Animating for the short

After losing my data from my file drive corrupting i had been working towards getting the animating done for my group so we could piece the short together in time for hand in and to get some stuff rendered. Thankfully i had Cassie to work on cameras to save time animating the character, i felt there was no need to animate parts of the character that were not gonna be seen.


Not gonna lie, i felt so much pressure doing these animations as pretty much all the animating to given to me but i had to do this to make up for my files going missing – i had to prove that it was not going to set me back!

Cassie was wonderful during the animating stage as she kept checking in on me and gave good feedback when it was needed to help finalise the movements of the character, heck even she took on some of the work to help me out and she did amazing with her animations (and she says shes bad a animating…HA shut up Cassie you’re amazing).

Eoin was tasked with doing the raider inside his house although he was having some issues with the rig, i dont think he knew how to work him very well but i took on his part also seeing as i had been playing around with the model mostly and had the most time animating the robber.

Now we are going to send the play blasts to Caitlin for her to put the clips together, add the timing and sounds which will hopefully bring us to the end of the project for hand in!

(We still need to render it all though….)


Free stock images for photo bashing

After all my concept art PSD files being corrupted i went to my tutor for some advice and he told me to try Photobashing which i would not had thought of if he had not mentioned to me!


What is Photobashing you ask?


All images are from Pexels.

Accessed –  21 – 12 – 16

The great corruption…

So today… something truly “amazing” happened regarding my pen drive with all my animations for our BBC short, my personal project and creative enterprise project… It got corrupted whilst someone was transferring files to a mac in our class room.

May i add that i am not the only one to have this happen to their equipment whilst using the same mac computer in class.

I had spoken with my lecture Alec about the situation regarding my lost files and i was recommended to go to a tech shop which i did as soon as it had been mentioned to me, there is a tech shop in Glengormley i have been going to for fixes and additional parts for computers in the past called The Tech Stop. They took my pen drive in yesterday and i was told they would try their best to get me my files back as much as they could, this gave me some relieve.



Today i got the drive back and i got the files back, all of them really but i cannot open any of them anymore sadly.

The technician told me something may had rendered the files useless now and even my lecture Alec took one of my maya files in an attempt to recover what i lost but even he had no luck so i am at a cross roads now.

Do i either,

A) Give up and let this huge set back take over me

B) Nut up, get as much done and hope i pass

Im gonna go with (B), i cant let my team down and hell ill even have to sacrifice marks on the concept project in terms to get this BBC short done as i feel it has a higher demand right now.

I cant let this get to me too much so once this blog is posted im forgetting the whole thing happened, if i dwell ill not get anything done at this rate. I want to say thank you to The Tech Shop, Alec Parkin and my group for helping me in everything they did in hope to get my files back – it truly means alot that you guys stuck your necks out for me.


Visual image research


The Scottish Highlands – 

Accessed – 22 – 12 – 16


The Cliffs Of Moher –

Accessed – 22 – 12 -16


The Aokigahara Forest – 

Accessed – 22 – 11 – 16






The Second Animatic

Cassie took some time from her tasks to touch up the animatic a little, we added in as many of our finished models as possible so the audience can read the scene better. The split screening has been put to a minimum now which i feel was a good direction as it has opened us up toward some interesting camera angles now!

Cassie stating she is not confident with animating i have to say she is doing good and she needs to give herself more praise – you are doing good girl!

Heres hoping the others will agree during the next presentations


The new character

When coming back to recreate our robber i wanted to get proper proportions of a human body, i found this free to use image online and it seems to be floating around a few websites so i could not track it down to its original up loader but i found it originally here.


Accessed – 09 – 11 -16

I will now follow the same process that a modeller tutorial maker James Taylor, his tutorial on human anatomy and modelling on Maya is just a life saver if you ask me, very clear to understand!

Accessed – 10 – 11 – 16

When i was nearing the end of the process of the character model i wanted to upload a turn table of it to my group page so i could get the appropriate feedback from everyone and to my surprise they thought it was going great and that the head needed worked on a little more then his little cap added which was created by Caitlin.


This is the completed piece and the group is beyond happy with it which makes me happy to feel i have made up for the first hash i created which was that mess known as the butt raider…

Here is a comparison between the two models to see the improvements made.

  • Better proportions
  • Will be rigged easier in Mixamo
  • Will potentially animate better on Maya
  • Clear to read as human


The main thing is that the character is anatomically correct now in terms of its shape.

We then put it through Mixamo and here are the results of the new characters movements!


The group wanted the driver to look somewhat different to the robber which i questioned a little as alot of media use robbers and gang members for example with very similar visuals almost making them twins but due to the time budget we had left and the thought of animating i could only make subtle changes such as making him shorter and fatter around the gut area, Cassie then added it to Mixamo for a test run.



The character

I was also given the task to model the character for the short, when talking about the appearance of the raider, we want the character to look slender and tall something like the pop culture CreepyPasta Slenderman. We dont want to give the person a identity as it was unknown who took the shaving from the reported story the BBC gave us, for all we know it could had been female or male. Everyone would like the design to be true to the silhouetted design so this should make the modelling process a little quicker seeing as there is no need for a facial design for the character.


