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Treasurer 3D - character design & animation *MAKING OF

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    (the Treasurer)
    * Skarbek / Skarbnik / the Treasurer in Polish mythology lives in mines and underground workings and is the guardian of gems, crystals, and precious metals. It is said, that they will protect miners from danger, and lead them back when they are lost. They will also lead them to veins of ore. To people who are evil or insult them they are deadly; pushing them into dark chasms or send tunnels crashing down upon them. Hurling rocks, whistling or covering one’s head are actions that are offensive to the Skarbnik; who will warn the offender with handfuls of pelted soil in their direction before taking serious action.
    One scene at the time:
  • Introduction
    of Skarbek.
    *There is a lot of text ahead. If You want to know anything about the process or get to know some anegdotes, You're more than welcome to read the damn thing :)
  • All appearances of Skarbek from the film:
  • We came accross Skarbek when we approached an animation gig for the promotional film for the city of Siemianowice Śląskie, which is slowly recovering from its death in the twilight of industrial era.
    The brief was simple - make a film that would promote possible investments in the city. There was only one catch - design a nice and fluffy character that would be a mascotte of the city - Skarbek. Not to mention that it's a demon of the nearby mines that pranks the miners, we were presented with the wooden sculpture of an old, wizened guy that's just plain ugly and anything but nice.
    Am I right? Our first concept was in a complete opposition. We came up with a little, cute, minimalistic ghost who holds reasemblence to Skarbek mostly by the artifacts he holds (I liked  him most with no face ;)).
  • We put him into some colorful infographics which were also an early concept of the animations for the film.
  • There was also one crazy idea of the city governement (the client). In their concept, Skarbek could magically turn into anything. We used this later in the film, but in the early stages, the client wanted to have Skarbek in the different outfits like sports apparel or suit. So we got the concept sketch made by someone else and the suited-up version looked just like a hobo ;) Here's our first no-legs and floating, ekhm... jogging guy.
  • There was no critical acclaim though ;) The client wanted more realistic version of the demon. Happily it's all better that way and our skills increased a ton thanks to it :)
    We started with taking some rigged model from the C4D library, shaving it's head and undressing it to the underwear ;) Then we made some animation tests (video below) and completely remodelled the face. Outift was the tricky one. We modelled the very rough shape of the robe (couple of times) and simulated it's final shape using the cloth engine (which was later simulated during every move of the character).
  • We knew something wasn't right. It didn't look cool. More like a fat monk ;) Fortunatelly and totally by chance, we came across the little app that changed images to some kind of vector-like art. We checked how would it look like and decided to recreate that look in 3D.
  • As You can see it wasn't all perfect and easy. Skarbek looked like some very old and creeped out gandalfy midget with too distorted hands. We needed some sign that we're going in the right direction. The clip below was more than enough. These 2 seconds saved us from having "uh, I don't wanna do it any more" attitude ;)
  • Of course it wasn't the end of things (and problems). The guy went through the series of procedures like liposuction, rhinoplasty and all the other stuff to make him nice and pretty. We also went through as many problems as Jay-Z, with animating and simulating this lil' fellow. You can see one below :)
  • In the end we settled with high poly body and the kind of low poly, triangulated robe. That way we find him cute and cool at the same time, and kids love him.
  • Skarbek appeard also in the national television, in a short commercial where he enounced the city's slogan.
  •  The first concept of a final scene for the commercial (a kind of a moving poster). Instead of golden coins, there were 'kluski śląskie' (a kind of noodles) falling off the plate next to the miner's hat floating around and the coal-pit shaft in the background. Skarbek also had to leave the weightlessness and we had to use different typography for the final version.
  • Watch all the animations excerpt from the film:
    After sparring with the concept, we've created and animated the 3D character of Skarbek for the TV ad and promotional film for the city of Siemianowice Śląskie. 
    All in all we've done it in 2 weeks, just the two of us.
    Just saying ;)
  • Please take a moment to comment. We would love some feedback on our work.
    We're also novice appreciation collectors ;)
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