Digital characters are a driving force in the entertainment industry today. Every animated film and video game production spends a large percentage of its resources and time on advancing the quality of the digital characters inhabiting the world being created. This book presents the theory and practice behind the creation of digital characters for film and games using software-agnostic descriptions that apply to any animation application. It provides insight from a real production environment and the requirements that such an environment imposes.
Digital Character Development: Theory and Practice, Second Edition covers the following key topics that are valuable to professionals across a wide spectrum of disciplines:
- Evolution and history of digital characters, which is critical to understanding the theory and techniques behind how characters are developed
- Contemporary issues, such as the "Uncanny Valley" phenomenon, that affect character design decisions
- Process of building characters: anatomical considerations, character motion systems, deformation (muscle and skin) systems, facial setup, and rig synthesis and construction
- Animation technology: keyframe strategies, curve interpolation, motion capture, procedural animation, artificial intelligence, crowd simulations, and interactive characters
- Future of digital characters, including research questions that remain outstanding and the challenges for work beyond them
The second edition of this book has been significantly updated to reflect the latest trends and innovations in digital character development. It includes interviews with 15 leading character development professionals that provide unique insights into the challenges and ingredients for success in this field. With rich illustrations and visual code examples throughout, this book provides a comprehensive roadmap to character development for both professionals and students.