Third Year – Posing ,Silhouette and Line Of Action.

Getting strong posing, lines of action, and clear silhouettes in your animation are very important.

Many types of reference materials that will help me photography, comic-books, live-action movie reference, animated reference, and footage of yourself and your friends acting out a scene will all be incredibly useful as you sit down to plan your shot.

It’s important to keep a solid reference library of films It’s incredibly useful.

Just a quick memory jog:

  • Needs to be in character.
  • Strong line of action.
  • Clear and instantly read-able.
  • Proper physicality.
  • Visually interesting.
  • Guide the viewers eye.
  • Good facial expression.

Figure It Out! (Christopher Hart Figure It Out!) Paperback – 7 Oct 2009

Although this is for the human figure I can still put these concept ideas with my characters. He looks at all sorts of poses, both static and dynamic. Showing the difference between a realistic set of proportions and an idealised view. This book has really helped me in placing my characters in poses.

Some initial Poses for my animation. Of the Rabbit and the Bear.


Third Year – Film Pitch

  • Third year animation student: Kia Martin
  • The title of my film is Teddy’s Nightmare. (Might change it later)
  • The process of my film shall be all 3D. With Maya and ZBrush.
  •  My Film is about a child teddy bear that wakes up in the middle of the night to something hidden in the cupboard. He faces his fear and opens the cupboard to find a trapped toy. And realises that the threat was all his imagination and then both toys go to bed.



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  • What I shall ask of you guys to help me with is animating. The style that I am going for shall be a simple with good poses and silhouettes. I have simple rigs for easy control.
  • But I haven’t finished them yet! They still need to be ZBrushed and have some sort of facial rig. I plan to have this complete by next week. Along with a pre-vis to help to animate alongside.
  • If there is any volunteers please see Debra with my sign up sheet. 🙂


Third Year – Rigging my characters

Major Set Backs!!!

Right where to begin I didn’t have the correct geometry for my rigs. I built them more like an object then a character. So I had to remodel them. Looking at the remodelling I

thought more about how I wanted them to walk and to look like. For the bear I had remodelled his nose higher and smaller ears for a cuter and more bear-ish face. Placed more weight into his legs by making them bigger and more beanie like. gave him a rounder stomach then a pushed out one. The modelled just overall flows batter for animating.


For my Rabbit I had changed his ears for a more rabbit shape than long toy ones. As Toy ones are normally floppy if they are too long. Took away his face as he won’t speak and gave him a more smaller rabbit nose. His head is also smaller and has a longer body. Instead of just the longer legs. I have also gave him a tail.


The Body rigs I have kept simple with controllers and IKs. As they are still toys and wont be doing a lot of moves. So I shall be showing simple and strong poses and silhouettes when in the darkness and for expression.

Loss of the monster rabbit…

Unfortunately this remodelled and rigging took to long and set me back for the time limit. So I had to loose my monster character. But its okay Instead of the character being the threat I shall rework the cameras and threat. to make it seem that the actually threat was the unknown in the darkness.

Facial Rigs

I shall looking into lattice and cluster rigs for the face and experiment with them to see if I can get some good character expressions from them.

Third Year: Deformer Rig (Toothbrush)

With all that knowledge put together I did a small model of a toothbrush. With deformers and made a small animation to demonstrate the type of style that it creates.

My Toothbrush


My Toothbrush with the standard controllers in the outliner.

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My Toothbrush with my non linear deformers for animation purposes.

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Small animation showing how the rigs work.



Book: Tina O’Hailey, Rig it Right! – Maya animation rigging concepts.

Third Year: Developing Rigging Skills

Book: Tina O’Hailey, Rig it Right! – Maya animation rigging concepts.

“Basic Rules of Rigging:

#1 Edge-loops – a goof or bad rig starts with edge-loops.

#2 Never key-frame on the geometry. (Rig for change).

#3 Lock what isn’t going to be animated.

#4 Keep geometry (GEO), controls (CNTRL), and skeletons (SKEL) in separate groups in the outliner.

#5 Make controls that make sense to the animator.

#6 Happy math – controls and joints should be zeroed out.

#7 Happy history – always delete unneeded history to keep a rig fast.

#8 Joint placement, preferred angles and orientations: good models can go bad with poor joint placement. Take extra care here before any other rigging – or you’ll be redoing your rig.

#9 BlendShape. Never ever freeze them.

#10 Skinning – make peace with it – a good rig with bad skinning is still bad. ”

With this book I had a look into doing some examples of different rigging techniques.

I knew that I needed to look into blenders for my eyes and for my body maybe not even a skeleton rig as they are a rag doll?? But maybe a lattice blender??

Pivot Point Controller

I had first started with a ball. And just placing the standard tools into outliner.

Then a Goblet making the pivot points into controllers. And organising it in the outliner and the side channel editor.

Ball Outline Controller.

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Goblet Tip and Spill Controller.

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Next I looked into deformers as modeling tools for shaping NURBS or polygonal objects.

My Rectangle that I placed my deformers onto.


