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Countdown to Winter Day 4-6: Learning Live2D Cubism

I should be titling these countdowns so you know what you're in for.

No posts for Monday and Tuesday! I do my best to go to the gym regularly as my current job takes a toll on my back sitting at an office desk, so I may not be able to write some days. Last night, however, I really hunkered down and started working on the personal project for my Pathfinder campaign character. Time flew by as I worked away at it, so there was little time to update you all on my progress!

When VTubers started becoming popular, I was fascinated with the variety of avatar designs and the technology used for the facial and body tracking. Eventually I wanted to try it out myself, and Ornela was the perfect character to practice on.

I have a basic full body colored illustration that I started in Procreate on my iPad, then I exported every single layer as a separate PNG file to my desktop to upload to Clip Studio Paint.

For those who aren't aware, Procreate has a limitation on the number of layers on a single project depending on the size canvas. Ornela's 2D model was on a 2813 pixel wide by 5002 pixel tall canvas, soI had to divide the project into two. She has her feather ornaments on her head piece, and each of those has to be seperate layers so that they can have their own rig. Along with the feathers is her arm and leg split armor set. Each part or split will also have to be rigged separately so when she moves her arm or leg, the armor nests into each other realistically.

With the next campaign session coming this weekend, I think there will only be time for a few basic movements and animations like eye blinking that can be done. I am not familiar with Live2D Cubism at all, having only downloaded the trial last night, so I will most likely posting about my progress with learning the program. It seems daunting, but there are plenty of video tutorials online now from small creators and the actual product site.

Luckily my new design for Ornela has a a chain mail mask, so I don't have to worry about lip animations until I get more comfortable with the program and add a "helmetless" version for later on in the campaign.

For now I'll focus on her from the shoulders up for the rig. Wish me luck!

Below are the layout sketch of all the different components that go into the model and the two projects from Procreate that were later pieced together in Clip Studio Paint, minus a few details like shadows, highlights and textures, which I am currently adding. I forgot to apply the symmetry drawing tool for some assets like the feathers and leg split armor, but I fixed this in Clip Studio Paint.

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