Sunday, July 8, 2012

I hope everyone is having a great summer. I just wanted to share this animation I saw the other day! It's 2D but it's simply breathtaking. Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's Kind Of A Dog!

I still have to do some camera work and render, but here's the final product.

I spent so long trying to make the skeleton work (which it didn't, for some reason) that I didn't have too much time to work on the environment (I think I might be more proud of the rock than the actual dog).  But here it is, something that resembles a dog!  I'm not gonna lie, I'm not super thrilled with how it turned out.  But I guess I'll just have to practice a lot over the summer, maybe start with something easier before diving into animals, or try to tackle modeling people again.  I'm also not entirely sure why you can see little flowers through him, but I deleted those so they shouldn't be a problem.

I do wish I had fixed his eyes though, he looks crazed.  If I do go back to fix him, I'll definitely try to work more on the paws and actually try to make separate sections so they look more realistic.  I will also try to fix some of the vertices so that he looks a little more rounded around his neck (even though he's already smoothed out, I was having some problems with fixing that).

I won't be at the screening but I hope everyone's project turned out great! (See some of you in LA!)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My weekend.

So pretty much the biggest lesson that I learned in the past couple of days is LEARN PHOTOSHOP. I kinda wished I would've learn it before. I think that I wouldn't have struggle for hours trying to create the textures of my character... Anyway here is a preview of my bird:

So far I think it's looking pretty good. There's still a few glitches and I still need to do the wing and the feet but hey! it's a Saturday night. I kinda deserve a break right? 
Surprisingly, the beak was the hardest part of my model. It took my a long time to het the hang of the clone tool (and to be honest I'm still struggling with it. Right now I'm pretty competent with it, and after doing the upper part of the beak the lower one wasn't that hard to do. I think that I'm in pretty good shape, but there's still a lot of work to do before I start rigging (that should be interesting). In the mean time I'll keep struggling with photoshop.... 

Puzzle Tutorial

Now that I've somehow successfully created half of a dog in Maya, I've been looking at some simple tutorials that I can try over the summer.  I think that we've developed enough skills to apply to projects of our own, and this one that I've found takes you through the steps of creating a puzzle with your name or logo on it by duplicating the original puzzle shape.  But why just stop at doing your name?  I think that with this tutorial you could apply an actual image and make your own puzzle, possibly using keyframes to animate the pieces to put themselves together.

It's great being able to identify what goes into making a piece like this.  Such as recreating the lighting and  making the light, fading shadows that come off of the puzzle pieces.  The tutorial also discusses using planar mapping to appropriately place your image on the puzzle pieces.

At the beginning of the semester, this all seemed to daunting.  But now that we've gone through so much with maya, it's exciting how many tutorials and ideas seem doable.  (Even if some of these tutorials still seem absolutely impossible, such as the invisibility effect)

Monday, April 23, 2012 Hey everyone, this is a link to an article I wrote about the release of titanic 3D. Hope you like it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Why am I posting this if it isn't even 3D? Well, because I love Misfits and British tv (my obsession for British tv has been discussed in previous posts... I think?). I am posting this intro because it's a great animation in 2D. The effects are great, there's a lot of textures and interactions and they add to the main tone of the show. I've already talked about layers and the importance of layers in 3D, but I though it would be a cool idea share this video which is a perfect example of how layers are supposed to work. The art of this video is simple but at the same time interesting and captivating. You can tell that there are different layers and effects applied on this video. Some example is the multiple animals that running around, the clouds and thunders. Another thing that works amazingly in this intro is the color design, It looks clean and it draws you in as a viewer. I think that color design is probably one of the things that we should consider when we create a project. This along with textures and the actual animation.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

While we are all eagerly awaiting the new Spiderman and the Avengers, theres are some movies we're anticipating that have not chosen the path of cgi animation. For The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan tries to please his audience by not using CGI or 3D technology, even if thats what Warner Brothers wants. He told DGA magazine, "I feel a responsibility to the audience to be shooting with the absolutely highest quality technology that I can and make the film in a way that I want."

He has similar styles in his past movies. In the Dark Knight, the scene where the truck flips over was entirely real. In Inception, the famous scene where Joseph Gordon-Levitt is floating and flighting in the hotel was done in a recreated section of the hallway that was actually spinning while he was on wires. Nolan is staying very consistant with the first two films of the batman series, especially to keep up with audience expectations.

