For Easter 2017, we thought it would be amusing to create short gag that we could email around and post on social media. We had the idea of somebody tucking into a chocolate bunny, only to be chased by enormous chocolate bunnies who didn’t take too kindly to what was happening. We didn’t want to spend too long on it as it was just a fun little side project for us, however it was really good practice and helped us streamline our character creation pipeline.
Despite being on a tight turnaround, the model was still created with careful attention to topology. Topology is something that you can’t really cheat when it comes to rigging, and mistakes here can be very costly somewhere down the line.
Definitely the easiest process of all. It’s a chocolate bunny after all, so just a simple Arnold shader was plonked on, with total disregard for UV maps. We wish it could always be this simple…
We already knew that the rabbit wouldn’t be doing much more than a simple run cycle, so the rig was kept to the bare minimum. We gave simple controls for the mouth, eye lids, ears, body and just opted for an IK-only arm/leg system. However, chose to include the ‘foot-roll’ system that we learnt from the previous character we created. We did this mainly for practice, but also because we knew a fair amount of animation would be happening in these areas of the character. By far the hardest part of the rig was correctly weighting the rear legs to their respective joints. This is because they have such a large range of motion and take up a large proportion of it’s body.
Again, as this was just a quick and easy project, all we did here was a very rudimentary run cycle. We knew we would be shooting some simple handheld footage on an iPhone to comp the rabbit into, so we weren’t too worried about getting everything perfect here.
After shooting the ground breaking performance of resident actor Ben Sutherland, we undistorted the footage, match moved it and began piecing together the shot. Originally it was only going to be one rabbit chasing him, however we thought it would be funnier to have a whole family of angry bunnies in hot pursuit. Because the shot whip-pans from one side of the road to the other, we treated these as two different shots to save the headache of trying to track the hideously blurry panning motion. The shot was lit with a combination of a super low quality 360 image of the road (also shot on iPhone – used mainly for reflection…) and some Arnold lights for the main shadows and illumination.
We pulled this project off in an extremely short space of time, and it was great practice in the whole pipeline of character creation. We were very pleased with the way it turned out and it got a good reaction on social media. Ultimately this project was for a bit of a laugh, and we hope people enjoyed watching it as much as we enjoyed creating it.