Daniela Dwek– 3D Character Generalist

Daniela Dwek– 3D Character Generalist

Daniela Dwek
by ddwek on 22 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

Hi there! My name is Daniela Dwek and I am the Director of the student short film Hamsa. My Responsibilities include Story Development, Character Modeling, Rigging, Look Dev, Grooming, Tech Anim /Shot Work, Cloth Simulation, Crowd Creation & Control, Python Tools and Compositing

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Daniela Dwek– 3D Character Generalist

Hi there! My name is Daniela Dwek and I am graduating from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, with a BFA in Computer Art, Animation, and Visual Effects this May. 

Here's a snapshot of some SVA student films I've worked on, as well as my Reel, which include a behind the scenes on my work in my thesis film "Hamsa".

Here's a little bit more information on my work on Hamsa:

After writing the story and its script, I jumped on to storyboards so we could get a feel for the story. Here's an example:

Ora (Left), Tikvah (Middle), and Nour (Right)

Just like with any project, my first step was research. I knew what I wanted the characters to look like in terms of their stylisation, but as I did not have solid concept art to work from, I compiled references together, and then went straight to 3D to discover the characters and reflect their personalities through their individual designs.

As part of my iteration process, I like to draw over my work or mish mash with some photoshop, in order to visualise what I want in the end.

When it came to the look development process, my goal was to create appealing and believable characters. My first hurdle was to figure out how to shade and texture skin, as well as groom the hair. Having curly hair, I used myself as reference, as I wanted to represent my culture that is often not represented on screen.

As a TD, I have found the importance and fun in writing scripts to accelerate our pipeline process and solve problems.

Below, you can see a Toolbox I have created for every step of the pipeline. It includes the tools I use the most as well as some aspects that are specific to my workflow, in order to accelerate the whole process.

As problems would arise, I’d create new toolboxes to solve them.

For instance, in the alembic caching pipeline, we were encountering an issue where, if two objects would combine, the texture would not transfer, notably with the eyes.

Here is the result we were getting as well as the tool box I created to fix it per-character.

For more, check out my website: http://www.danimation.art/ or email me at: [email protected]

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 Collaborators: Chrisy Baek and Maya Mendonca