1003: Character Turnarounds

I finally got the turnarounds to work for both characters-



I had a few rendering issues- for Icarus I had to make a new file and with Amphitrite I had to playblast from the turnaround camera as a PNG series and then convert to AVI with premiere pro (that’s why the lights are there). I think turnaround is my least favourite Maya feature.

I like both designs and the turnarounds were made so I could use them for a first year portfolio.

1003: Jelly Deformer

I tested the jiggle deformer in the deform menu on a cube-

This was really fun to do. It was interesting to test the physics and change the material. The engine for this deformer is really good as you don’t need to create an object for it to collide with, the animation instead drives the movement.

1003: Icarus masterpost

Icarus masterpost of all my work on the subject.


First ideas- sun designs and first board

First storyboard

Sea animals study

Character designs        Character designs 2, light tests, scenery, modelling

Storyboard version 3

Amphitrite textures

Final designs

Storyboard and sound ideas

Colour tests


Turnarounds and Final Designs

Icarus Blend Shapes and Construction          Amphitrite and Icarus Construction

Continued Blend Shapes

3D Animatic

Rigging and seal

Animation stage by stage- first 2 seconds, 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 20 seconds

Final Animation-


1003: Icarus

During my animation I struggled with the timings and framing of some of the scenes. I ended up animating a lot of the motion from multiple angles in order to get the best results and to disguise some of the faults with the rigs.

Below is one of the scene trials-

new board

And the test for the final head scene-


I found it useful to have lots of notes of things like specific frame timing and light intensity.

I created a soundtrack from freesounds.org. I first picked the bubbles and then added the splash and cello sound. I knew I wanted a crowd as an ongoing background noise, so in the end I spent more time changing the amplification of the tracks than actually brainstorming what I wanted.

Here is the finished piece-


What I like- I like both my character’s designs and how they look next to each other. I ended up toning down the Amphitrite design by reducing the number of colours, and by keeping Icarus’s design down to 3 colours it helped give the piece a matching look. I worked for a long time on the face UV map and Blend shapes for Icarus and I think they turned out really well. I focused on the faces a lot as I knew I would have close ups in the animation. I didn’t want the faces to look dead or low quality.

I worked on the soundtrack last but during the animation I had a basic idea of what I wanted to sound like. The lighting and choir in the background both work well to create the unreal atmosphere. I wanted it to be obvious Icarus was underwater but I also wanted to place to seem dreamlike and it to be obvious he couldn’t leave.

The lighting is probably my favourite non-animated part of the film. I spent a long time getting the colours and intensity of the fill lights right. I needed them to have filters and not create too dark shadows. They were really effective in creating the environment, particularly in the first two cuts.

I ended up with about 45 seconds of animation, but because I used a new camera for each render I could edit much faster and re-render when things went wrong. Having lots of production material and a good system for animating made the creation much quicker.

For the actual animation I think a few parts like the swimming movement, the blends shapes and the head movement are really good, but in some parts the rig limited me in what I could do.

What I don’t like- When i rigged the hands I removed the finger rigs so in some scenes the hand clips around. I don’t think it’s that noticeable but it is a fault that I should’ve really gone back to fix. The shadows are a bit inconsistent but as I like the lighting so much it’s not too big of a deal.

I ended up with about 50 seconds of finished animation at the end, and by the time I managed to edit it down to 35 seconds I wasn’t able to hold the final scene like I wanted, so I’m not sure it it finishes to quickly.

Overall I like it. I managed to tell the story I wanted to, rig and animate two characters, and create a finished piece. Although it isn’t identical to my storyboard I like the film I’ve made. I think reducing it down to two physical character and a spotlight representing the sun makes a tighter story than introducing backgrounds or sea animals would.

1003: Icarus

Here’s more 3D animation-

I’m really happy with how it’s developing. I would have more done but I’m having issues with rendering the Amphitrite model so I think i need to remove the textures from it and reset the render presets.

I want to have the Amph face scene done and rerender parts of the start with a dolphin and shark model ready for easter break.

1003: 2/30 seconds of Icarus

I managed to find a lighting style I liked and after a few failed attempts get a rendering style that suited the visual style of the storyboard. In the end I needed a fill light and to change the gamma levels on the renderer to 2.2.

Gif version-


In the end of this scene they kick to the left, so the next part to animate will be the character spinning round to be face up.

1003: 3D animatic

I finally managed to get the rig to work for Icarus but I haven’t weightpainted it or included one of the eyes so I’m going to remake next lesson.

Here is the first animatic where i hadn’t combined the pictures-

Here is the second version made on YouTube slideshow. It wouldn’t let me remove the wipe effect, hence the thumbnail :[

I do like this as it lets me see the scale of the characters. I haven’t rigged the Amph model as I had had enough of humanik.