One of the projects Ash and Vince worked on while they were at EA was the Simpsons game. It was a fun project, especially during pre-production. Part of the challenge of doing a 3D game with a 2D look is that it doesn't always follow the law of physics. A lot of my time during PrePro went into researching how to keep these characters on model when they are in 3D space.
This is one of the tests I did for Marge's hair. In 3D, Marge's beehive hairstyle is a series of donuts stacked up. This will give you the right look viewing from eye level, but it will not look right from above. You can build the hair like a pineapple, this will give you the bumps from above, but the bumps will start to intersect each other when in motion, ruining the profile.
Solution: By replacing the profile outline with a blue circle texture, determine the number of circles 2D artist drawn from different views and input the number in the profile line density to match.
Ulitmately, this didn't make it into the final game because we ran out of time in PrePro to implement this, but I had fun making this little prototype.
Did you know: A lot of the Simpsons characters have a slight cockeye. The rule is- the dumber they are, the more I have to rotate their eyes sideways :P For Bart, I had to offset his pupils for about 8 degrees. For Homer - it was 12.5. D'oh!
Two of the blendshapes (Homer chewing) used in demo videos - unfortunately these ended up on the cutting room floor due to memory constraints.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!