It’s Morphin’ Time!

Please forgive the Power Rangers reference – I’m just thinking about all the ridiculous characters in that show.  Wouldn’t they be a million times more awesome if 10-15 years ago we had the powerful 3d character animation tools that we have today, instead of wacky rubber suits?

It’s been a little bit since my last 3D character animation project, and I am still learning all the things you can do to animate a character using Lightwave. But character animation in 3D is a bit like riding a bike – once you have it down, you only get better at it, and the knowledge of it never leaves you. One of the features in LW9 that really expedites character animation is the Morph Mixer addon. It is a built in plugin that you add into the model’s deform properties which allows you to use sliders to control morphs to the model. This means you can create a model, and then in Modeler you can create an alternate version of that model doing something (like blinking.) Then in Layout, an animator can control the degree to which that morph happens. So, if you adjust the “blink” slider to 50%, the character’s eyes will be half closed. You can even pull the slider into the negative, to get the exact opposite effect of the morph. So, if a morph twists a character’s nose to the right, pulling the slider into the negative will twist it to the left.

Lightwave is indeed a powerful tool for 3d modeling, 3d animation, and creating 3d still renders, and at DDA we put that power to use for our clients. Choose DDA for your next 3d project, and see why we are among the top digital animation services in the Philadelphia area.