MoonBoy

The first project for my Master Studies at CGL.

By Ban, Andy, and me.

Reach Andy here: http://cargocollective.com/AndreasFelixTritschImages

Ban has no Website by now. It’s in the works, she says. Great!

All copyrights are by us. All assets were created by us. It needs the Unity Web Player Plugin from here.

MoonBOY was conducted by Jörg Burbach, Ban Müller-Thiab and Andreas Felix Tritsch. It uses Motion Capturing with Motion Builder, Maya, Unity, and of course paper and colors. Sounds were provided by Sampling-CDs or freesound.org. All handdrawn artwork by Andreas Felix Tritsch, 3D- Modelling, and animation by Ban Müller-Thiab, Music by Jörg Burbach.

If you are interested in the background of the above interactive thing, read here!

1. Concept

The Concept for MoonBOY was somewhat openly designed. Its the story of a Boy, wandering through a small world. In the first draft, you could have walked from the left to the right, from task to task. Tasks would be like grabbing a stone, throwing it, petting the sheep, and much more. The concept-change let to an animated scene, where you can click several items.

The overall concept was well received during the pitch. Although it lacked a distinct idea of how development should be accomplished, this was kept in mind by Jörg Burbach as developer. Initially, the concept was intended to be openly thought. The timeline was met, and would have been even better, if the Motion Capture-errors would not have been emerged (see 3.1). The camera-work consists mainly of mid-tempo movements through the scene, showing off the nice 3D-cardboard- work done by Andreas Felix Tritsch and Ban Müller-Thiab.

1.1. Problems in Concept

The story was put together, not keeping the full workload in mind. Halfway through the project, we needed to adjust the amount of things, we put in. We captured four more motions than finally went into the finished project. The upside is the great reception by viewers.

1.2. Conclusion

MoonBOY was a nice project with an overall great reception by viewers. The estimated workload of about 160 hours was not met, because of failure in Motion-Capturing. For the next project, a buffer of about 50% should be included, and the current work should always be checked, whenever assets are to be finished. The technological and creative background of the participants helped to create a unique appearance.

2. Capturing & 3D-Modeling

All 3D models were made with Autodesk Maya, the characters body took around 2-3 hours modelling, and the idea for the body mainly came from a 2D Disney character (Alvin Adventure from 1987). The head needed more time to reach this more childish, cartoonish and friendly look. MoonBOY cloths texture was painted by hand on the UV set that was prepared extra clean for this reason. The heads texture was made with Adobe Photoshop for two reasons: the time factor and to make the face look smoother. The disadvantage from using the hand drawing to generate the texture was having a low resolution because the UV sets were printed on A4 size paper and the texture was made on the same size paper and of course this size is too small for textures. Bigger sizes would have added more details to the cloth and face.

Motion Capture was made with Motive Body software: it was fun, helpful and to reach this nice smooth animation with setting keys by hand would take months, but still there were many problems. One of them was using the rigs that was built in the Motive Body software and this rig was bigger and has different body shape than the MoonBOY and this was wasting time and energy.

2.1. Problems in Capturing

The first capture had some serious issues with the right-hand elbow. The joints were flipping sometimes, so we had to capture again. The error could not be corrected in a short amount of time, so we actually lost about a week of project time. During the second capture, we tested every take to be sure, it worked.

3. Visual Arts

To emphasize the dreamy appearance of MoonBOY, the visual arts were handdrawn, and then applied to 3D-models.

As the artwork was performed on paper using Aquarell colors, the general appearance is very gentle, and on purpose child-like. For the first presentation of our work, we put together a working cardboard-model of the landscape (called Cardboard Engine 0.9). This Engine helped a lot while putting together the 3D-Scene.

A farm made of cardboard

Picture 1 of 5

joerg Written by:

I am a game designer, and game- & gamification-consultant. Since mid 80s, I played games of all genres on different systems. If you like me to share my knowledge in a talk, or presentation, feel free to contact me!

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