COPYRIGHT © ALAN HERNANDEZ-MORALES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Mia was another project that was originally started as a character modeling assignment for school. I remember the moment I picked this project back up I was horrified at the proportions that I had created her with which were something along the lines of over sexualized female anime characters. She had unnecessarily large breasts and buttocks, and very thin waist line which did not match my vision for her as an athletic and agile woman at all. Although I wanted to create a beautiful character I did not want to reduce her to a sexual object or have her triggering feminists at every corner. Before I moved forward I made sure I found adequate references for an athletic female physique and after all was said and done I settled for Instagram fitness models Lauren Drain and Anllela Sagra as references for Mia.
Mia is a personal project I took on with objective of creating an attractive character model and a functional rig and control system. When I came up with the concept for Mia herself I imagined her as a beautiful, athletic, and tomboyish girl and although she originally had a very different hairstyle I am much more satisfied with this final one. Mia was modeled, unwrapped, skinned, and rigged in 3Ds Max 2015. All of Mia's texture map creation, her sculpting and map baking was done in Mudbox 2016. Most of Mia's rig is fully developed for animation with the exception of a complete facial rig but she can wink and blink.
This project was a major learning experience for me from beginning to end. Through all the mistakes and challenges I made during this project I learned just how much thought and planning should go into creating models and their animation rigs. I also learned just how rewarding the process can be when you finally see your character coming to life in poses and animations. One BIG lesson I learned from completing this project came from research I did long after I had already sculpted and painted all of Mia's maps. It is that featured characters need MUCH bigger texture maps especially when they are used for movies or higher resolution cut scenes. Even though I am very happy with Mia's completion it is a lesson I will definitely apply to future projects.