Monday, 15 February 2010

Lumiere Beauty and the Beast

I decided to look into the way that Lumiere moves in Beauty and the Beast as he has a similar shape to my chess pieces at the bottom. I like the way he kicks up one side of his base to make it look as though he is stepping and also how the centre lifts up to create two leg shapes. He aslso has a lot of squash and stretch which I will try to replicate in 3D to accentuate the movement, especially with the sometimes complex camera movement or hard to see angles within Labyrinth.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Chess Modelling

Here are my pretty much my final models for my chess pieces, the only one missing here is the Knight as I am still working on the shape for it.



Monday, 8 February 2010

Head Modelling

Here are a couple of images from the start of my Box Modelling a Head tutorial. I am really enjoying doing this, although I am finding it time consuming keep adding vertices and extruding everything then deleting edges etc etc. This is an ongoing project throughout as I will focus on animating the Chess pieces first and the head will be an additional bonus.

Chess Pieces

I wanted to create something a little abstract to fit in with the staircase sequence, and came across the idea of adding chess pieces. My idea is that the baby is holding the White King and throughout the staircases are the black chess pieces closing in on him and watching them move around the environment. I think it would have suited the film and that Jareth is playing a game with all of the other characters.

Furthermore, these pieces will not be as hard to model as a creature using fur and nCloth, and simpler to rig so that I can focus on my animation.

Inital Storyboards

I did these storyboards whilst choosing which sections from the staircase sequence to use, hence the frame numbers at the bottom of each image. They do not include any of my effects/ additional characters as I was not sure what I would be adding at the time. The sequence is ery long so I may cut it down in order to achieve a good result in the end.

I like the end sequence the best, as I like the castle crumbling apart around her. I also feel that the head of Jareth could be added to the black background easily as she falls, having a demonating presence. I think I will make Jareth laugh as if he has got her finally, so I can use lip sync for him too.

What to add?

After deciding on my film, I had to choose what to add to my scenes. I want to create a human character (preferably Jareth) as this will stretch my capabilites and I will learn a lot about modelling. Using Jareth will allow me to use images of David Bowie as a texture around his head, although this will be looked at in latter stages. I may only model his head as it will take a long time to make a whole human look realistic.

I have started to follow this tutorial on Box Modelling a Head in Maya:

If this is the case, I will model other characters to move around the scene, for example other creatures from the film.

Inital Drawings

I started drawing a couple of characters from the film as inspiration as to what I could add:

I really want to add some form of Jareth as I feel this will show off my modelling and human character animation skills.

Film choices

When I originally started looking at films for this project, I chose a wide variety as I was unsure which direction to take. Therefore I watched Phantom of the Opera, Step Up and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. I did not want to use a film with too many effects in them already as there would be no need for my own animation to add to it, and I also found that I could not fault these sequences and could not think of what could be added.

I was going to add to a scene from Phantom of the Opera, yet decided against it due to the complexity of the image and the fact that there is fog and snow surrounding Christine, as I was not sure how to make this look effective on my CGI characters and felt that it would cause me problems.

I also wanted to use Step Up and add a digital character to interact with the leads when they are dancing. I do still like this idea yet felt it would not inspire me enough throughout the project to do a good enough job.


I really enjoyed watching the film again and loved the end section with the staircases. Although there is also complex imagery and shots here, I feel I could add extra characters in an interesting way. I also feel that it will capture my imagination throughout the project, and there are some great camera moves that I can utilse Maya Live for.

Project Brief

Here are the key points for the CVA207 Industry Exercises Brief:

This unit builds directly on the Industry Exercises 1 unit, allowing students to broaden their range of professional animation skills or to develop existing areas to an advanced level. Students also develop more advanced planning and organisational skills essential in the delivery of a completed project within a fixed schedule.

Students will complete two projects in this unit, one can be self‑initiated (negotiated with tutor) or students may choose to revisit an exercise which was not developed fully in the Industry Exercises 1 unit. The second project is an explicit production schedule for the term, that demonstrates competent use of scheduling software to model potential outcomes. Student projects must have a clear focus on the development of industry relevant skills, their overall artistic or creative style, and contribute significantly to the demonstration of their employability in their final show reel.

These practical exercises are supplemented by a reflective commentary.

11. Aims of the Unit

To enable students to supplement possible career specialisms within the animation industry through the development of ancillary skills.
To enable students to further develop portfolios of work demonstrating advanced proficiency in the specialism of their choice.
To provide experience of establishing and developing personal project schedules and tracking progress towards project completion.
To further develop critical awareness within the students of their personal skills, and the ability to generate research strategies for continuing enhancement.