Accessed – 04 – 11 – 16 – Piece painted by Nick Tyrrell

These are two initial pieces created by Eoin and Caitlin to go toward the creation of the robber, i really liked Caitlin’s graphic work on hers – the mask/head is just menacing! Eoin also did some key poses for a slender body to see how we could operate with such a slender build as it will be the first time for us all working with a fully humanoid character – the challenge is set, lets begin.

Accessed – 03 – 11 – 16

For my initial concepts of the robber i looked at the visuals of two of my favourite rivalled characters between platforms, Cole Macgrath (Left) and Alex Mercer (Right). I wanted to mix and match aspects of them into one and this is what i got after a quick paint on Sai.


The group really liked this image of the robber, especially his cloak and glowing hands to indicate the radiation he had came across – starting to feel like we are designing a superhero!



Accessed – 03 – 11 -16

Another piece i made inspired by the Purge movie franchise, i decided to create this guy to see what the others thought – they liked him although his attire would prove too detailed for what we are going for.


With that i decided to sketch another figure out but this time i added basic geometry on it to allow the group to see how low poly we could go with the model, they liked the test although the middle had lines that were too close, i concur with this and will make sure the actual model will have evenly spread out topology but as a whole i feel this will help me big time when creating the character on Maya.

This was a blocked progress of the character when i was asking the group for feedback, note the head was still in the works – everyone liked it so far and the way the model was looking, could almost say if we put a suit on it then we would have Slenderman! (Spooky)

Only concerns i started having with the character was inconsistent proportions it had due to it being a slender stylised model but im learning as i go along with this piece that human anatomy is not as scary as i originally thought.






Back (Baby got back!)




Here is the robber in the end, i dont know how i feel about this – i mean the front looks fine but i think i may had unintentionally given the robber a Nicki Minaj butt and i dont know if i should be happy or concerned with this… On a serious note i showed this to the group and the butt was the main concern with the piece but due to time budget we decided to run it through Mixamo, a automated rigging software that our tutor Alec had told us about prior to a lecture on Monday.

What is Mixamo you ask? – Click the link to find out.





Im going to remake this character with more consistent proportions which means we will have to take away the slender appeal a little from the character, when i mentioned this to everyone they were happy enough and just told me to tackle the character whenever i can.

Finalised ideas for animation

Today when we came together we finalised the terms of style and how the animation will be done for the BBC short, from our research its been decided that we will be going with a 2D cell shaded/blocked animation. We thought it would be the best to aim for something similar to the lone digger animation


Cassie had found that it could be very easy to replicate this style by using basic shader and turning down the diffuse to create a flatter surface causing the illusion of 2D.


For the camera, we thought about having the camera in a third person perspective, we thought using the first person perspective would be too disorienting for the audience and distract the main keys for the story. Like the use of camera in the Alien 3 movie, the camera lurks and watches the objective (main point in the shot) in a hunting motion almost. We want the give the camera a sense of life that it is following and tracking the robbers throughout the short.

We then wrote down together what the key actions will be in the short between the two characters.


  • Look at plans and gets out of car
  • Walk towards store and stops outside the door
  • Breaks into store
  • raiding the store
  • Turn to find the box
  • Inspecting the box
  • Runs out of the store with the box
  • Gets in car
  • Drives away
  • Gets out  of car
  • Goes into the house
  • Puts down box on counter
  • Notices hands
  • Runs to bathroom
  • Wash hands


  • Looks at plans
  • Sits in car and taps wheel
  • Notices robber running toward the car
  • Drives away
  • Drops raider at home



Modelling the street

Out of the group it was decided that i was the one to model the main street that will inhabit the store and the robbers home. With my modelling gradually getting better i feel this will be a great opportunity to test out what i have learnt so far to implicate into the short.


Accessed 30-11-16

I started of by looking into what streets in London looked like during the 1960’s as it was the decade that the robbery happen and i felt that the street needed to feel apart of the year in some way, as you can see the buildings have a very linear design, blocked and the design of the buildings seemed consistent having the similar appearance.


Accessed 30 – 11 – 16

One thing i noticed is that the lamp posts are this lovely Gothic appeal, not to mention every time i look at lamp posts like this it reminds me of either the lamp post in The Chronicles Of Narnia and From Software’s Bloodborne Lampposts.

Accessed – 30 – 11 -16



I wanted my lamp to look Victorian as it would help familiarise the location the short is situated, i had a little trouble on this lamp at one point with the top needing the faces removed so the silhouette of the lamp would be clearer to see and so that when lighting is being added that it wont cause any problems in future.



I wanted to add little benches around the town as i felt it would make the area have a sense of a close community that indicates that the town would be quite lively during the day, so with that i decided to try something that Gianni (Former team mate) had told me about once – looking at schematics of objects and literally building them in Maya like you would in real life and admittedly i must it i found myself having more fun with creating the model although it seemed to make the process a little longer than i originally thought.




When making the street i wanted to stick to my references of streets of London from the 60’s, making the street consistent and having a sense of repetition on the attached buildings. i decided to make the tops of the buildings flat so that Caitlin’s back drops will be seen in the background in future when we add textures.

I also reused models from my 3D narrative project seeing as little to none of my models were used in the end… Hey may as well make use of them now!

Things i modelled inside the street:

  • Lamp posts
  • Bins
  • Benches
  • Road/path
  • Buildings
  • Advertisement signs


My group seem happy with the street which makes my relieved as i thought this was lacking but it seems i was wrong, everyone was happy with it.