Nolan says that it doesn't matter how sophisticated the CGI may be, if you haven't shot anything for it, it's still going to feel like animation. He spends weeks in preparation for every stunt, working with helicopters, stuntmen (or occasionally Christian Bale), and the camera crew. The budget for TDRK is around $180 million. Nolan likes to give his movies a gritty, real feeling and leaves the audience stumped to decide whether it was real or not.

Another reason that he opts out of the animated world is because the Batman movies go up on an Imax screen. Adding visual effects to Imax footage means that you have to digitize each individual frame at up to 8k resolution. That would definitely send the budget of the movie much higher than it is already. Occasionally he has to digitize a scene when he hits an obstacle, such as the scene where Bruce Wayne visits Hong Kong and the Chinese government was worried about lots of helicopter activity over the city.

But even when he does hit a block like that, he adds a layer of human-generated camera motions to the animated shots. Overall, Nolan likes to keep the feel of human elements and uncertainties in his films.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Everyone needs to watch this right now

This is the trailer for the CryENGINE 3 SDK (Software Development Kit) used for the creation of video game graphics. This is available for free for all developers for non-commercial purposes! The fact that this is now a resource developers can use is amazing! I wish I could use it for my game development endeavors, it's just simply amazing! I can't even put it in words, just watch the video. My favorite features are the tessellation ones.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Chase

I just have to share this awesome new short film that's been making the rounds on internet. It's called The Chase by Philippe Gamer. Be sure to watch until the end or you'll miss the whole point!

The Chase from Philippe Gamer on Vimeo.

While I feel there are a few flaws in this film, I absolutely love it! Most 3D shorts intrigue me because they either have a great story or great animation, but it's not often that they have both. This short really does it for me though. It tells a great story about a not-so-popular topic, aging, in an even more uncommon way, though gaming. Complementing this story are the fantastic visuals. The 3D is gorgeous and realistic but still has that fun video game feel. The animations are smooth and perfectly executed. I love the use of the different camera angles and effects, it really make the film, namely in the part where they're going through the loop. I loved the reflective camera angle and the motion blur and I could really get that vertigo feeling with the way the camera was used when the police cars were falling. I wasn't too happy with the voice acting or the actual acting itself but it did fit the style of this short so I'm not complaining much. Overall, I think this was very well done and I highly reccmoned looking out for more of Gamer's work in the future. Check out another video he made below, it's also another great piece!

Stop Pain from Philippe Gamer on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Don't call it a comeback!

The "Skate" series of video games have been a wildly successful franchise for the Sony PS3. Legend has it however that before "Skate 3" came out, the designers didn't properly field test the game. As a result there were some insane and hilarious glitches in the game. This video is a compilation of one gamer's most bizarre glitches. Even if you don't like skating or video games, this video is friggan hilarious. Check it out.

With the limited amount of 3D theory that we possess, it's fun to imagine what is causing these problems. In some areas it appears that the gravity is applied differently to different surfaces. What makes this video so funny to me is that it's designed to look as real as possible and yet the physics of the world are not only extraordinary, but totally unpredictable. There's a constant shattering of the suspension of disbelief.

Avatar: The Legend of Korra

So for those of you who never saw the first series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, you need to get on it. That series is known for incredible storytelling, fantastic character development, and top-notch animation. The new series The Legend of Korra premiered today on Nickelodeon. While I've seen the episodes a few times now, I wanted to note their use of CGI in a few scenes of the episode.

Much of the landscape in the background is done through CGI, mostly to save time, but it blends so beautifully that it's tough to pick out exactly what is hand drawn and what isn't. The city, known as Republic City, also has breathtakingly rendered buildings and vehicles. There is a couple points in the trailer below that show some nicely done landscapes and objects, such as the statue of Avatar Aang.

From what I've seen of the series so far, and who the characters are, I'm incredibly excited for the rest of this series, and I hope they continue it past their planned two seasons. If you would like to watch the new series, new episodes air on Nickelodeon Saturdays at 11 AM EST.

Do and Redo

So I pretty much had to restart my 3d model because I figured its wing was to wide. It kinda sucks but i figured it'll be better if I take care about all the little details than later. One thing that's helping me built my model is a picture the skeleton of a bird.

I think modeling my character using my reference and taking into account the skeleton of an actual bird will help me when it comes to rigging. I also started thinking about a small storyline for my animation. I figured it would be cool to have my bird escape from a cage. So now, I need to start investigating which kind of cage do I want before creating my environment.
I think something simple like that would be cool.


