It all started with a hand-drawn sketch of a little robot. My wife carried this sketch in her wallet for many years.
Finally, I decided to bring the sketch to life. The sketch became the 3D character „OrbyBot“, which I created with the Cinema 4D software.
OrbyBot was born
Now OrbyBot is the main character of my short animation films. This project is a one-man production and was completely developed and implemented by me. Of course, the film would not have been possible without the support of my wife and our daughter (including toleration my outbursts of anger at unexpected problems in the working process).
THE FIRST SHORT FILM IN THE SERIES IS SNOWBOT 21
The number „21“ is a special number for me and my wife. We met on the 21st and got married on the 21st. So we decided to integrate the number „21“ into the first short animation film. This is how the name „SnowBot 21“ came about. Afterwards I noticed that I created the film with Release 21 from Cinema 4D. This connection was not intended. Nevertheless, from now on the other short animation films will bear the number of the release in which they will be created. The next film is already in the planning.
TOOLS, TECHNICAL CHALLENGES AND METHODS
All objects and characters as well as the film itself were created in Cinema 4D. Especially the Cinema 4D tools like Character Animation Tools, MoGraph, Fields, Volume, Thinking Particles, Dynamics, 3D Painting were very helpful for my work. I used Substance Painter and BodyPaint for texturing. For post-production I worked with the Adobe Tools After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator. I created the audio track with Adobe Audition. For the sound I used my own sound elements and stock material from Audiojungle. The yodelling sound is from Audio Colors (Julien Apelian). The short animation film was rendered on the Rebusfarm.
TECHNICAL CHALLENGES AND METHODS
The 3D character of the OrbyBot consists of separate 3D objects. For me it was important to put the UVs on a single map and to arrange them optimally. This task was difficult to solve with the previous tools from Cinema 4D.
It would be great, if Cinema 4D could expand the tools so that this task is easier to manage. The idea is to have a tool, which can arrange UVs of different objects on a single map.
For texturing I used the Projection Settings from Cinema 4D’s Material Tag like Cylindrical and Flat to project the texture elements, which I made in Illustrator. Then I baked the textures to the UV map. I also generated an ID map, so I could continue painting and generating details in Substance Painter for the final single texture.
Creating the trees
For the trees I created a branch system out of splines, so I was able to place the needles with the Cloner Object. Another method was to use the Feathers Object. But in this case it was more effective to work with the Cloner because I connected all the needles to one geometry object. The Volume Tool was very useful for the snow on the trees. In combination with Thinking Particles, I was able to generate snow automatically on the branches. The LOD made it possible to manage the variation of the trees and to optimize the scenes.
The Take System was also very useful for the project. This allowed me to manage the different camera settings in the same scene. It also made the rendering process clear and easy.