We started with a very simple goal. We wanted to make the cutest, happiest, most positive, most charming bunny CG character in the in the history of the world! She would be cute and fluffy and happy and all the amazing things that make baby animals cute. Imagine Thumper from Bambi plus Hops from Zootopia….then times a million!!!
Why are we doing this?
What are our reasons for creating the bunny?
- We are always looking to provide our students with unique models and characters to light for their demo reels. This animated, furred character will give our student’s demo reel a more professional and polished look.
- We wanted to make a CG character that’s fun to light! This bunny’s soft rounded design will allow artists to easily create lots of shaping and mood.
- We want a TDU mascot. A character that’s recognizable and someone that we can all be proud represents us.
- Selfishly, I’ve always wanted to write fun little snippets that are almost like mini-animated-shorts…the TDU Bunny gives me a chance to do just that!
Did you create the TDU Bunny all by yourselves?
Ha! Absolutely not. We wanted her to be the best after all! So we assembled an amazing team of artists and technicians to help bring this CG character to life.
Sarah Tarr – Modeler
Chris Hill – Rigging
Pablo Cavillo / Mali Arts – Animation
Paul-Jozef Torrevillas – Fur
TBD – Materials
Bringing The Bunny To Life!
Step 1 :: The Design
If you’ve ever taken a class with us, you know that the very first thing we do is find reference. Reference is the key to organizing and formulating a plan for any project. The plan for this project…Operation Cute!!!
The search was on for the cutest animals possible! And let me tell you, if you are having a bad day, just spend ten minutes finding the cutest animal you can and it will cheer you up.
Not only did we cheer ourselves up, but we found some common elements with cute animals.
- Big Eyes
- Large Heads
- Fuzzy, podgy bodies
- Lots of curiosity and excitement about the world around them
We also searched websites like ArtStation looking for inspiration and reference we uncovered the work of Sara Tarr. Sara is a talented modeler based in Australia and her work is exactly what we were looking for. Big eyes, large heads…basically cuteness overload! So we reached out to her and, much to our delight, agreed to help us with the TDU Bunny.
Step 2 :: The Model
It took all of 5 minutes working with Sara to know we had the right modeler. She hit the ground running and was quick with updates and responded to all our requests. Her work was on point and within a month we had a fully modeled CG character and we were ready to move onto the next step of development.
Step 3 :: The Rig
With a fully fleshed-out model in hand, it was time to create the rig. We immediately turned to our good friend and long-time rigging buddy, Chris Hill. Chris worked as a Rigger at Blue Sky for years before leaving to start Bears Fruit Kombucha. Chris continues to freelance in VFX on the side and the rig for the TDU Bunny is robust and far exceeded our expectation.
Step 4 :: The Fur
Rig in hand, it was time to turn to another former Blue Skyer, Paul-Jozef Torrevillas. Paul-Jozef (PJ) is one of the first people I met in the industry. In fact, he was the first person to interview me as we were both working as Lighting Technical Assistants. He moved on to become of the best Fur TDs we ever had and is now the Character Effects Supervisor at Reel FX in Dallas, Texas.
Needless to say that PJ put together a terrific fur groom for our little guy and gave him the perfect balance of fluffiness and scraggliness we were looking for!
Step 5 :: The Materials
Materials coming soon!!!
Step 6 :: The Animation
Animation coming soon!
Step 7 :: The First Animated Scene
First animated sequence coming soon!