Hey, stop what you're doing and watch this cute animation about a hamster! (make sure to watch past the first credits)

The was the first 3D animation for this studio and took over 6 months to make, it was involved in over 100 festivals. I was reading on the website about the people on the team, and it was pretty shocking what one of them had to say about making the hair for the entire movie. "All the fur got created within Maya and we used a plugin called Shave and a Haircut by Joe Alter. And to make it even a little bit more technical: We rendered the hair with the Maya Software Renderer instead of Mental Ray because it is faster and gave us at least better results. There are approximately 3.000.000 single hairs on his body. After being rendered, the single fur layer went to the compositing." For the entire project, it was this guys only job to create hair, he didn't do anything else.

Not only do I think it's a great short film that is able to covey a lot with basically no dialogue, it could also be pretty helpful since we are going to be creating our environments for the final project soon and this movie shows a bunch of different indoor and outdoor environments that were created in Maya.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Alright, so for this weeks post I have found this. James Cameron has come up with a new CGI on how the Titanic sank. You can see in the first couple seconds of this video the team manipulating the 3D model of the ship. The rest of the video is the animation. I think it's a really cool representation of what 3D can do for the industry.

Star Trek Extras

One of the things I love about movies is that they usually have the extra behind the scenes stuff. The best one I have seen is the extras on the Star Trek DVD (J.J. Abrams version). He walks you through all the trick shots they did, for example when Spock enters the elevator and then gets off on a different floor, but it's all one shot, they green screened half it so it looks like he changes floors but in reality he didn't.

Also included in the extras section is a bit about how they animated the Enterprise in the shots where the ship is in space. It's really cool to see how they turn off the lights and turn others on until they like the way the ship is lit.

Definitely watch the extras if you have time. It's really entertaining.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pixar's Brave

I was looking through the blog the other day, and I saw no one has talked about Pixar's upcoming feature Brave. Now I know it's fairly cliche to talk about Pixar when it comes to 3D animation, but their work on this looks like their best yet. It's astounding to see the leaps and bounds they've come in their time, let alone the vast increase in quality between films. Cars 2, despite being very mediocre, looked phenomenal and Brave only improves on that with leaps and bounds.

Here's the latest trailer:

I think this trailer is beautiful. With the incredible lighting, and amazing textures, it looks and feels real. I'm always left dumbstruck every time I watch a Pixar film. Their ability to map clothing textures and make them flow like actual clothes is unbelievable. I am nothing but awestruck when I watch this trailer. I can't help but gush about it. The models are high quality, even background characters are heavily detailed. They continually push the boundaries in 3D animation.

Brave hits theaters June 22, 2012!

South Park in Maya

I heard someone mention recently in class that South Park uses Maya for all of its animation. I found this really interesting so I looked into it some more. Turns out, using Maya allows them to animate faster and without the need of overseas outsourcing. I tried to see if there were any step-by-step behind the scenes videos on how the animation directors do it but this was all I could find. It's from their "Heavy Metal" spoof from a few seasons ago. The footage presented as a Maya wireframe starts up at about 1:11 seconds. At the end they have all four stages of animation playing side by side: story board, wireframe, rendered with green screen, and then the final product. Check it out. Remember it is South Park so there's some South Park esque humor. Enjoy!

3D Weather

The storms that hit Texas earlier this week were given a 3D treatment by Nasa that was shown on this weather segment.

This is definitely a new way to not only look at natural disaster, but every day weather itself. When you watch the weather, you get the top view of clouds or of storms, but by giving the clouds the actual depth they deserve (8 miles in this case), you can see how drastically they change within themselves. This gives the viewers a clearer understanding of what they can expect from clouds and if they are the warning signs to a storm.

This was done through NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and give more information about the height of thunderclouds and the rainfall rates then ever before. The data was collected by a satellite and has given scientists more information about how intense it actually was. NASA is collaborating with the Japanese Space Agency and they are working on a global precipitation measurement system which provides new data that has scientific and societal benefits. This really indicates how much 3D animation has an impact not only on the entertainment industry, but the scientific one as well.

