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Making of "Uncle Scrooge"
By: eder carfagnini 7.087 •

Making of "Uncle Scrooge"

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Author: Eder Carfagnini
Title: Uncle Scrooge
Modeling and Rendering: Cinema 4D
Post: Photoshop

Forum Thread: Zio Paperone

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CONCEPT
The starting idea was to convert a 2D character into a 3D model, accurate but concrete and tangible at the same time. The character choice was simple: Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck are two of my favourite Disney characters and the second one has the most interesting iconic poses.
First of all, I searched for dozens of references. Still wanting to realize more than one pose, I had to make a choice between the hundreds of images the illustrators had given us. At last, I picked these:

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After deciding the five poses, I thought about the style. In the many Scrooge's rappresentations, since 1947, the biggest differences are the cheek tufts and the tail.

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I opted for the stylized version, used for example in DuckTales, because more suitable for my idea, five miniatures-like, with base and accessories. I didn't want neither a 3D flat, too close to the original 2D, nor a real duck version, with feathers.


MODELING
First obstacle was to turn a character that shifts his morphology depending on the point of view (as usual in 2D animation), in a proper 3D model, immediately recognizable.
Before starting, I obtained from several images front and side references, to help me with proportions.

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I started modeling the face. I made the eye's loops, then I closed the skull circumference and I did the beak.

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Once sketched the face topology (still not resembling), I focus on the body, in order to check proportions, before finalizing the head.

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The body was easy to model. The hardest parts had been the hands and the tail, that needed more study to understand how to stylize them.

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In the end, I added the legs, as separated objects.

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After completing the body, I went back to the head, to make it  as reseambling as possible to his paper version. Particulary hard was to make the beak good-looking both in front and side view. I had to make several tests before being satisfied.

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For the eyes I starded from two simple spheres, one for the bulb and one for the black pupil. Then I used a FFD to deform the spheres in the shape I needed. I did this in order to keep the original rotation axis, and being able to freely rotate the eyes.

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After the body, I modeled the clothes.

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For the coat I duplicated the body, cropping hands and hip, then I made collar, cuffs and seams. I didn't model the wrinkles, because I was going to diversify them pose by pose.

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After that, I modeled the accessories, very simple objects.
Finally, having the T-pose model, I unwapped it.

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POSE
To pose Scrooge I made a simple rig, testing the new Cinema 4D (semi)automatic system. The skinning wasn't perfect, especially on the coat, but I already knew I had to modify the poses in modeling.

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I modeled some generic morphs for facial expressions.

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The coat wrinkles seemed a good opportunity to test the new Cinema 4D sculpting tools. They're very similar to Zbrush or Mudbox ones. Less powerfull but functional.

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PROPS
The bases construction took a lot of time. Coins were the hardest part. I used dynamics until I reached my skill limit in this field.
The easiest pose was the "mumble" one. I used a MoGraph cloner to pile up the coins, I created some tubes barriers, to contain the coins. The tubes and the floor were colliders. I just left the coins fall between the tubes, so they piled up as I meant.

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For the “shower” pose, I modeled a basic shape to be a collider, then I put an attractor under it. So I left the coins fall again. These gathered to the attractor and covered the mesh. The coins in the air are two simple emitters, blowing coins.

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For the “grumpy” pose I used dynamics in the same way and I added the coins columns with MoGraph. For the sack I used a nice Cinema 4D deformer, Collision, that once applied to the mesh deforms it depending the target object pressure, in this case Scrooge's legs and body.

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In the hardest pose, "dive", I wasn't able to use dynamics, so I used MoGraph to instance the coins along the wave surface, then I moved the compenetrating coins by hand. A very long and boring job, but necessary.

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For the last pose, "portrait”, I modeled the planks, then I used cloth for the carpet. At last, I assigned hair at the border polygons and I relaxed them with gravity.


SHADING
I wanted shaders more realistic than cartoon. For body, beak and legs, I opted for an undefined material, solid but not too cold. So, I made a procedural bump map, for little imperfections, and a sub-surface scattering, for a more translucent material. I drew the eye specular directly on texture.

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The clothes gave me the hardest time about shading. I set the materials before sculpting wrinkles, because they look different depending on the material, especially with very wide specular. I used the same texture for all the materials, with different color and size.

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For the coins, I modified a Cinema 4D gold material. I created two alpha maps for both faces, and I used them as bump and reflection map as well: the embossed parts are less reflective. For the side, I used the same material, but with a different serrated bump.

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For the sacks, I used a rough fabric texture, like juta (as for the coat, from CG Textures), and a second material with an alpha map: a worn dollar icon, made in Photoshop.

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And now, a detail that you can't see in the images: The Duck Dollars of Duckburg! 

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LIGHTING
For all the poses I used a different HDRI material, invisible to the camera but visible to reflection and global illumination. Some poses have an additional HDR, visible only to the coins, to increase reflections.

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The lights setup have three-four lights, for each pose: a key light, one or two rim, a fill and, somethimes, some corrective lights. Some scenes also have separated lights for the eyes.

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RENDER AND POST
I used the Cinema 4D physical render engine.  Depth of field and chromatic aberration are realized directly in rendering.

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These are the main rendering settings:

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I rendered separately every pose and I combined them in Photoshop. This is the only post correction beside the color correction.

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That's all. I hope this was useful to someone.
 
For info and contacts:
www.edercarfagnini.com

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