WWIII: An Unexpected Fight 3D Animation By: Ashley Williams

Week 1: Create a draft version of a client presentation showing the theme and character concepts for an animation project.

In this project I will be taking the first page from the comic book that I made in the previous class and turning it into a 3D animation using the software called Maya 2015. The scene is of a man who works at NASA overnight watching the monitors for any unusual activity or signals from space.

Reference Images

Reflection: This step of the project was very helpful. It was good to have the first week of this project just to brain storm ideas on what this animated scene would be about. As far as the client proposal goes, I feel like I needed a refresher on that because I was slightly confused on exactly how to go about making one and what all the right things were to add to it.

Week 2: Create a basic 3D character mesh.

Using basic shapes in the polygon tab I started to create my office man. By extruding areas of the simple polygon, I was able to form an almost stick figure like man while following my drawings that I had placed in the background as reference.

3D Character Mesh

Reflection: This was a part of the project that I found the hardest to do. When it came to taking a basic shape and turning it into something it was hard for me to envision what it was going to turn into. This was definitely my least favorite part of the assignment.

Week 3: Refine the 3D character mesh with advanced modeling tools.

Once the basic shape was made of the man I was able to take the vertexes and the faces of the character and shape out the details of his body such as the hands, shoulders, knees, and waist line.

Refined 3D Character Mesh

Reflection: Learning how to smooth out and add details such as knees and finger to the character was not as bad as I thought it would be. I liked this because it really started to give a defined shape to the cubed stick figure that I started out with. I also liked this part because it made you think of every part of the human body that needs to go into your character to make him move and bend the way hes supposed to.

Week 4: Build out the 3D environment with the addition of prop objects and a ground plane.

Like the character, I placed images in the background of my grid to use as a reference for my prop objects. I started with a basic shape and then extruded back to make a stand and went from there to add in the details.

Computer Prop Object

I took my original reference image of the chair I wanted to make and then refined it to fit the scene that it was going to be in.

Chair Prop Object
Ground Plane

Reflection: Making the prop items and the stage for it all was a lot easier than making the person to me because even though we can personalize everything to what we want it to be, when making a person you still follow by some guild lines when it comes to life like features. When making the laptop and chair, I was able to play around more with the looks and features which helped me figure out the tools easier.

Week 5: Add basic material mapping to the character and scene objects.

I started putting some dept and distinction to all my objects in this step by adding materials to them which made all the features stand out. For the computer and TV screens I used Phong shaders which gave them a glossy reflective effect and used Lambert materials for the walls and flooring for the matted structure texture.

Basic Material Mapping

Reflection: This was by far my favorite part of the whole project. Everything was looking nice all shaped and sculptured but once the color was added it really popped. I liked this pert the most because of all the different textures that you could use. I takes designing to another level because now you don't have to put so much effort in the coloring and texture parts but more into the design and then just relying on the 3D textures to really bring it to life. I also love the fact that I could bring in a photo and wrap it around something that I make and use that as the texture especially when it comes to putting a face on a character.

Week 6: Add basic lighting to the scene.

I really played with the lighting in this scene to see what types of lighting would give me the 12am middle of the night type of lighting that I was looking for. For the lamp I tried using a point light as well as an area light as the glow of the lamp and found that the point light seemed to fit best. Then used soft ambient lighting to fill in the rest of the room and played around with shadows to make sure they were not too dark for the room.

Scene Lighting

Reflection: My opinion on lighting varies on the sign it is in. I loved how it worked when it was outside with no walls and feel that is also easiest to work with after getting shadows down. However lighting a room is a real challenge because all the lights are inside of at least 2 or 3 walls. I was able to get down some parts of the lighting but still struggle with it. Lighting is one of those things that when it works its great but when it doesn't it just gives everyone a headache and want to start over.

Thank You! Any Questions?

Reflection: This whole project was just an amazing learning experience because I never thought that I would be working in 3D design. It has not changed my views on what I want to do after college because I still really do not like 3D design but it was a great experience working with it. It was ruff doing this assignment in the given time that we had and I would have loved to have had more time to work on this and refine my work.

Final Render
Created By
Ashley Williams


Created with images by Comfreak - "all universe earth" • Nikiko - "milky way star night" • Nikiko - "milky way star night" • Nikiko - "milky way star night" • Nikiko - "milky way star night" • Nikiko - "milky way star night" • Nikiko - "milky way star night" • Comfreak - "all universe earth"

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