Friday, April 6, 2012

3D and Fiction

One of the most fascinating things about 3D is that it expands your posibilites when you are working in field. You can literally create a set in 3D and save thousands of bucks building or renting a location. It also allows you to be more creative. One of the videos I saw in one of the blogs from last semester is the perfect example of a combination of field work, 3d and green screen. The movie is called "Nuit Blanche" and it's a movie that it's beautifully composed, and that was film entirely on a green scree. The 3d work for this short film is amazing and beyond words.

and here's the making of Nuit Blanche:

We can see in the making of that the background is mostly composed of layers of 3D objects and 2D objects. They are combined to create the world of the story. I think this is an amazing way in which we can create something innovative when are budget is limited, and the best part is that 3D helps us do that!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Amazing World of Gumball

So I'm back at talking about cartoons. This is another wonderful gem from Cartoon Network called The Amazing World of Gumball. This show does an awesome job of blending 2D animation with 3D animation.

The show follows the misadventures of a boy Gumball and his pet fish/brother Darwin. The show contains a multitude of characters that a created either using 2D or 3D designs.

The animation style is very unique and it's very cool seeing these two very different styles of animation interact in a photo realistic world. The world that has been created by this show keeps me constantly captivated. I think this show has a strong overall 3D team. The textures, environment, lighting, and animation are all very strong. The show has also won a multitude of awards this past year at many different animation award shows. If you've liked Cartoon Networks recent stream of shows for kids... that aren't necessarily for kids you'll enjoy this one.

Here's a quick taste of the show:

The Amazing World of Gumball reairs on Cartoon Network and a new season is currently in development!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

First 3D Rendering

At first I doubted the legitimacy of the above video, mostly because of the music and quality of the film itself, but after reading through some of the comments about it, I found out that this short was added to the National Film Registry and was also included in the film about the history of Pixar.

In 1972, Ed Catmull, the founder of Pixar, created the first rendering of a 3D model using his own hand. While we use the polygon tool in Maya and just extrude different shapes out, Catmull had to create an exact replica and physically slice it up into polygons. I'm sure if we made a hand now, our process would be incredibly similar to what they had to do in 1972. That the hand in initially created as lines, then the next step would be a creating the unsmooth surface, which eventually leads to the final version.

If you stop around 5 minutes in and see the initial version for the face, it looks just like something we would be creating in class. Its actually amazing how much has changed in the technology yet how little has changed in the design.

Mad Men and After Effects

Hey! last week I took an introduction to after effects mini course. I though it would be a great idea to post about my first perception on this platform. We learned about layers, keys, and masks.
I think it was pretty sweet to learn about this things cause it really made me comprehend the 3d world better. I also valued the importance of learning several editing softwares because all of them correlate with each other. We also reviewed the important of color theory and designing in a project.
One of the things that I liked the most about the course is that we analyzed a couple of tv shows intro credits. For example, the tv show mad men.
This intro is one of the most important intros in today's industry. The reason is because it is beautifully composed and because of the complexity of the animation. this intro had several layers and effects that made it very pleasing to watch. Here is the link:
(sorry the embed was disabled)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


So one of the really cool things I love about 3D is the face that we can create landscapes within MAYA and animate a camera around the landscape and capture it like an actual motion picture. After we did this in class the other day I remembered a video I'd seen on one of the extras disks from Harry Potter. To do the outdoor scenes of the castle, they built a sculpture of the castle in a program that I'm assuming was a more advanced version of Maya. Then they animated the camera around the 3D model of Hogwarts. I can't find the video on youtube for some reason, but I'm almost positive it's on the bonus disk for the third movie.

Otherwise, here's a photo of the 3D model of the castle.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Edge Extrusion

So we talked briefly in class about edge extrusion modeling, and when I started modeling my character I wanted to try edge extrusion feeling as though it would be a better method for me to use. When I sat down to work on him I wanted to do some more research and watch a couple videos. I stumbled upon a man by the name of Andrew Klein. He has a series of videos with Maya tutorials. The edge extrusion one I found very helpful in my quest. If you're interested at all in any of his other videos check them out at .
Here is the video series I used:

The only downside is that he is using an older model of Maya, but other than that they are still very helpful. Go check 'em out if you need any help.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Steadicam Effect

So I know we haven't really got into talking about camera work yet with Maya but I thought this was tutorial really cool. It gives you a step by step on how to make the camera appear as though it is handheld or in a steadicam. Why is this relevant? He does it with dynamics instead of keying!

This approach is how they likely achieved some of these effects in those beginning scenes of "Wall-E" or the scenes with the snake in "Rango". Worth a look!

Start the video at 3:12 to get an idea of what i'm talking about.

And may the odds be EVER in your favor.

