Recently I have been trying to incorporate 3d into the 2d realm. Experiments with 3D objects and Freestyle have led me to produce this. I’ve tried many techniques and strategies to perfect the 2d look, and have succeeded in some cases while created workarounds for others. After attempting to create Nano from the Japanese animation Nichijou in Blender, I moved onto something I thought would be comparatively easier to create: Gumball.
That show is an interesting blend of 3d and 2d art. The characters themselves most of the time never leave a sideways orientation, and appear to be 2D. The background however, is clearly 3D. Normally, that would create a clash in viewpoints, but TAWOG mixes the two dimensions perfectly. Now for the model itself. As Gumball stays in the same orientation most of the time, I thought it appropriate to simply create a 2d projection of him in a 3d space. Using bezier curves I modeled his face and body, including his clothes. His arms are the most dynamic part of his body, so I decided to model those in 3d. Although his arms are 3d, the average viewer doesn’t notice because the rest of his body is 2d. Now for animation. Gumball has a very simple rig that gives users control of his legs, arms, and facing direction. I created shape keys to flip his legs and torso according to the direction he is facing. That way, He won’t always be locked into looking to the right. His facial rig isn’t quite done yet; I haven’t created a rig for his mouth, and the rest of the rig relies on manual translation. However, as his face has almost no need to deform other than when he is shouting or smiling wide, there isn’t much of a need for a rig with deforming armatures. The outlines of his eyes, face, and other features are generated by Freestyle. There is still much to be finished/improved upon, but I’m pretty happy with what I have now.
Below is the download for the model. Make sure you register before you download!
I’ll be releasing an updated version with better face rigs in a week or so, so if you want to see that I highly recommend either registering or subscribing to this website to receive updates immediately!