Modelling: Toys

Rubik’s Cube

Reference Used


Started off the rubric’s cube by creating a maya cube and beveled the edges found under edit mesh.


This beveled cube was then duplicated into rows three by three.


This, in addition, was duplicated two times to create the final shape of the cube.


Mia preset materials had been applied previously (glossy plastic,Black) in an attempt to re create the visible attributes in maya.


Colour was then applied over certain faces of the cube to create the varied colour design typically found on rubiks cubes.


final result



Broken Barbie Doll
































































Animation Research: Animation Body Mechanics and The Importance of Video Reference

Thought this was a really interesting post from Digital Tutors looking into the importance of studying video references when creating an animation.


It starts off by stating how we as animators recreate real-life actions and movements and how having an understanding of how people, animals and inanimate objects move and behave is essential to creating believable animations. Studying video references can play an important role in the creation process of a believable animation.

It suggests that video references are an invaluable tool through which to gain knowledge of how things move in the real-world. As well as being incredibly useful to use to use for a basic timing structure for your animation. Where you use a video player application to the breakdown the RAW footage frame by frame.


Analysing a video reference:

Don’t just use this reference for merely rotoscoping purposes; instead, really pick apart what you are seeing in the reference and why it’s happening. For example how are an individuals hips moving? how far do their legs stretch? etc. Constantly question and analyse how an individual is moving and think about how to not only recreate it but reinterpret it into a believable animation.

Some good points made here, definitely things to keep in mind if I use video references to work off, the idea of almost reinventing the footage into your own animation really stood out to me.

It also reminds me I need to start collecting some video references for my animations…





Creative Strategies: Rendering Solution

With the main assets of our animation completed, we went to hit render, however the render times for each shot were huge which made things incredibly difficult to output a final product.

Thankfully Alec suggested a straight forward solution.

Render our backgrounds once as a still image and composite in the birds using a separate render layer and alpha mattes.

Pros – only render out a HD background once

Cons – If you want camera movement you’ll need to use the ‘shake overscan’ attribute in the camera to zoom out a bit and then add camera movement/zoom in after effects.

You’ll not be able to add dynamic motion to the grass/tree fur.

A break down of how it’ll work- Alec

‘Objects like the nest that are in front of the birds can be added to another render layer, then turned into an alpha cut-out so you should just be able to stick the birds in after effects above the background. In the nest close shot, you may need to render the tree fur as a layer over the top of the of the birds.’


The image shown above, is an example Alec showed us  to demonstrate how it would work.

Step 1: Create a separate layer with the corresponding colour you wish to apply to your background.


Step 2: Apply the single rendered out frame over the blue background as a new layer on top of the previous layer, in this case the tree and clouds from our scene onto of the blue coloured layer.


Step 3: Similar to step two,apply the rendered out single frame of the nest on a new layer within after after effects. (or Photoshop)


Step 4: Apply the object’s rendered layer under the nest layer but above the tree layer (in our case it’ll be our bird characters)


This way we can render out the render heavy environmental scene assets and layer our characters animation around these layers within after effects.

Key Information;

Selecting object/lights and putting them in different render layers (tab in the channel box in the bottom right corner of maya) Look at the render stats attribute for objects in the attribute editor

Alec’s turned off primary visibility for certain objects in different layers the sun and sky node

He then clicked on ‘use background’ you can add in sky colour in photoshop after in render settings >> quality >> framebuffer >> turn off pre-multiply (causes black outlines in after effects when comping rendered layers) in render settings >> common tab >> remove cameras you don’t want to batch render.

Un-rendered Image

unrenered tree

Rendered image


In the following example provided above, Alec was explaining how to apply our character animations to the still images:

‘When we want to just render our bird layer, and not the tree/background etc. Just click the green tick box on the render layer and the green tick will turn to a red cross to show it’s not going to batch render.’

Hopefully this method will save us a lot of time and stress when ever it comes to submitting our final project outcome,

Can’t thank you enough Alec! Absolute legend.



Creative Strategies: Team Findings

Through out the week we’ve been looking at the work of others for either their visual style or narrative; Christian, Zoe and Pete came up with a nice variety of finds.

‘MUTE is an animated short about a world populated by people born without a mouth. When a gory accident leads to the discovery they are able to create their own mouth by cutting themselves, this releases an enthusiastic chain reaction among the population.’

Job, Joris & Marieke, a Dutch studio for animation, illustration, character design and music. In 2011 Job

I really like the dark, almost twisted sense of humour shown in this animated short, definitely something i’d definitely be interested in implementing into the narrative of our short. Awesome find Christian!

‘This narrative short is the culmination of some playful experiments with 3D character rigging on a live action, camera-tracked scene. It all came about when our 3D animation specialist Russ Etheridge noticed that his bathroom sink was shaped like a perfect half-pipe, and began to wonder how a tiny skater might interact with it. After toying with a few ideas, the spider was settled upon as a pretty apt creature to win the starring role in this domestic bathroom-based adventure.’

Created by Animade; a combination of 3D character animation and live 
action using CINEMA 4D.

Really nice find by Zoe! I hadn’t considered animating 3D characters in a live action setting, it could really save us some time in terms of creating environmental assets for our sort and I’ve been looking to study compositing and visual effects since I started the course so this could be a really cool way to create our short. The only thing that would concern me is that it’s a method of visual creation that none of the team is particularly confident in, so it may not be the most practical method to use with the time frame we’re given, but i’d be up for learning the ‘how to’s’ in a heart beat.

‘A short clip from the stop motion animated film Old Czech Legends’

‘The Kitsune wedding procession.’

Pete went down a more abstract route with regards to his research, coming away from relatively western themes and focusing on themes of Asian heritage and ceremonies to Czech Legends. I thought there were some really interesting ideas emulating from the videos Pete posted with regards to Narrative themes. I think a battle may be difficult to emulate and fitting it to our brief big and small may prove difficult, but there were some shots from the clip of ‘Battle With the Luczans’  that I really liked, maybe something to remember when we’re coming up with shots in our final idea.