Watermelon Girl (2018)
Turn Around Time:
Proving a Point
As an artist it is important to practice your craft, especially when you’re not working. Nobody will hire you for the work you haven’t proven you can do. Watermelon Girl was a chance to prove that well designed 3D animations could be made quickly. 3D is versatile and attractive, but it’s also time consuming and expensive. With this project the goal was to produce high quality designs and renders, that could be turned around in one to two days each. This would be able to meet most client timelines.
Fun on the Side
Simple geometry and lighting was used to create quick 3D animations with fast renders. However, the quality couldn’t be sacrificed in the process. Rather than focusing on photo realism, it was going to have to rely on strong color and compositions to sell the look of my project.
Watermelon Girl was an opportunity for to play with color. Without being tethered to a brand or dramatic series, there was free reign over the color spectrum. To creat an endearing world, each animation packed a punch of color for visual interested. After texturing the characters, there was a “gradient pass,” where a gradient of complimenting colors was overlayed on top of their texture files.
After rendering additional color was added in the compositing process to bring out even more vibrance in every animated loop. It’s rare to have the opportunity to play with so much color, but this project openly welcomed it.
Learning is Fun
Learning is fun, but also sometimes frustrating. Figuring out how to achieve a stylistic water simulation that could render fast was quite the challenge. Rather than do a full water simulation, I chose to animate planes and distort them to look like waves. A simple shader was used to render the water as a solid color without transparency, after that an outlined version of the water was overlaid in post. splashes were cell animated and sprinkled throughout the piece to add a little bit of extra life and realism to the water.
Sometimes it can be more difficult the simpler things get. It’s hard to reduce your tool set and find new routes to your destination when you’ve gotten so used to doing things the easy way. Watermelon Girl was a fun project to work on and it taught me a lot about optimizing my 3D workflow.