Modelling:Reference Images

Kerry gathered up a really nice collection of bedroom references to use while modelling and to possible refer to when finalising the placement of the objects and how them presented with in the room.





Modelling the child’s Bin

Reference images used to create the bin


The bin model was incredibly easy to make, it’s basically just a cylinder. Using a cylinder object I progressively scaled the edges inwards as we move down the model.


Deleting one of the outer faces, I selected the edge loop and extruded outwards and down to create the rim of the bin.


I then extruded the same edge outwards and upwards and contained to extrude down the inside of the bin to crate the inner lining.


Final result of the bin model.


Modelling:Bedside Cabinet

Modelling the child’s Bedside Cabinet

Reference Images used, to complete the model


I started out by creating the legs and base of the cabinet, using the preset cubes and extruding them accordingly.


Next step, I started to make the housing for the drawer of the cabinet, again using a cube preset and flattening in to look like a thickened plane.  I extruded the edges of the cube inwards and outwards to fit around the legs made previously.


Continued by making the face section of the pull out drawer using a cube, I used the ‘insert edge loop tool’ to create some extra faces on the surface which would be manipulated later to create extra detail.


I then made the handle for the drawer using a cylinder, selecting several edge loops and scaling inwards in the centre. In addition I also started working on the sides of the pull out drawer.




Creating an additional cube for the top area of the cabinet, adding additional edge loops to the sides to add more detail.


Finally, I added more detail to the inside of the pull out drawer, in an attempt to make it resemble the real life piece of furniture.


Final Outcome of the bed side cabinet.





Modelling: The Murder Scene

With the brief set and our team formed we started looking into the concepts suggest by the brief. Such as Katie Nobel’s work or James Daltons’s.

However, In the end we came to the conclusion that we preferred Katie Nobel’s work.

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We really liked the illustrative style and sense of atmosphere in Katie’s concepts. They were worlds that lived in but muted overall.

In the end though, we decided to go with her concept called Abyss.


Abyss by Katie Nobel

We got a post apocalyptic vibe from this piece, with the somewhat ‘broken valley’ littered with industrial machines and several destroyed looking buildings in the distance. As a result we began to brainstorm a few ideas and concepts revolving around the subject of post apocalyptic worlds. We liked the area we were looking into but realised most of our ideas were too similar to the likes of Fallout or The Last Of US.

Fallout Concept Art

The Last Of Us Concept Art


Our ideation process changed whenever we started to look at the apocalyptic world concept differently. Before we had been looking at the world from the exterior, landscapes, valleys and cities but what about interiors?

I started to look into interior concepts, some apocalyptic some not, just to get an idea of how others visualise the design process of a building interior.

Colin Geller Concept work for the video game Resistance 3




I really liked these concepts due to the use of light and tone in each which really adds to the atmosphere, this is shown particularly well in the wood shop image (bottom) where there’s a slight build up of haze as our eye moves to the background of the image.  In addition I particularly like their destructive appearances, however the level of destruction in each differs, regardless you can tell something bad happened in each. My personal favourite is the bedroom. At a glance it seems fairly normal but with closer inspection we can see blood smeared across the room, mirror shattered and diminishing wall furnishing creating the impression that something horrible happened.

A piece of concept art from Ubisoft game studios


As well as the destructive appearance of the building it really liked the angle we see the interior from. I thought it was a nice overview shot we could use to show off our final renders.

Zdenek Sasek Concept Work for an untitled video game

These really stood out to me for the use of perspective in each and the tonality shown is just awesome. I really like the consistent style displayed, if i get round to making some concept work I’ll to referring to these heavily for reference.

Interior room concepts by unknown Artist

Unfortunately I couldn’t find the artist who designed these but still thought they were great ways of visualising our room designs.

To further develop our reference sources Edward put together a Pinterest board with loads of great images to study.


As we developed our idea further, We established what would be our final concept to base our modelling off. A Murder Scene.

Inspired by the games like Silent Hill:PT and Amnesia, we decided to create an interior scene for our modelling assignment but add a sinister twist to it.

Silent Hills: PT-Konami

Announcement trailer


Game play Trailer

We really liked the focused and enclosed area within PT, it consists of a small area but has a lot of varying detail and a very tense atmosphere which continuously builds up over time, something we could consider adding to our scene.

