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 animating the cape

   Solving the animation of the cape was a very complex work. I tried animating it with physics, but it was almost impossible geting a good behaviour due to the constant changes of speed in the moves of the character, that caused the cape tangled up everywhere and it never got a good shape. So I decided to make handmade animation for it. I introduced three bone rows into the cape and I animated it as the rest of the pieces of Superlópez. This technique involve a very tedious work, but it allowed me to control the position and shape of the cape in every moment.

   Once I decided to use this technique the first thing I did was finishing all the animation of the body and, when I thought it was absolutely definitive, I started animating the cape. Obviously, as the movement of the cape depends directly from the movement of the body, I couldn't change the order of the process.


   I don't usually use those heavy global ilumination engines that spend years to get a frame, and taking into acount that this short has a cartoon look, I decided not to use an engine like this for Superlópez. So I worked with a standard scanline engine that made me to investigate a little with lightning. I tried lots of ilumination setups before reaching the definitive one. This was a very simple model, but it needed lots of lights to work. What I did was placing 11 infinite lights with a very low intensity, each one pointing in a different direction. Then I added an ambient ligh (also with a very low intensity), in order to fill the points where no light were received, and finally I added the main light with a big intensity, simulating the sun light.


   The final result of this technique in the render is quite close to the result obtained with a global ilumination engine with only one light. It's not so precise as this last one, but much more quick. The computer spent about 22 seconds average for each frame, while all the tests I did with global ilumination spent 6 minutes (16 times more) in the best cases.

 creating the comic

    This was one of the parts of the short that I really enjoyed. I wanted to get that the comic that appeared in the room was quite real, something that you really could think that it could really exist.


    I started with the cover, where I decided to mix an original cover from the comics with some frames from the short. Here's the result of this adaptation.

    After that I made the title page and the two pages that really represent the comic. For this last ones I tried to keep the original style from the pictures of the author.


    The last step was the back cover, where I just took one of the original from the comics. But I had one more page I wanted to make, this wone before the back cover. It was a blank page for quite a long time, but one day I though I could try to make a little drawing of Superlópez working with a computer, making graphic design... why not? So I did it. It wasn't easy at all geting close to the author's style, but I could get something that convinced me.


    Here you can see all the pages I created for the comic of the short. Click on the images to enlarge them.


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SuperLópez making of - november 2003