
There's a link on the post with more images on it ^^u
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:iconturbotastique:
Turbotastique Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh, I not saw the link...OH WOWWWW Why they don't included this in the Artbook of Wreck-it Ralph? I don't understand why we don't see any conceptual art of King Candy in cybug version and if we have sketchs for Turbo, we have no explications about this character! That weird...Don't understand the author's logic...
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:iconjbwarner86:
jbwarner86 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013
I believe the art-of book came out about a week before the movie did. They probably wanted to keep it more or less spoiler-free.
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:iconturbotastique:
Turbotastique Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I think so!
Reply
:iconshinragod:
shinragod Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
This is neat because it's a real insight into the creation of a character.
It's all a matter of shapes and how they harmonize with one another to bring a fully believable and lovable character to life.
Without knowledge of shapes; your characters is just a barely feesible piled mess that would be Hell to animate.
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:iconmrottweiler-dog:
MRottweiler-Dog Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
True that, Sir =3
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