Due to the popularity of the Imps rigs and the animation (above ^) by Animation Mentor alumni, Manfred Ragossnig, we thought you might like to learn more about his process. At Animation Mentor, our community is full of artists who share their work, their challenges, and their processes. Today, we bring you the story behind “Pink and Blue” and how he used the new Animation Mentor Imps rigs to animate. Big WOOT to Manfred for his work! To join the tribe of artists, apply by October 25, 2013 and get started in January 2014.
-The Animation Mentor Crew
What was the most challenging part of Pink & Blue?
Manfred: For me the most challenging part was to simplify the animation, keep it short and have the animation read despite the fact that the characters don’t have eyes. And I really wanted to make the characters fluffy and cute. Knowing nothing about fur and having limited knowledge about lighting and rendering – the whole process getting the look I wanted was a fun challenge in itself.
Can you explain briefly how you textured and lit the characters? What was your process? Render time per frame?
Manfred: The characters just have a simple lambert shader and the fur is standard maya fur with some painted fur attributes. The whole shot is lit with maya physical sun and rendered with mental ray with global illumination and final gathering turned on. Rendering in 720p on a mac mini and a macbook took about 120 seconds per frame. Around 10 hours for the whole shot.
What is your background in visual effects?
Manfred: I graduated from Animation Mentor in 2007. Before Animation Mentor I had no animation or CG experience. Since my graduation I worked in feature film and games in the UK, Austria and Germany. I’m living in Berlin right now, just finished a short film with Anthony Wong (PIXAR) in the Czech Republic, work on my reel and look for new opportunities and challenging animation projects.
Your Pink & Blue animation is quite different from your game animation — any advice for how animators on how to transition between styles of animation?
Manfred: It was a lot of fun and challenging to work on cutscenes for “Spec Ops: The Line”, but my real love gears towards cartoony animation. The transition between hyper realistic motion capture animation and cartoony animation always takes some time. It helps to watch some of your favourite animated movies and go back to the twelve principles. Keep it simple.
What is the best piece of advice you’d offer to other CG artists?
1. Get to know the pipeline and what happens to your shot before and after your job is done.
2. Never stop learning. Show early and show often.
3. And don’t forget that there is a life outside with better resolution than anything you could build yourself.
Learn more about Manfred Ragossnig and see more of his work on his website.
Read more about the Tribes Character rigs and how you can get access to them.