What does it take to make a computer generated Fruit Pebbles Treat bar? I'll show you. Last month I was tasked with creating two computer generated snack bar that would pulled apart by a stop motion animated puppet.
The first thing I did on this job was to find out exactly what I was going for. I was told, it has to look like the real bar, but even better, and it has to look chewy and delicious. The first thing I did was decide where it was going to break. From here, I built a bar that had two parts that matched up nicly but unevenly. I then skinned the bar to two helpers so that I could animate it pulling apart. This worked fine, but it broke like concrete, not like something chewy and delicious. To fix this, I added a couple morph shapes so that when it broke, I could have it pull back slowly. Here's an animation test of that.
To do the goo that pulls apart between the two halves, I modeled some stretched marshmellow and skinned them up between 3 point helpers. One on each end, and a middle one that was constrained between the outter two. This middle helper had a list controller allowing me to animate it on top of the contraint.
The Cream on Top
Another important part of this product is the cream on the top. To do this, I used a trick I came up with many years ago. Follow closely. Create a box, convert to an editable poly object. Delete all the faces. Turn on snapping and make sure face snapping is on. Now under the vert sub-object start placing verticies ontop of the bar. This will give you verts exactly on top of the bar. No before going any farther, create a blob mesh object, and pick your empty face object. You can dial in the blobby size to something that works for you. Go back to the faceless mesh and build more vert in realtime and see the cream generate as you go. I originally used this technique for splattering mud on vehicles, but it works for this too.
For rendering, I set up a few passes with RPManager. I used a SSS shader for most of the edibale parts of the bar. The wrapper was mapped with a normal map to give it a crinkled look. I also has an extra layer of marshmellow on top that was added to the final look.
I think the trickiest part of this that I don't cover is getting the look of the product. Making things look realistic is one thing, but making realistic things look tasty is another.