The latest stages of development on The Garden Of Synthetic Delights have consisted of animation and motion tests of the cell characters. Based on the previous stage of research, where Dr Megan MacLeod and I identified a set of standard behaviours, the cells now have to be set up in 3D space. To achieve an organic feel and a sense of autonomy, I’ve used a combination of techniques in CINEMA 4D.
The outer membrane of the cell is made of a softbody mesh, whereas the interior consists of a small dynamic “rover” which propels the cell forward. Controlling the movement of the cell is now possible by keyframing the speed of propulsion and the angle of the wheels. Basic behaviours such as inertness, moving, avoiding, following, attacking, growing and shrinking are now possible.
I’ve started the design and texturing of the outer membrane as well, playing around with attributes which will be needed to represent factions, upgrades, and a range of more complex behaviours.
From the current stage, the next steps are more detailed outer membrane textures, further identifying the parallels between immunology and gaming mechanics with Dr MacLeod, and a first version of a script for the overall animation.
Eric Schockmel, February 2015