Category Archives: Tutorial

Maya Run Cycle

This week we had a run cycle tutorial in 3D class. We made our character run 360degrees in a circle. The process wasn’t that much different from the walk cycle besides timing and exaggerating the characters running exertion. The key pose I felt was the jump pose that takes the character off the ground and appear as if he is flying. We also used the graph editor again to smooth out the animation. I still don’t have a good handle on it and I find it frustrating to use.

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Jump Pose From The Front (Not As Extreme As I’d Like)

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Running In Maya

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Jump Pose From The Back


Maya Walk Cycle

We’re back in 3D class with Sang this week and hitting the ground walking with a 3D walk cycle animation tutorial. It wasn’t as scary as it seems once we broke down the key contact poses we needed to create a somewhat realistic walk cycle. Sang gave us a sheet with a 2D walk cycle chart from Richard Williams Animator’s Survival Kit and showed us some videos of walk cycle animation that looked very natural. Felix Sputnik’s walk and run cycle animation video gave me serious animator’s envy. At the end of the tutorial I had a walk cycle that looked more like it was from a RuPaul’s Cover Girl video. Sang taught us to use the graph editor to make the animation smoother as well. The graph editor and I still have communication problems though.



Walk Cycle Contact Sheets From The The Animator’s Survivors Kit By Richard Williams


Down Pose


Contact Pose


Another Contact Pose

After Effects Class

We had a crash course with Malcom Finney today on Adobe After Effects. I’ve had experiences with the program in the past but I don’t use it that often even while I feel that it’s one of the programs I should be proficient in. He taught us basic animation, making use of the grids, keying out colours in a video for compositing, masking, alpha paints, camera tracking and compositing a 3D asset from Cinema 4D. All of this information will useful when the time comes for me to composite my 3D character into a live action plate, I’m not sure how I would fully go about it at this point but I have a better idea of the options I have now.

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Basic Animation

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Keying & Basic Compositing

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Masking A Moving Asset

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Masking & Alpha Paints

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Camera Tracking & 3D Compositing

About a week ago I took part in Pop Dundee‘s Christmas Market sale outside of the Caird Hall. As usual Vicki and Ashling were very well efficient, helpful and professional organisers. I had a long and very cold day out in the market but it was fruitful and a lot of fun!


Pop Dundee Christmas Market

Character Ear & Hand Modelling + Retopologize Mesh With Quad Draw

We continued with out character modelling lessons with ear and hand modelling this week. I had an easier time following and understanding the ear tutorial than the hand modelling. Seeing as I have problems drawing hands in 2D I wasn’t that surprised.  The ear began as a single flat plan that was rotated then sectioned, extruded and moved to fit the ten edge hole with left on the side of the model’s skull last week. The hand was modelled off of a basic cube polygon, when it came to the point of extruding and modelling the thumb it became more difficult for me to keep up. Thankfully I did.


Character Ear Modelling


Character Hand Modelling Beginning with Basic Cube Polygon


Character Hand Modelling (Thumb)


Completed Hand Model (Smoothed View)

During the last section of our day, Sang briefly taught us how to retopologize a high-poly Z-Brush model in Maya using the Quad Draw tool. This was immensely helpful for me considering I would need to the exact same thing once I complete my Primordial sculpt in Z-Brush and would have to bring it into Maya to be textured and rigged. The process he showed us was quite fun and surprisingly straight forward but I think he’s going easy on us at this point.


Retopologized Low-Poly Model & Z-Brush Sculpt in Maya

Character Modelling: Head & Torso

[Blog]CharacterModellingHead02Polygon Model of Character Head (Beginning of Face)

This week we had a more thorough lesson in 3D modelling with Sang using his character sheet. We began each character element with either a basic polygon cube or plane in Maya. But first we imported image planes of the character sheet to use as modelling guides. Using mainly the front and side view of the character, Sang introduced us to Maya’s (new?) Modelling Tool Kit side panel and taught us how to utilise it to add cuts, manipulate vertices and extrude faces in order to create the character’s torso and then his face. We ended at a place partially at the place of the skull.

I’m not sure if I would be able to use this process in Maya to create my own character as I had already decided to use Z-Brush.  SO after the lesson I had a short chat with Sang and he gave me some encouraging pointers on how to use Z-Brush to model the Primordial character.  He told me to familiarise myself as best I could with Z-Brush brushes, Dynamesh, Subtools, Polypaint, Spotlight and normal/displacement mapping.


Polygon Model of Character Torso (Unsmoothed)


Polygon Model of Character Torso (Smoothed and Subdivided)


Polygon Model of Character Head (Beginning of Face)