Rig and Pose
I used the autorig that comes with Blender. You can find it if you activate the "Addon" (or plugin) called Rigify in the preferences. I scaled it to match my character's size and then I entered into Edition mode for bones. Then I adjusted the size of any little bones. Be careful when using "Metarig" (Rigify); it has its own layers for bones and controls, and some of them are hidden. You will find them in the properties panel under the Armature section.
There's a nice feature in the Blender bones: you can represent them in five different ways. One of them is really interesting since it has a cool property. You can use the B-Bone mode and subdivide a bone to control its deformation. It's a really nice way of achieving cool curve deformation on them for free (Fig.11)!
Final Render and Composition
Blender has another extra in the software package. It has a compositor editor with nodes for free and it's very well prepared for any production. I did all my compositing in Blender. I added a little color correction and some tricks to get the mood and lighting I was looking for. I used a normal pass to control light in some areas. I did also some light effects, like a little chromatic aberration, some vignetting and finally some adjustment on the levels (Fig.12).
I always do a clay render test. It helps me to see if the volume and the light will work with the character before the last render (Fig.13).
As a character design professional, I must say that Blender is a very good tool. It gives me all I need to achieve the same quality of characters I did before with commercial software. Maybe some tools need a little bit of improvement, but no more than in other programs. What is awesome is that you can contact the developers directly to ask for something and they respond in person - a few minutes later you can have an update with your problem solved.
In my process I was working with the same files on different computers with different operating systems including Linux Ubuntu, Mac OSX and Windows 7. I never found any problems with it and this was the final result (Fig.14).
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