This blog still lives, as do I (for now). Been chugging away at my film for the past while. I'm not as far as I'd like to be or as I really should be, but that's what I get for scrapping an entire semester's worth of meh work so I can do something I really enjoy.
Most of the last week has been spent creating Chester's final mesh. It's essentially done, though I may still have to fiddle with how I'm doing the eyes and mouth.
As you can see from the screenshots, I've begun work on the rig. Skin weight painting is a really tedious bit of work. I'm sure there has to be a better way than manually painting every value (doesn't Max have some sort of bone-capsule weighting system?). The rig itself is the very handy abAutoRig script found at the SuperCrumbly blog. It's a nice modular script that gives you the flexibility to set up the entire rig (minus facial setup), or just pick and choose what you want it to rig so you can do some custom controls.
I've also done some more work on the Messerschmitt. I've made the tail an actual rudder, and added the gun recesses for the nose. I'm also starting to get into effects work. The muzzle flash is a quick alpha'd texture I painted in Photoshop. I was surprised how quick it was, and it also reminded me how much I enjoy doing little effects bits. I'd much rather be doing cool little things that go PEWPEWPEW than make characters act.
Just for the heck of it, I tried messing around with the motion blur effects to see what it might look like in flight. I don't think MentalRay likes my scenes very much because I'm working with a scale designed to transfer easily to the Unreal Engine, so my dimensions are much larger than Maya likes. I have to set my far clip planes to some ungodly high value (100K or something like that) just to see all my work.
I can't wait til I get past this whole film thing so I can make an actual game out of this stuff (I hope).