Preparation

For the past two weeks our team have been dedicated to finishing two projects; these are creative projects which we will use for showreel content and will provide an opportunity for us to illustrate the extent of our skills with 3D animation. We really spent a lot of our time researching and building a strong and flexible foundation for this work, which will allow the end result to be visually compelling. The preparatory work will also allow the post production artists considerable flexibility.

The Horse On The Moon

The first project that our team have been working on is a horse running on the moon! First of all, we modelled the body of the horse, (which is not a small task), then we constructed a rig, to which we will afix the muscles. This allows us to control the way the horse moves. Once all of these tasks were finished, we were able to begin constructing the rest of the image on separate layers; the horse, the environment, hair, dust, shadows and the composition all need their own individual layer. Once complete, the image will be ready for colour grading.

Some of the issues we have had:

  • Liquid, in this case the water, takes some time to build because water has very detailed movement.
  • We discovered that the light that links with fluids is not supported by one of the render engines we use.
  • Animating the hair: we have taken extra care to make sure the hair collides with itself properly.

Waterslang

The second project is simply a snake crawling on a tree in a Savanna area. As the snake and the tree are the main focus of the video, they are extremely detailed, and thus worthy of a close-up camera angle. The snake model was started three times, mostly for UV and texturing reasons. The snake rig was modified no less than five times, but thankfully we have a very realistic movement now, and the animation of the character has been relatively easy to finish. Our next task is to add some bushes, rocks and extra foliage, using Maya, which is our core animating software. Once these are added, we can focus on the really fine details of the animation and it will be ready to render. We are a little ahead of ourselves with this project, and I am sure I will write more about about it as we continue the work.