A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

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amanandink
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A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by amanandink » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:00 pm

Hi all
so with Moho13 release, some of us beta users can actually show what we have been working on for the past few months, playing around with the new features, particularly the Bitmap Drawing Feature.
I, myself ended up working on a short film and I am going to update to this thread new material and work in progress stuff, to give you a little behind the scenes of moho on the film.

To start with, the director really , really, really, wanted an illustrated look to the characters, and thats where the new bitmap drawing feature really came into its own.

The original character concepts were by an artist, Steph Laberis, if you haven't seen her stuff take a moment to wonder around her site https://stephlaberis.carbonmade.com/

And the director wanted to match her original concepts for the rigs. So we got Charles Kenway, some of you might now him better as @chucky here on the forum to join the team and texture the main characters. Here is an example of the concept (left) with the textured rig (right), all created inside moho. Maybe if Charles is reading this he can comment with some extra details below.
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And here is some more of his great work, Treacle our second cat character, stuck in a tree and Max the old hound (built and rigged by Victor Paredes - more on his rig in later posts :) ).
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Honestly I don't know how we would have achieved the look without the Bitmap Drawing, and I just wanted to post this stuff to show you whats possible with combining vectors, textures and some artistry.
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alanthebox
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by alanthebox » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:26 pm

Looks great! I'm curious, are the dimensions of these rigs quite large? I'm just wondering how the bitmap textures would hold up if you, say, had an extreme close up?
amanandink
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by amanandink » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:51 pm

Hey Alanthebox, I think the jam characters body is HD size and every other character is built off him. So the grey cat and little smaller, but the hound character is 3 Hd tall-ish. So the textures we have should be ok for most, if not all our cameras.
What we have done in the past is made 2 sets of textures, normal and close up which are hires repainted normals with added detail for the closer camera. And then you can change the file links to just point at the high res images.
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by alanthebox » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:23 pm

Oh thanks for the reply! That's a great solution!
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by ulrik » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:09 pm

Wow, beautiful design, yes please post more of the work in progress :D
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Greenlaw
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by Greenlaw » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:28 pm

@Jeremy, as always, you guys do gorgeous work! These characters are charming!

Please share my congrats with the entire team. I can't wait to see the finished film. :)
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by slowtiger » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:57 pm

Can't wait to see this in motion, this is what I was watching out for for years.
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chucky
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by chucky » Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:34 pm

OH Hey,
A Cat called Jam!
Cartoon Saloon have made some great characters here.
Larraine, Steph, Jeremy, Victor all the and the whole team have put some amazing work into this film, that little that I've seen on Social Media, including designs and boards.
I can't wait to see the characters in action.
As Jeremy said, I did some texture work on these guys using Moho 13!
Actually a couple have been updated since these images, Treacle the grey cat has had some subtle grooming as has the main puss, Jam, that super fluffy Maine Coon.

SO By using the right combination of vector and bitmap, these guys have sharp lines where it counts and expressive textures too.
I have to say, by using Moho 13 this texturing process was so much easier than it could have been, especially when using complicated vector masking and a lot of layers.
I could add a new layer where it was not expected or make subtle changes without changing apps or getting into a mess with conflicts between applications with different masking systems.

I can definitely recommend the workflow and even with the bitmap engine so new, it was a snap to make custom brushes specifically for this project.
Thanks also to Cartoon Saloon for inviting me to contribute in any small way to this great project. :D
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Víctor Paredes
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by Víctor Paredes » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:29 pm

I know Jeremy will cover this topic later, but for now I can say I'm extremely happy and proud about what we have done with the rigs in Jam. There are many new ideas and concepts applied to them (spoilers: I will never rig anything without using meshes again). Also, the short is looking great!
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Greenlaw
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:26 pm

Can't wait to see Victor!

I started using meshes more during my last season with Boss, but I'm sure what I was doing then is primitive compared to what you guys are doing now. :)
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rafael
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by rafael » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:42 pm

Wow, this looks amazing! Can't wait to see how these guys look in motion.
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by João Miguel Real » Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:21 pm

Really Curious to see this one....

im currently testing texture bitmaps animation with mesh to animate a ilustrated book....

Great work Jeremy and team.
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by amanandink » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:01 pm

Since alot of people are interested in seeing the textures move, here is a taster of the animation, a scene of Treacle. I will be posting more animation and other characters is due course. As well as doing some tutorials of how we constructed the rigs for animation.
but for now, here is a brief history of the animation style. When we started the project, one of the first things our director, Lorraine, said (after saying she wanted an illustration look) was that she didn't want pre-made mouth shapes or expressions built into the models, which is something we usually do on bigger productions. She wanted a hand made feel, so that each expressions and mouth shape is made by the animator in the scene. An approach that is much more in tune with 2d hand drawn animation.
It was a challenge for Victor and myself but we managed to figure out an approach using meshes that resulted in the animator being able to pose the expressions and mouth and still have them maintain in the head turns. Its something that revolutionized how we approach rig based animation, but more on that later :)

Something that is immensely important for animators when creating expressions in a scene are concept designs like this, from our designer Fran Bravo https://www.franbravo.com/
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they really help inform the animation. And I hope you enjoy this scene by Jesús Parada http://jparada.weebly.com/
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Greenlaw
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by Greenlaw » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:37 pm

Fantastic! I love seeing character sheets and tests. It's fun but so informative too.

Thanks for sharing the artwork, link and clip...and keep up the great work guys!
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chucky
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by chucky » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:08 pm

She's awesome. love the animation and great to see the board and layout.
This is the stuff that noobies really need to see.
Instead of being obsessed with head turns, they need to know layout and design. Like this!

Thanks for sharing Jeremy, made my day. :D
Oh Fran's work looks fantastic, that for the link too.
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