Category Archives: Year One Animation

Year Out..

After having a year out I decided it was time to reapply to the course and to continue learning. Over the past week or so I have been watching tutorials and attempting to model again leading up to the interview. I also had a go at some UV unwrapping and basic texturing. Here are screens shots showing the process. I found it difficult at times although enjoyed the experience. Nice to begin the familiarity process again.



Year One coming to an end


We looking at the butter frog from cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2, There was a frog that feature in the Pixar film up that Carl mistakens for an alarm clock. When thinking about the mechanics of critters Chameleon like tongue, we looked at a super slow motion video of a Chameleon’s tongue in action aswell as a Salamander that has the world’s fastest tongue.


We had two real attempts at rigging critter along with some test for eye movement and using blendshapes.




This is the updated animatic for our critter animation.


We encounter numerous rendering problems while trying to the render finish. First of all as time was running out and we were getting closer to the deadline we, realised we had a big problem. The setting had water in it, this was causing the render time to be greatly increased, it took roughly 9 hours to render only 4 frames. So we realised that we had to take the water out to ensure we had a complete animation to hand in. We also noticed that because our render settings had to be lowered to save time it caused speckles throughout the animation. Another problem, this one was quite silly on our part we forgot to press 3 and smooth the eye geo, causing them to have slight edges. Although we had all these problems  a chat with Conann assured us that these things could be corrected and rerendered during the summer and we could potentially enter an animation festival.


Here is the final animation file.




Over the course of this project my knowledge of Maya has greatly improved, I plan to keep working on these skills over the summer by getting together with other students to make a summer project. I have also learned alot about team work. Now that I am at the end of my first year animation I have to say I am pleased with the progress I have made. Before I started the course I had a very limited knowledge about the computer software that I now would use for basically everything I would do. In saying this I realise that I still have a lot more to learn and there are skills that I need to pick up on, for example my time management skills could improve greatly, this along with other things. I look forward to getting a little bit of free time now before I plunge into summer projects. Im also going to try my best to get on top of recording my thought process, whether it be on this blog or in a sketchbook. I tend to jump straight to the conclusion without giving my chance to really think about other possibilities that could be explored. Anyway many thanks to all the animation staff and students for making this year one I will not forget.





Final Data visualisation Animation

This is my finished graphic for IDV, I created the image on photoshop using an online font generator ( then layered the images on iMovie

Unfortunately with two projects running side by side I just didnt have time to animate and render my sphere, so I just stuck to the typography.





Love that shit.


The modelling and texturing process

Me and Aidan were tackling the modelling. After about 7 goes at it, Conann happened to show how to model using the poly cube and edge loops with completely changed how we went about modelling here is screen shots of our progress.


19 18


We played around with the texture on the critters body until we got this nice slick look.

Oh and yeah we were lucky enough to get our model up on BBC newsline, during a piece about the animation industry in NI.

Some useful and interesting tutorials->

The animatic and storyboard

Here is the animatic that Jess made->



Introducing Critter

So we have our new character, this guy->

Creature Concept Art

The original design of critter was straight from Jess’s head. Although this design has various influences like the mudskipper (The eyes), Chameleon (Tongue) and a bullfrog (Body). We also looked at other animals as influence like salamanders and puffer fish.


The mouse is dead!

Today we presented our final animatic and storyboard to the class, Conann and Mike. We got mixed feedback, they liked the concepts we had came up with, the Mouse on the Moon, the dancing robot and the spitting monster. The only problem was that our finished idea was abit too complex for the 15 seconds we have. So their message was either simplify or come up with a new more simplistic idea. After talking with the group we decided to go back to some of our earlier concepts to see if we could push them a bit further to add an element of appeal to story and character. Our goal is to have a simple idea with an appealing character, a character that people want to watch and at the end leave them wanting more. We want an effective punchline that people will laugh at.

Conann loved Jess’s drawing->



So we are thinking to go back and try and develop a story around it.

Straight to the Moon!

By unanimous decision, our team selected the Mouse in Zero Gravity as the project to stick with. So the work began for the development of this concept. We sorted out what needed to be down and were assigned tasks to be completed.

Charlie worked on character design

Jess on rocket design


While me and Aidan worked on the animatic and storyboarding.

Project 3 IDV

The final IDV project is to take the data provided by Paul (death penalty statistics and to transform them into an easily understood graphic. I decided to begin by looking at what Im aiming to complete. I’ve always like the videos that present statistics in an easily read and understandable video using typography and 3d elements. My idea is to take the data and convert it into a colour coordinated pie chart. Then I intend to model a sphere in Maya that would replicate this pie. This way I would be able to manipulate the data in Maya and it would look sweet as a nice glass of some Jim Beam. I would then use a video editing software to composition typography onto my scene. Here are some influential videos.