One of our biggest fears for the development of the high-res version of The Journey Down has been that our main character, Bwana, would lose his characteristics and appeal in his transition to 3D. We have worked on Bwana’s model in small bursts and really want to find the right level of details to keep his look intact. To the left you can see the old 2D version and to the right the new 3D Bwana. I think we have managed to make him fairly close to his original counterpart!
The next step for me will be to set up the rig for animation. One of the more interesting challenges with Bwana will be his dreadlocks. I have been thinking of many pros and cons regarding integrating dynamics in the hair rig and I have concluded that dynamics will be too unpredictable in the long run. I do not like the thought of painting myself into a corner.
My plan is to set up a joint chain that holds 1 to 3 skin-weighted dreads and add an IK spline that will be connected to animated clusters.
Fun fact: Lots of character names in The Journey Down come from the African language Swahili. The name Bwana derives from Swahili and is translated as “mister” or “master”.