Update – Sheep

After the feedback from Alec about the animals not matching the style, I went back to the sheep. I didn’t do much to the body but I changed the shape of the head more rounded and made the eyes bigger. I also gave him eye brows similar to the other animals.






Final Presentation

Today was our final presentation on the class on how our project has progressed just before the final touches. We showed the final Grace and Dillon models with turntables. Since the last presentation we have created background houses using the feedback and our pictures we took from the Folk Museum. We also did some background animal characters. Even though Joel did not asked for these, we had a little time to do some more characters. So we created Murphy the dog, sheep, rabbits and ducks. Feedback from the presentation Alec thought that the animals did not look like they all belonged to the same world. So we will be looking to make changes to them so they all have the same style.

Amazing Grace Final Presentation

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Grass Tests

Cliodhna had been working with paint effects for the grass and hedges. After the final presentation we noticed some issues with them. There was a lot of different seperate sections and it was like a crazy jig saw puzzle trying to fix floating grass etc.  I had a look at paint effects for myself and discovered that some of the problems she had could easily have been resolved. For example, converting them to polygons, to prevent it from shrinking in size when converted the polycount limit needed to be higher. Also she had issues with the Grass jumping to a different place (and then manually moving them). This was resolved by UV mapping the plane.

So instead of refixing everything it was quicker to start again. Here are some of the tests that I did for grass




Experimenting with different brushes for best look that matches with the Flickerpix concept.

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Texturing Dillon

Taking the Snap shot of the UV map I used Photoshop to add in the colouring. Joel wanted to keep him the same colour as his original concept. most horses have a different colouring on the legs below the knew which I give Dillon, also a lighter colour on his nose. For Dillon’s hair I past him to Rebecca who did the same style as she did for Grace, using Zbrush.




Murphy the Dog

This is a  character in the original concepts but Joel was not fussed if we did him or not. After finalising Dillon I felt that I had time to do another character, so I tried my hand with sculpting a dog. I relied mainly on the original concept since we haven’t been able to show Joel any new designs

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Since Amazing Grace is located in the Irish Countryside it would make sense to have sheep in the fields. I modelled some baby lambs on Zbrush for this. I looked at real life pictures of lambs for reference.


The plan was to use paint effects or xgen for wool but I was worried for time so for now I will make do with a texture. (and make the lamb fat hehe)


Fourth Meeting

Again the meeting was conveniently at the same time we had a presentation so we were able to show him what we had presented to the class. Since we last met him he wanted to see what the eyes would look like further apart. So for this meeting Rebecca created three images with different variations of eye widths. Looking at these Joel  decided that the original was best and to keep the eye distance.


Rebecca included a turnaround of Grace to let Joel see the nose changes she made since our last minute. She also included a coloured version. He really liked how Grace was coming together.

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For the braid style we included some examples of what they look like (Jenny modelled for us). This was because the last time he saw the braid he thought it should go thicker at the bottom, which is not the case.

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So after discussing the research we did for a braid we showed him the different hair styles . Rebecca made different turn arounds to show how the hair has been updated, including the first draft of Grace so he could properly see the changes. His feedback with this is that he likes the volume in her hair but he would like the fringe to have more shape and edges, also less covering the eyebrow

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Sinead showed Joel the progress she had made using Marvellous Designer. jenny had modelled the hat and boots and they combined them together. He liked how the clothes are coming along. His feedback was on the coat, he thought it should be smoother with less ruffle detail and perhaps more puffy.

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Since the last meeting on showing Dillon the horse I did some experimenting of shapes to try and make his face look younger. I showed Joel some of the different styles I looked at.

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When I showed the horse that I had been working on he really liked how much younger he looked from the last attempt. His only feedback was that his jaw should be more defined. Also he wants the fringe on his hair to come between the eyes but more looped and curling off the head slightly.

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Jenny had showed him her progress of modelling the farm. He liked the new roof on the stables and how she has added on a shelter. The original concept had the stables connected to the house but he was happy enough that she kept it seperate.

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He seemed rather impressed that we spent the day at the Ulster Folk Museum taking pictures for research,

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Cliodhna took some screen shots of Grass and Tree paint effects on Maya

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Update – Dillon

Since our meetig with Joel his main critique of Dillon was that he should look younger to relate to Grace and the younger audience. So I did different experiments trying to get that young look in Dillons face.

