Joseph Hansen – Creation and Production of An Animated Character

Comm and Advocacy



Professional Picture.jpg

What did I do?

For my senior project, I gave myself the task of creating an animated character from beginning to end. (Initially, I planned on making two, but I realized I would do better to focus on perfecting one character.) This process entailed:

·        Conceptualizing the character design

·        Digitally sculpting the character

·        Retopologizing the character into a polygon mesh suitable for animation

·        Unwrapping the character’s mesh for painting

·        Painting the character

·        Repeating the sculpting/retopo/unwrap/paint steps for clothing and hair

·        Create stylized shaders

·        Rig the character to a skeleton

·        Rig the hair to a lattice

·        Rig the facial expressions

·        Create a test environment with lighting

·        Pose and animate the character

What did I learn?

I’ve never done this process start to finish before, and doing it this way taught me a lot. I learned some tricks for hair- through trial and error- that will benefit me every time I repeat this. I also ended up writing a custom software program to simplify the process of working with facial expressions. This software benefits not just me, but other creators; I’ve put it up for sale and already sold over 10 copies.

How long did it take?

This project took well over 50 hours. My final estimation is 90 hours, but this estimate is definitely at least a few hours short of the true total, as there were instances where I forgot to clock my time. The most time consuming part was the hair (about 24 hours in total). Now that I’ve learned how I want to do hair, it will be much faster next time.