When first I met Grout, I was looking for characters to help with an animatic for a post-apocalyptic animation. While most grout looks like this –>
The Grout I’m referring to though was initially a 3D golem character created by hendori-sama cc. Cc is the creative commons license which permits one person to openly use, print, copy, modify and publish the work of another, just for giving proper credit to the initial creator). Great job by the way by hendori-sama.
Actually I was looking for a 3D Zombie character on Blenderswap.com at the time, because, well most of my character creations looked rather lifeless. So in borrowing hendori-sama ‘s creation, I next set out to learn UV mapping in order to change his look to something more Zombie like. After creating the initial scene I decided to go with a green/yellow coloring via Gimp, which is another free program very similar to Photoshop for 2D graphics. The Gimp coloring looked pretty ghoulishly good in the dark of the night scene. It was at this point that I named him Grout because of his grungy grout like color/texture and Grout the golem character was born.
But then like any hero’s journey there were obstacles to overcome. The first one was that while Grout was basically a simply rigged model and easy to use, he had some inexperienced modeling technics that caused him to stick in places. This mad him unsuitable for further animation work. Thus Grout was parked until more knowledge could be gained to fix the problem. And there he sat in digital storage.
Until the day when I happened to join the BlenderPDX club. With a whole group of Noobs, (new persons), my stress was relieved as suggestions and sympathy flowed. Here was a place at last where I might be able to get answers, and certainly got good friends, kid you not. Enamored, I came up with a scheme to thank the group by acknowledging them in an animation and at the same time use the very issues of animation that had originally banished Grout to never-never land.
As seen here, Grout still had issues. He didn’t walk right and his face stuck, but that was all okay, because now he told a story. Great, only took a day to do, and the kids loved it. And then, just like that, Grout went away, again.
That might have been the end of him too, or at least one might think. You see I needed bad guys for my story, which consisted of zombies and killer robots. All that was left of the human race after the meltdown partly caused by companies like Me-insane-o, (Name change to prevent legal issues, but we all know who, don’t we!)
Then came the next BlenderPDX meeting and an insight that most vertex problems come from doubles, those nasty hidden vertex that can’t quite seem to work their way on to an armature.
Cool, animation agent 007 / Bond was back with a new mission, “Remove doubles”. And just like that and after tediously checking 43 separate armature bones/ groups Grout was back too and this time he was fully functional.
Adding a timely tutorial by Sardi Pax on Procedural Texturing and Le voilà. So thank you Sardi Pax (whatever that name stands for, who knows, I think he’s British). Anyway, put it all together and here is what I got. A nuclear powered bio-engineered monster with shimmering skin.
Point of all this is, if your new or well-seasoned at some point your pet project will run into a few hiccups and you might have to park it. If so, okay, but don’t hit delete! Use it and show others what the problem is. Like a master at chess, rather than ignoring weaknesses, focus on them until the issues can be overcome, and like a master you will grow.
Stay tuned for next time when we see what happens to the ongoing Evolution of Grout,
Meanwhile send in and show us some of your stuff.
Till next time, live and blend well.