We liked the idea of having a Narrative to our assignment similar to PT, but instead of having a supernatural based narrative we could base it on something more believable, like a detective or individual entering a home to discover a murder has taken place, and the murder is still lurking about.

Wanting a narrative, we made a plot, this was useful as it meant we could  place objects according to how the plot progresses. We decided that the family living in this house was going to be a mother, a father and a little girl around age 9 to 11 years old. where the little girl has murdered  her parents as a result of finding that her parents are expecting another child and she does not want to be replaced.

With the idea of designing of environment in mind Edward drew up this really nice plan of our house layout.


After which Both Kerry and Edward added additional detail to the plan with room layouts and item positions.


With the rooms and object positions established we then assigned each other items to model.

I was assigned:

  • Bedside Cabinet
  • Television
  • Bin
  • Wardrobe
  • Lamp
  • Alarm Clock
  • Toilet
  • Deodorant Cans (two)
  • Saw
  • Ceiling Fan
  • Toys (Two)
  • Grandfather Clock

Looking forward to getting started!


Creative Strategies:Assignment Two Brief

Having completed our previous assignment (animated short) we were then given a breakdown of our next brief.



Assignment Due Date: Jan 8th (TBC)

“This assignment is broken into three parts, which will also include team presentations on week 12.

Individuals will be required to form/join teams, which will enable them to explore three of the areas of expertise listed below.  Lectures and practicals throughout the semester will help inform and prepare students for each area.

This type of project creates a new team dynamic and structure.  In previous projects the individuals have come together and rallied around a central project.  This assignment inverts the norm by making the team structure and dynamic support and develop the work and processes of the individual.  In this situation it is very easy to fall into the trap of working alone.  Teams will need communicate well to guide the central themes that are to be achieved.  Teams will meet regularly to share project outcomes, techniques learned during the process and support each other in solving problems.
Week 12 Presentations will demonstrate your development progress and allow for feedback to be given before the winter break.

So in contrast to our previous projects in which we were assigned a set team from the projects beginning to its end, this assignment has a larger focus on the work and development of the individual.


Part One: Animation

Based on the research of the principles of animation & animation techniques, create a series of animations, using a rig provided, or another suitable biped rig.
  • Walk/run cycles – Consider exploring different characteristics
  • Body Mechanics – Examples could include – Getting up from a seated or laying down position, a jump across a gap, turning 180 degrees etc
  • Plan, research, peer assess/critique and help your team mates.

You may also want to consider the following:

  1. Interaction between two characters

  2. Lip sync / facial animation

  3. Video reference

  4. Blocking vs Straight ahead animation.

    With regards to the assessment criteria revolving around the animation segment of the module, there seem to be three mandatory areas required for submission.

  • Either A walk or run cycle
  • An animation that addresses body mechanics
  • The research and response to feedback given by team members

I’m going to aim for at least 3 animations, a walk cycle, a run cycle and maybe a jump. I’ve always enjoyed animating and i have a good team that aren’t afraid to critique work so figures crossed, with a bit of research and feedback from my team my final animations should be good.

Part Two: 3D Modeling and UV Mapping

Create a 3D scene roughly based on one of the following pieces of concept art:

  • The dismantlement of the old art college and the newer buildings –
  • Sci-fi scene – Daryl Randall daryl-randall-sci-fi-scene


  • Pumpkin World – Emma McCormick emma-mccormick-pumpkinworld


  • Sci-Fi scene – James Daltonjames-hugh-dalton-a229bc3752-1622294_600605553357269_1946553757_o


  • Abyss – Katie Nobel katie-noble-shitkk6ucehb0u3b533twmgkw05pcx4ph39rn52v818


  • Night Scene – Katie Nobel katie-noble-rjf7tlxbbi0flxe5sxfs8zfd6uonz9pqvyjtwcuo1hq


  • Model the environments and building/vehicle/prop models with UV maps.
  • Coordinate modeling tasks with your team and create a full layout scene.  Each member should attempt a building & suitable vehicle model for their portfolio & development.
  • Render HD stills or a short fly-through animation with Ambient Occlusion or other clay-rendering techniques, Include comparison wireframe renders also.
  • Give credit to the concept artist on your blog/showreel
  • Plan, research, peer assess/critique and help your team mates.

Consider the following:

  1. Composition

  2. Polygon count/efficiency

  3. Organising scenes & clean models

  4. 3D modeling techniques

  5. UV mapping techniques

Based off the concepts we’ve been given to work off, looking forward to this assignment.