Bend deformers let you bend any deformable object along a circular arc. They are useful both for character setup and modeling. Bend deformers include handles that let you intuitively control the extent and curvature of the bending effects.

bob bend

Squash deformers let you squash and stretch any deformable object along an axis. They are useful both for character setup (classic squash and stretch effects) and modeling. Squash deformers include handles that let you control the extent and magnitude of the squash or stretch effects in an intuitive manner. The squash deformer squashes and stretches objects.

squash bob.PNG

Twist deformers let you twist any deformable object about an axis. They are useful both for character setup and modeling. Twist deformers include handles that enable you to control the extent and degree of the twisting effects in an intuitive manner.The twist deformer twists the shape of an object.

twist bob

Sine deformers let you manipulate any deformable object along a sine wave. Sine deformers are useful both for character setup and modeling. Sine deformers include handles that you can use to control the extent, amplitude, and wavelength of the sine wave effects in an intuitive manner. The sine deformer changes the shape of an object along a sine wave.

sine bob

The wave deformer is similar to the sine deformer. The sine deformer’s sine wave propagates in the deformer’s local Y axis, with the amplitude along the X axis. The wave deformer’s sine wave propagates along the deformer’s local X and Z axes, with the amplitude along the Y axis. Wave deformers include handles that enable you to control the extent, amplitude, and wavelength of the wave effects in an intuitive manner. The wave deformer deforms an object based on a circular sine wave for ripple effects.

wave bob

Flare deformers let you flare out or taper in any deformable object along two axes. They are useful both for character setup and modeling. Flare deformers include handles that let you to control the extent and curvature of the flaring or tapering effects in an intuitive manner.

bob flare

Lattice Deformer 

Lattice deformers let you deform objects with lattices. A lattice deformer surrounds a deformable object with a lattice that you can manipulate to change the object’s shape.

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I started out with my whole Lattice defomer over my object with a Cluster Lattice at the top of my object.  And just to show how they work on my object. I don’t think I shall be using the Lattice on my characters.



Book: Tina O’Hailey, Rig it Right! – Maya animation rigging concepts.



Third Year – Test Lighting Shots

Render tests: Looking at the light source effects with different Render time and settings.

Using Arnold Renderer in Maya.

This is the Arnold is an advanced  ray tracing renderer built for the demands of feature-length animation and visual effects. Arnold was the primary renderer on dozens of films from Monster House and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to Pacific Rim and Gravity. Arnold is an advanced Monte Carlo ray tracing renderer built for the demands of feature-length animation and visual effects.

With these settings my render took 13 minutes to render one frame. This is because my Camera AA setting has been turned up to seven to produce a high quality image. My diffuse I had at 3 to reduce the indirect diffuse noise make sure the amount of diffuse light received from direct sources only.  My images are very clear with good levels of lighting and shading.

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I next tried to go something of the same quality but with less time to render per frame.

The diffuse sampling is done for each AA sample, so high values for both AA samples and diffuse samples will tend to result in slow renders. I turned down my Camera AA down to five and my diffuse to zero. My SSS I made four to  produce a cleaner solution.

The results is that i still got a good quality image but harsher shadows. Not a lot of different levels of light and some noise in the backgrounds.

Still this took around the same time as the first render setting.

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With these settings I had turned up the diffuse and turn down the camera AA. looking for something that shall still be quick to render and okay quality with enough light to show my levels of light and darkness.

I got nothing like that. Having the diffuse higher than my Camera AA make my image have a lot of noise. But I had light that had lit up my room as well as keeping my sources as a main brightness. As you can see a glimmer of my candle from the bedside at the window image. This is what I wanted to achieve with my light sources and diffusion. And it took only a few minutes to render.

Now i just have to find the balance between the camera AA with the diffuse and render times.

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This is looking into a high quality and lighting that I really want. With just the render. Unfortunately there are some fall-backs. I’ve worked out on four computers this would take up-to 30 days to render my animation. Which of course I have to be realistic.

So I have 2 options. I can use the low render settings and sort the lightning effects and noise afterwards in after effects.


I can render scenes as soon as I have finished them. For example my beginning scene around the room has no animation just camera movement. Then after each scene has been animated and completed place straight into the rendering process.


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I can decide near the time. As like the production triangle says I can only have the two! so either less quality but more time.





Third Year – Communication

Target Audience

The Audience need to relate to the tone and content of the message. Using digital and social media platforms. My target audience is parents, grandparents and anyone else with children in their lives. To show the children they don’t need to be afraid of what is inside ‘their’ cupboard.


In my Animation I have more discourse than story. As my story is a basic question of will the teddy overcome his fear? Yes. The environment (discourse) is designed around the theme of the story – fear. How there is little light, set out at night.

The Production Triangle. Consists of Cost (labour), speed and quality. You can only have the two that you want. My animation i would like to have good quality animation, speed I don’t have to rush as my animation doesn’t have a lot of animating in it. So my labour I will just have me.

Animation style

Pose to pose is a term used in animation, for creating key poses for characters and then inbetweening them in intermediate frames to make the character appear to move from one pose to the next.

Straight Ahead Action in hand drawn animation is when the animator starts at the first drawing in a scene and then draws all of the subsequent frames until he reaches the end of the scene.

Follow through is the termination part of an action. Heavier parts lag farther and stop slower. An example is in the antennae of an insect – they will lag behind and them move quickly to indicate the lighter mass.

Overlapping means to start a second action before the first action has completely finished. This keeps the interest of the viewer, since there is no dead time between actions.

Here is a quote about overlapping from Walt Disney:

It is not necessary for an animator to take a character to one point, complete that action completely, and then turn to the following action as if he had never given it a thought until after completing the first action. When a character knows what he is going to do he doesn’t have to stop before each individual action and think to do it. He has it planned in advance in his mind” .