I did some research in ‘Cute cartoon horses’ and look at examples of ‘My little Pony’. I noticed that that they have rather round faces and do not have that long horse nose. Having a round big forehead and large eyes seems to give a baby cute effect.

Vector Illustration of skipping beautiful golden horse
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So with this in mind I tried different variations:




I completely restarted Dillon on Zbrush and keeping the feedback and experiments in mind, this is the Dillon I had finished with. I will be showing this to Joel on our next meeting to get his feedback. I added some lambert colour for him to get a better idea at how he would look.


Third Meeting with Joel Simons

For the third meeting with Joel we met in the University Cafe. We had our presentation in a couple of days so we had our work already in slides. We find this is an easier way to present the work we have done so far.

Since the last meeting Rebecca has done different face shapes for Joel to look at. He prefers to see various examples for him to choose from rather than trying to imagine what it would be like. He isn’t entirely sure what shape he wants Grace, and it has taken a few examples for him to decide the direction he wants us to go. After looking at these he wanted us to combine two, giving her a more rounded head shape but a v shaped chin.

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The next part of Grace that Rebecca had worked on his her hair. Since the last meeting she had only her hair down and flowing. Joel had said it was a little flat, and to add more volume. So for this meeting Rebecca has given Grace’s hair more shape and form, as well as added another plait hair style. This style was discussed at the beginning that can be used as a potential outfit change. As she is a horse rider a plait or french braid is very popular. The slide below shows the changes.
Joel’s feedback on these was as follows:

  • Curls at side of the face longer and thinner.
  • Hair more rounded at the top of the head.
  • The Braid should be thicker at the bottom with more of a curl.

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During this meeting this is the first I have shown Joel my sculpt of Dillon. I explained  to him how I used a reference of our concepts and a real Connemarra pony, since he wants this to be realistic as it is an educational show. his eyes are large with eyebrows to better show his expressions to interact with Grace. I also took care to add proper body porportions since Grace will be riding him.  Joels feedback was as follows:

  • Make him look younger to relate to younger audience.
  • Have his hair more volume, similar to Grace
  • He liked his proportions but again tie it in to a more younger looking horse.

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Sinead has been creating Grace’s clothes using Marvellous designer. Joel has never seen this software being used and was intrigued. His only comment was that her body did not look like that of an eight year old, but we had to explain to him that it is a little hard to judge without her head.  Also he mentioned that he didnt think a young girl would have skinny jeans, but we had to remind him that she is a horse rider and also wears boots, and this is the realistic outfit that she would wear.

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This week was the beginning of looking at the environment. Cliodhna  started to model some trees and flowers and Rebecca did a few background houses. Joel’s vision of the environment in Amazing Grace is that of an old Irish country side. His reference of the farm house / animal sanctuary was taking from the Folk Museum in Belfast. He wants the houses to be old with thatched roofs.

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Sculpting the Horse (Dillon)

This is my first time sculpting a horse using Zbrush so I had to look at several tutorials to get a better understanding on how to do it.



To begin with a blocked out the horse shape roughly using Zsphere. After I get the intial shape I use the move tool, smooth and build up or clay tubes to create the rough shape of a horse. As shown below:




To make the eyebrows I used the topology brush to draw on the shape. I like using this method inside of a seperate sub tool because it stays on top of the head mesh. After I get roughly the shape I desire I convert it into a mesh. At this point I seperate it from the group so I can work on the shape better without interfering with the head.




For the eyes I place two spheres for the eyes balls. Using the curve brush I make the shape of the lids using the spheres as guides. This I smooth it out and add some detail for the eye lids.



I wanted the mouth to be opened, so following a similar tutorial and uses the clay tubes tool to make a large dent around the moth area. I then used the curve tool to create the lips. I accidentally made them a little too fat at first but after a lot of smoothing and readjusting I got them looking natural.


First Draft

Here are some screens shots of Dillon. I did the hair by using the move, smooth and pinch tools to try and get a layered hair strand look. In our next meeting I will be asking Joel what he wants for the hair and how he wants it shaped around the face. The hoofs were cylinders smoothed out and shaped, seperate from the body. As this is for a smooth animation I did not have to go too detailed on the model, but still showed some form for where the muscles are on the legs and jaw etc.