Daisy is a character I made as part of my Character Animation II class in the summer term of junior year.
 

I am responsible for both the model and the rig of the character. 

 

August 2020 / junior year  

This summer I decided to do something different and totally outside of my comfort zone. I've never done full-on stylized characters before, plus I had no experience with facial rigging, so I decided to give it a go and see what comes out of it. On top of all of that, I've only gotten into zBrush about a month before the class started, so you could say I was signing up for a whole bunch of intense learning, haha

In terms of sculpting, I didn't expect that it would be such a pleasant and rewarding experience. I really enjoyed the task and got to get more familiar with zBrush in the process. I had a whole bunch of references for the style I was going for, but this particular sculpting demo by Follygon really helped me translate those ideas into practice.  

For retopology, I decided to do it by hand to get the most out of the process. One cool thing I've learned from this video by Dew Diehard is how you can arrange your edge flow on the character's knees and elbows for the best deformations. This was incredibly useful and I applied these concepts to the Daisy's model. 

My very first facial gym for Daisy

Facial gym 34 scene files later

Facial rigging was the focus of this class, and to be honest, I was dreading it. By the end of my third year, the upperclassmen horror stories about breaking rigs and weight painting were so ingrained in my brain that I thought there was no method to the madness and I simply had to suffer through the process. To my great surprise, I actually enjoyed setting up my rig. I went for a mix of joints and blend shapes, with joints for the upper half of the face and blend shapes for the cheeks and mouth. The rest of the body was a basic bipedal rig. Rigging the face that I modeled was an eye-opening experience as I uncovered some issues with my sculpt and topology. One big revelation - don't skimp on polycount for the face! You might think it's enough loops to hold the forms, but it's probably not. I wish I had some more loops going through the nose and cheeks. Lesson learned :) 

For the skirt, I took a stab at creating a dynamic setup that wasn't 100% nCloth. I used joints controlled by IK spline handles that were in turn controlled by dynamic nHairs.