Springtime is approaching – we can feel it in our bones. Is that the change in the weather … or the excitement knowing AtmosFX’s Easter-themed digital decoration is soon to be released?
Probably the latter. On Friday, March 24, Hoppy Easter will be available for download exclusively at AtmosFX.com. At the center of this family-friendly digital decoration is an exuberant rabbit named Hoppy, who springs into action planting flowers, decorating eggs and even working a few slight-of-hand illusions.
In preparation for the release of Hoppy Easter, we’d like to let you get a little better acquainted with Hoppy the Bunny. Particularly, how he evolved from an illustration created by AtmosFX co-founder Pete Williams to the three-dimensional character who is at the center of this digital decoration.
For that, we turn to Jason Woodwyk, one of AtmosFX’s killer animators. It took him a full week to transform the original design of Hoppy to a three-dimensional character that would become the high-spirited star of Hoppy Easter. We thought we’d ask him about the process.
Q: What are the first steps when taking an original idea and modeling it in three dimensions?
Jason Woodwyk: Pete Williams’ final design for Hoppy was amazing. You immediately got a sense of the character, and Pete provided us with multiple drawings of him. Front and side drawings, and a bunch of facial expressions. So that kind of took out a lot of the guesswork when I started modeling him.
Q: You make it sound so simple. What kind of issues do you face?
JW: You always run into issues. Translating anything from 2D to 3D always reveals the things that are working with a character and things that aren’t. For instance, the length of Hoppy’s arms. In a few of the scenes Hoppy has to be able to interact with huge Easter eggs. Pick them up, decorate them, put them into his basket. And that’s all fine and simple when you imagine it, but it just wasn’t going to work with (Pete Williams’) original design. Hoppy just couldn’t go through the full range of motion and do the things we needed him to do. So we had to fix the design in 3D. We extended the length of his arms and made his hands larger.
Q: You’ve modeled a lot of characters here at AtmosFX – both scary and cheery. Are there things they have in common?
JW: Every character is different, so every model is different. You can’t always crank them out using the same techniques. You create each one always keeping the character and the scene in mind. But Hoppy has been great. Great to make. Great to animate. I think he is one of the best models we’ve made to date. And he’s a lot of fun.