In this specific case the inspiration was the real world. What I needed were muscle books, anatomy and bodybuilder videos to get exact references about the form and behavior of muscles depending on the body part.
Then you have to understand and simplify everything to apply into the CG. Nowadays it does not make sense a complete muscle system. The behavior is not going to be better than with simplified muscle system.
The technical inspiration was, above all, Fx films, with digital characters such as Hulk (2003) from ILM and also papers from Siggraph could give many ideas to face up a new project.
Musculo-Skeletan Shape Skinning:
http://www.davidcorral.com/docs/Musculo-Skeletan Shape Skinning.pdf
Skinning in Maya at Industrial Light & Magic:
Bulging Muscles and Sliding Skin: Deformation Systems for Hellboy:
I normally store huge amount of general documentation. You never know when you’re going to need it.
The techniques were about creating a muscle from a simple curve, and then attach it to the extremes of that curve, as in the real life. It is as fusiform muscle but with the difference that you get a non linear deformer as it is attached to a curve.
A part from the muscle system, I developed a system of PSD (Pose Space Deformer), in order to correct not accurate deformations.
The Animation character rig has got standard biped functions. It was on the deformations where I could innovate a bit.
Creating muscles from curves made their behavior much more realistic. I only had to draw the curve where I wanted the muscle and make the skin of the skeleton to follow the character.
In order to optimize the deformer’s speed I created a small script to which calculates the influence of the deformer according to the distance between a vertex and the curve.
What I did was:
– Get the deformer’s weights, apply them to temporary mesh and bones and make a mirror weights to those temporary bones.
– Once I had those temporary weights already in the mirror, I only had to apply them to the mirror deformer and erase the temporary objects.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS JOB
Most of times I work with cartoon characters as it is the most common thing I am asked to do for advertising, series, etc. So I can’t work always on the stuff I would like to work on, that doesn’t mean I don’t like to work with cartoon characters, but I really like to work with realistic and fantastic characters. And I mean fantasty because I think it’s an error to try simulate a real actor with CG.
That is the reason for using all my spare time learning this.