Development Duration : 2 weeks
Platform : HTC Vive
Software Used : Maya, Unity, Adobe Animate
Artist : 2
Programmer : 2
Sound Designer : 1
My Role : Artist
The World : The Ferryman tells a tale of Charon, the Ferryman(The guest) charged with guiding a recently deceased soul across the River Styx.
Tasks Performed :
Modeled, Textured, rigged and animated a ghost like character for week one.
Modeled, Textured, rigged and animated the final character for week two.
Modeled, Textured rocks for the obstacles in the River Styx.
Fog generator particle system.
2D images/animations for memories.
I was first tasked with creating the style of the main character i.e. The dead person. The initial story required the character’s face to be indiscernible. Given that the guest should not be able to see the character’s face I attempted to create a hooded figure. We wanted the world to have an eerie and mysterious vibe and this character suited that style.
I first modeled the cloak. It was essential that the cloth had enough complexity but would not surpass a certain polygon limit. I also had to make sure that there wouldn’t be any clipping while animating the character. The most challenging bit was dealing with unity’s cloth component. Unable to find many online resources that matched my needs, I spent a good deal of time trying different ways to add the ghostly flowing characteristic to the cloak.
I had never done 2D animation before and was attempting hand drawing for the first time as well. First, I tried frame by frame animation, but quickly realized my limitations as an artist. I spent a good while researching possible techniques and finally narrowed it down to 2D rigging. I then created figures suitable for this technique and reduces the animation to a minimum, while still maintaining the essence of the message.
Week 2 :
After some crucial feedback on our story, we had to pivot and change the plot. The character could no longer be a mysterious hooded figure, but had to be a vulnerable deceased man, that could be sympathized with. The memories had to change as well
The face was crucial this time and the style of the world called for a slightly unconventional human face. The cloth component remained, but I decided to opt for a simpler garment that also suited the Greek era that the story was set in.
During the animation process I tried to make the character seem weak and low in status. The emotion conveyed through the body language was crucial as there were no expressions. I really enjoyed the process of analyzing and mapping the emotions to body language and animated the character accordingly.
These had to be more impactful as well and I took a lot more time an effort to create the scene and add effects to it. As previously done, I kept the movement to the minimum to create a simple but effective visual description.
The Ferryman was one of the toughest worlds I had to make, but given that this was the fourth round, the problem was not so much lack of experience but more the need to push and challenge myself. I tried new techniques, learnt a lot about the importance of art style and good modeling, rigging and animating practices.