Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Woomi in 3D

While working on the Woomi Wins app last year, some drawings were tricky to animate by hand:

During those times, I wished I knew how to use 3D software. So this year, I've been tackling Blender, a free, open-source 3D creation program.

Initially released in 1995

Thankfully, there are many Blender tutorials online. Over the course of a week, I got a good grasp of Blender by following these 2012 video lessons from Neil Hirsig.

Blender is regularly updated, so watching newer tutorials will get you caught up with the latest techniques. I like these YouTube channels from Darren LileSebastian LagueBornCG, CGMasters, and XRG81

My first 3D animations were based on characters that MJ first created:

"Heavenly Howie Cloud" pillow by MJ

"Nacho Ordinary Girl" by MJ

Then I made a dancing bear named BooBoo:

These lovebirds first appeared in the Woomi Wins app, but they're flying in three dimensions now:

A video posted by Howie Woo (@woopix) on

But the character I most wanted to 3D-animate was Woomi...

Here he is, sculpted in Blender:

Here's Woomi, equipped with bones for posing:

Here he is, learning to walk, run, then run out of breath:

Finally, here's Woomi dancing beside his app's trailer:

MJ was the dance inspiration behind Woomi's smooth moves. I tried to mimic her dance routine:

Working in Blender requires much dragging of dots, lines, and surfaces. But it's magical when 3D characters take shape and come to life, just like with yarn characters.

I'll continue to create fun 3D animations this year, and post them online. So feel free to follow my upcoming work on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Woomi in 3D, 2D, and 3D again.

Thank you!

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