Sometimes my best ideas and eureka moments come from a lack of sleep. That’s how Daisy came about, anyway. And the past couple of days I haven’t been sleeping well, so I’ve been hoping something would pop into my head sooner or later.

This morning it hit me – a total fan-service (and potential fan-gaining) animation of Daisy disrobing, layer by layer. Not a strip-tease, but more like she’s changing out of her work clothes after a long day. Now to kill any remaining excitement by getting technical…

No matter how I would choose to animate it, this would be a challenge of nightmarish proportions. Either way it would be a fairly long sequence, assuming I do it all as one continuous shot.

As a hand-drawn piece, it could simply take me forever to draw. It would also take quite a while to clean up, to say nothing of keeping her on-model throughout. And if something doesn’t move correctly? If more (or less) drawings won’t fix it, I’d have to scrap that section and start over. Just thinking about it, I’m reminded of why I got into 3D animation in the first place.

If I animated her in 3D, the biggest challenge would be the multiple levels of cloth simulation. My choice of staging could also make it more difficult – the camera would be behind and off to the side of her, and aimed between her and her reflection in a mirror. This would mean that untying her apron can’t be faked – it would need to be modeled so that the bow can be untied on-camera. The apron may also need to transition from a hybrid of skinning and cloth simulation when tied, to completely simulated once untied. And if I have her fold it… now I’m just asking for a world of hurt. But if successful, this segment alone would look impressive on my demo reel…

After the apron is her uniform. I might need to model an unbuttoned version that can be stretched, just so the cloth can then return to its natural state when unbuttoned. Or I could remove the stretching with morphs or skinning. Either way, her uniform will also need to transition from hybrid to complete cloth simulation as she starts to remove it.

Underneath her uniform is a t-shirt. The main problem will be collisions with the uniform. Again, it might be nexessary to start with a hybrid solution – if not 100% skinning – and then transition to full cloth simulation once the uniform is safely out of the way. Having the t-shirt affect her hair properly could also be an issue, unless I can fake the interaction with simple invisible colliders.

Speaking of her hair, there’s the question of how to transition from one style to another. If her hair is sculpted geometry as it is now, then the only way to do this would be to hide one style and unhide the next. If simulating realistic hair, each guide curve could have a morph target for the transition. Then I might need to adjust the simulation so that her casual hair is less rigid than her professional hair.

Her bra would be last, and whether she wears a sports-bra or a normal one, it will have its own challenges. Like her uniform, the bra would need to transition from skinning to cloth simulation. Once removed her breasts would need to fall to a natural position*. This could either be done with joint animation and other deformers, or it could use yet another cloth simulation. Or perhaps both? Cloth is challenging enough, but at least there are material presets for me to work with… There’s no “fatty ball of flesh” preset, though.
* assuming I don’t have them unleashed with such force that she falls over, thus ending the animation on a fun note while keeping on-screen nudity to a minimum. Though I might censor any nudity anyway, to keep it safe to post.

…and that is just part of why you don’t see many (if any) Pixar-quality animated strip teases. The amount of simulation work could require an experienced TD. Plus independent artists don’t have access to the types of tools that the major studios have, and they’re definitely not working on something like this using company resources.

If I were to attempt this, then I guess it’s a good thing I’m remodeling Daisy – I’ll be able to plan ahead. While I might learn some useful skills by the end, whether the effort will truly be worth it is the question.