To create a believable moving flat giant crab I needed to split up the watercolour illustration within photoshop. I first colour adjusted the image, then I masked out the limbs and body using the pen tool, making sure to leave a bit extra where the limb overlaps with the body*.
I then bring the PSD file into After Effects retaining layers from composition. The layers are named correctly so its easy to identify each part. Then with layer constrains and the pin tool within After Effects I am able to “rig” the giant crab puppet.
Here is a video demonstrating the movements of the body I can now perform ready for animation.
*the reason for this is to prevent there being a gap during limb rotation
A lot of this week I have been focused on watercolour backgrounds including the 3d Boat I created in Maya. I finished the toon lines and did the UV mapping using the multi tile technique. The boat is split into 3 tiles output at 4k resolution. I have scanned the watercolour textures at a high resolution of 1200 dpi as well. I may be being a little over cautious but it’s better to start large as with adjustments there will be plenty of pulling and stretching in photoshop, which will degrade the image.
I trace out the texture using a printed out UV snapshot.
You can see that there wasn’t much stretching needed from the final scanned in watercolour texture, however you won’t see the failed first attempt! I discovered that it works better if the watercolour is kept simple without any details. Starting with details leads to things not lining up, which takes a lot of adjusting. Photoshop is a great tool for adding details if they are needed later on.
The decking is probably the most detail I painted for the boat and that took a lot of work in photoshop to get it to line up correctly.
I have also been adding the additional background animations, such as the whale. I started with a design of a whale that was morphing into a tanker(ship). I decided to not go with this and to stick with a more single concept of houses on the back of sea creatures.
You can see an example of how the animation for the 2d watercolour elements look after they have been scanned and animated in after effects. I rely heavily on the pin tool!
My first character animation has been animated in flash and this will later go with the boat as the background.