|Merlin's humble beginning - the source curves and extrude settings used to create the base licorice stick|
Since this model was so geometric and I wanted to keep my edge flow very specific for animating I started this model in Maya. At his core Merlin is a 6 sided star shape extruded (with a twist) to form a licorice stick - then that same licorice stick duplicated and connected back to the body as arms and legs.
|Body blocked in - face geometry was a separate piece just like the arms and legs|
|Merlin in Zbrush looking very unenthused about his concept sketch?|
Now on to the robe. As I mentioned earlier, I was concerned about the robe, more specifically about the robe deforming properly using Maya's nCloth system. This is because I modeled the robe as a two-sided piece of geometry in ZBrush and wasn't quite sure if the cloth simulation would work. To allay my concerns I did a few tests.
The outcome of my last test can be seen below - the nCloth reacts really well to a few extreme poses!
Alright, the animation on my test wasn't great, but it wasn't intended as a show piece - just an nCloth test. In fact, I hokily rigged the model by quickly smooth binding Merlin's body to a stock Maya skeleton. Meh.
For those interested, the nCloth setup wound up being fairly straight forward: the robe nCloth was simulated using a very low resolution single-sided polygon shell, then I used that shell to drive a wrap deformer on the higher resolution, two-sided robe. To prevent the robe from running off Merlin's scrawy, licorice frame I used a point-to-surface constraint around the neck verticies.
The real rigging process will start in earnest now. Look for a fully rigged and ready for animation Merlin in my next update...