Compositing Project!

The second project I have been working on over the past couple of months is compositing. My project was to take pictures of a set or place and render three balls in different positions to a photorealistic standard and composite them into the original image in a way so that they look like they would naturally be there. Here is the original and then final image that I created for this project.


(For some reason the original image has uploaded in bad quality)


Personally I think I did quite a reasonable job, what do you think?

To create this I used reference images to get the shading correct and then created a HDRI image of of the environment using the chrome ball which I then used as a dome light in the 3D scene. I also created a texture including bump may for the table the balls are resting on so that the colour reflected and the shadows would be exactly the same in the 3D scene as in real life.

Table Texture

Table texture that I created from the original backplate image

Blended images_Rotated

HDRI Image that I created and used

When it comes to rendering I had to render many passes which can be seen below in the layer contact sheets:

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After that I took the images into Nuke and composited all of the images together to create the final image! This is what the final node graph looked like:

node graph

(Unfortunately I no longer have the original render frames so you can’t see the original images in this. Also due to the size of the node graph none of the text can be viewed which is a shame)

There you have it! Everything that went into my compositing project! I hope you enjoyed my work!


Beehive Yourself!

This is the first of the projects that I am presenting to you which I have completed recently. This project was not entirely completed by myself; rather I played a part in its production.

For an outline of the project I was set the goal was to create a short animation (approximately 1 minute in length) of a narrative. The narrative was pitched by other students whom wanted to direct these projects and everyone who didn’t pitch (or didn’t have their narratives chosen) were designated to each of the successful directors groups.

Within the group I initially wanted to work on scripting and animation however this unfortunately didn’t occur. Instead I worked on:

  • Character Modelling
  • Rigging
  • FX(Fur)
  • Animation (Shots 4 and 5)

So for your pleasure here is the animation:

I modeled two of the bees; the Drone and the Worker. I was supplied model sheets to do this and overall I think they turned out well!

I also created the rigs for all three of the bees (Drone, Worker and Queen bee). This was relatively simple as they all needed similar rigs and the legs of bees are segmented and so no smooth weight paints were needed for any part of the body except for the neck area and when the thorax joins the rest of the body. I also implemented IK handles in each of the rigs for each leg and the antennae to make animating easier.



Next I created the fur for the bees. To do this I used GMH2 (a plugin for maya hair). The process was simple however there was a large amount of testing performed to get the right look. To attach the fur I used polygon cards which were constrained to the rig. I then attached the fur to the polygon cards in clumps.


After all that all that was left for me to do was animate shots 4 and 5:

Finally, here is the turntables of the two bees that I modeled:

And that’s all there was to it! I hope you enjoyed this post and my work!


Why I Love Animation

When I say I love animation I don’t mean watching it; I mean everything it entails to produce it. Animation is somewhat of a gateway to every other area of life. Let me explain…

Say you have an interest in deep sea animals (bit random but bare with me), if you worked in animation you would have the opportunity to study and learn all about your interest in marine life as that information would be incredibly useful in your job if the opportunity arose to animate some sea creatures.

…or another example…

If you are interested in engineering then you could easily incorporate that into your animation. You could spend your time enjoying yourself by researching your interest which would not only be fun for you but it would greatly benefit the work you are creating (if engineering is your thing of course…).

What I am saying is that no matter what your interests are or whether they change, they can always be incorporated into animation in some way. If you were working in some other fields such as teaching, as an example, you would be required to teach a few subjects but if your interests are different from those then it can become difficult to merge your interests with your work.

I personally have a wide variety of interests. I enjoy finding out about loads of things from natural history to the latest computing technologies. Because of my diverse interests animation is almost the perfect field for me to enter as there is always something interesting for me to find out about when working which isn’t necessarily directly to do with animation itself.

(This is a hard thing for me to describe. I think I have got my point across but maybe not very well. No doubt I’ll return to this subject at a later date and try to talk about it in a somewhat easier way.)

Keeping entertained

So, the stress of exams are long over and I find myself sitting around, trying to find uses of my time. This is a problem I did not expect to encounter. I thought the summer in this case would be long hot days full of relaxation and fun but they’re not. Instead I find myself bored. I’ve taken to reading for a couple of hours every day. In the past day alone I have managed to clear about a third of Department 19: The Rising by Will Hill. I have read the first one and found it most enjoyable and so far I am enjoying this one as much as the first.

I’ve also been modelling a character which I too have almost finished in the past two days. This is how I find I am spending my time rather than doing something which could be seen as a bit more… fun? productive? I’m not sure what I even think I should be doing so it is hard to describe. Oh well, maybe I will find something to do over the next couple of days that will keep me going.

Personal Project

As a somewhat productive way to use my time over these three months I have decided to continue one of my university projects as a personal project which could eventually add to my portfolio/showreel. The scene that I will attempt to make was originally envisaged for my pre-production unit and it seems simple enough however as all of you whom have created animation before will know nothing is as simple as it seems. I look forward to the challenge and also look forward to posting pictures and telling you all about it as it develops! For now however I shall leave you with a brief taster of the story:

Title: WIP
synopsis: A handsome young gentleman heads out for a romantic meal with his lady friend, little would he know that nature itself has other plans for him.

pretty simple idea and I hope it develops nicely as I look further into all aspects of it!

Back for the Summer

Hello all!

I am back as I said I would and exams are over! (Huzzah!). And now I face the three month summer break of job searching and general relaxing and recovering from the stress of those final two weeks of University. I know I am only in the first year and most of you may think I am exaggerating however I assure you I’m not when it comes to the relief I feel at the moment. I enjoy uni, don’t get me wrong, it gives me freedom and knowledge in subjects of my interest however when the pressure starts to rise, it really does and so towards the end it can seem more of a nightmare than a pleasure! Still, it is over with now; time to looks towards these next couple of months and for the moment enjoy myself while I can! You can all be assured that you will no doubt all be reading about my exploits on here over the coming months.

On that note I shall end this here!

My Current Project

As promised, here it is. My current project. It’s not much I grant but it is fun. I have been tasked to create a fully rigged and textured vinyl figure character. I chose to create a vinyl figure version of Sully. Here is one of the reference images I am working from:

d6c832e915479f9b1bda0a4184259f35It’s cute isn’t it?! Well, that’s what I’ve been told anyway. It’s quite complex compared to some of the vinyl figures I could have chosen but I like a challenge. Here is a quick screenshot I just took of the stage I am at at the moment.

CaptureSo, as you can see, the character is modelled and for those of you who aren’t in the know I am in the middle of UV unwrapping. That is the process of determining how an image is applied to the model of the character. Like laying a cloth with an image on it over the top of the character I have to stretch the cloth or shrink it in different places to make sure that it doesn’t look abnormal on the surface. I have probably been UV unwrapping now for a couple of hours, at least on this character anyway. Hopefully over the next couple of days I will finish this part of the project and be able to start actually creating the texture for it.

… then I can finally rig it and get animating with it! It’s a long process creating anything for animation but in my opinion it is well worth it in the long run.

Anyway, there you have it, this is what I have been working on and I hope to be bringing you all up to date on my projects as I encounter and progress with them. And with that I shall say goodbye and get on with it!

Later guys and gals!