I’m not the most confident modeller at the moment but its an area I’ve always enjoyed working in and wanted to improve at so hopefully this assignment so give me the practice I need if not only to improve my skill set but to learn a lot about modelling in general.

Part 3: Pick One of the following (A to G):

A) Lighting and Texturing


B) 3D Sculpting


C) Concept Art


D) History and Theory


E) Compositing VFX


F) Simulation


G) Rigging

Based off the options above I decided I wanted to go into Compositing VFX

Add 3D and/or motion graphic elements to live action backgrounds.
Footage can be provided.


  • A shot or shots of live action footage with composited CG
  • A break down render demonstrating the composited layers and/or post effects
Consider the following:
  1. Scene Continuity

  2. 2D & 3D Tracking

  3. Matching Colours

  4. Matching Lighting

  5. Contact Lighting

  6. Atmospherics

  7. Light-Wrap Techniques

  8. Edge Blend Techniques

  9. Working with Shadows

  10. Grain Management

  11. Lens Distortion & Aberrations

  12. Match Move

  13. Rotoscoping


Visual effects is one of the main reasons I wanted to get into the industry. I’ve always been fascinated by CGI in film, especially when combined with live action footage, so looking into compositing and VFX looked like a great opportunity.

Hand-in: January 8th
Individual submission will take our usual form of:

  • Portfolio This project should have it’s own portfolio section on your personal website/blog. Portfolio should include final designs, renders, animations etc, created by you during each phase of the project.

  • Blog Your blog should capture your research, application of theory, and importantly your reflection as you go through the process of creating the content.  This project should have it’s own section and be organised in a thoughtful way.  It should also illustrate the development of your understanding of each of the areas of expertise above.  Include a 200 word reflective post on the assignment & module.

  • Team Assessment form Team assessment is an integral part of individual and peer development and should be completed at the end of each phase of the project.  Peer assessment will have a contribution to overall assessment in the assignment.

  • A copy of your maya files
    Please attach your maya and where applicable your photoshop/mudbox files in .zip archive.


Creative Strategies: Module One Portfolio

Final Animation:

I was responsible for the sound and the editing of our short.

In Shot Two:

I was responsible for the rendering of the shot, the animation of both characters and the ‘blur’ visual effect.

In Shot Three:

I was responsible for the rendering of the shot, the character animation and the character placement within the scene.

In Shot Five:

I was responsible for the rendering of the shot and the character animation.

In shot Six:

I was responsible for the character animations, the creation and animation of the vomit using nParticles and the placement of the characters within the scene.

In shot Seven:

I was responsible for the character animations, the creation and animation of the vomit using nParticles.

In shot Eight:

I was responsible for the rendering of the shot,character animation and the creation and animation of the vomit using nParticles.

In shot Nine:

I was responsible for the rendering of the shot,character animation and the creation and animation of the vomit using nParticles.

Animation Tests:

Character Animation

nParticle animations:

Bifrost Animation:


Mother Bird Rig

Fat baby Bird Rig (model by Christian Johnston)

Baby Bird Rig (model by Christian Johnston)

babybirdrigsideview1        babybirdrigfrontview

baby birdrigleftview        baby birdrigbackview



Mother Bird (Credit:Uv mapping Alec Parkin Texture Kerry McCormick)

Experimental Mother bird

Eyeball Model Test

Eyeball Model Render

Beak Model

Environmental Assets

Tree Model

Rock Models

Island Model

Character Concepts

bird Concept_1



Sound and Audio

I was responsible for the sound and audio of our final animation

I was also responsible for the sound and audio for our animatic.

Creative Strategies: Project Reflection

With the project at its end, I believe it’s necessary to reflect on the experiences I had throughout.

Overall and considering the circumstances, I’m moderately happy with the final outcome of the project. All though a mostly enjoyable experience, I felt very pressured from the mid point of the project to its end. However as a result of this pressure, I have learned so much about the necessity of team work, organisation and communication as well as an over abundance of skills learned within Maya regarding modelling, rigging and animating.

However, with relation to the final outcome there are several things I would like to fix, such as render issues and lighting issues, I’d also like to redo the sound for animation as I feel like its out of sync sometimes and also change some minor attributes regarding the vomit simulation. But overall I’m happy, I do plan on returning to this project at some point in the near future to apply these fixes, but for now I think it needs a break. (As do I…very,very much so…)