Alright, so I'm not sure who else went this weekend, but last night I saw The Hunger Games. (Which, if you didn't see yet I totally recommend it.) In the movie, the capital has this technology that allows them to play with holographic images and manipulate them as if they were real and I thought that was really awesome. They basically created 3-D images of whatever animals they wanted to appear within the game and then as soon as they were done it instantly became a part of the challenge. I just thought it was really cool.

Here's the picture of the control room where they manipulate the game space.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

3D Animal Modeling

When we were messing around in Maya in class the other day and were working with all the paint effects and fur/hair, I started wondering if it would be more difficult to model an animal as opposed to a human. But I was wondering it would be much more tedious trying to cover an entire animal with fur as opposed to just focusing on the head of a character. Especially since it would have to change with every movement the animal makes and just be very fluid and light. Would there be a huge different using the fur preset and creating your own?

While I was looking for example I came across this video, which is a little ridiculous, but shows all the different textures and patterns he used to create the final fur product for a wolf.

The proportions would also be very different, dealing with a whole other bone structure and body type.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Return from Spring Break

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a relaxing spring break. I definitely did not. As Arturo suggested, I am posting about my first trip to Boston (no teasing me for taking almost 21 years to finally see the city). It was absolutely gorgeous and I'm pretty sure I'm in love. While I was there I thought a lot about how these massive skyscrapers and buildings were designed. 3D design definitely had to have been involved in some way to design the building first before it was constructed. Kind of like how we create things in Maya and then animate them or export them to a website such as Shapeways to be physically made. I think it would be really cool to see something I created in maya brought to real life.

See you all in class Monday!!

Good news Everyone!!!

If you are a fan of the show Game of Thrones you probably know that it's coming back soon in April!!! horaay!! Also, Season One came out on DVD a couple of weeks ago. Go buy it and watch it if you haven't!!!
If you don't know what's Game of thrones, it's an HBO tv series, it is an excellent production. So how does this post relate to 3D you might ask. Well, the actual intro of the show is an excellent example in ways you can take 3D as a career. This intro is amazing and beautiful. Along with the music, the graphics set the perfect mood for the show. The 3d modeling is great, and the animation is really well done. Check it Out!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ready Player One

So i just finished this book for my "Writing as a Critic" class. It's called "Ready Player One" and it takes place in a not-too-distant future where the energy crisis has really burned the planet out and everyone avoids reality by escaping into a MMORPG virtual reality world called the OASIS.

The book is a really awesome read, especially for pop culture buffs and video game geeks. The coolest part of the world? Video game programmers and designers are considered celebrities of the highest caliber. I definitely recommend it. They've already bought the movie rights!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Interaction Design: Response to Text, In Text Form.

Interaction Design: Response to Text, In Text Form.: While risking going into a polemic, there were basically two prevailing themes that I noticed in this week's readings that I would like to r...

Yes, I too have just created an Instapaper account. It is a great idea and I will be interested to see if I actually go back and read any of the pages I bookmark!

As far as Chad's insights on rapid prototyping: I think the idea of generating many ideas for an eventual design solution, especially as a team comes together and shares/cross pollinates these ideas, will 100% of the time generate a better product than would the project's first iteration. All of the interaction design development models later explored by this book (I have had the pleasure of reading it once already) rely heavily on product testing, re-testing and assessment.

It seems as though Chad's scrum development may rely more heavily than some processes do on the number of designs explored, which seems like it could lend itself to more innovative/creative solutions, as the exercise of outwitting your last design over and over again would inevitably lead to a design team with a knack for thinking outside of the box. The scrum development approach seems like it would be best suited to projects with large budgets and perhaps better suited for software-based designs, as large numbers of physical prototypes would inevitably cost the client.

As for the iCal issue so vehemently written about by Ben Brooks and Marco Arment: the changes proposed by both men would be an improvement to the design of the Mac's calendar. As for the problems with the stitched leather, linen and ripped pages: the look is a little ridiculous but not something I will probably be thinking about much more than that.

Also, on my ventures across the web several days before spring break, when I first read these polemics, I ran across the 2012 Interaction Awards sponsored by Google. One of the best in show awards went to LoopLoop, which is a music software designed for the interactive toy, Sifteo. I wanted to know more about this Sifteo! I think that the Sifteo cubes are a great example of interaction design done well. The toy is inspiring and delightful and looks very fun and easy to use:

Saturday, March 10, 2012


For break I'm visiting one of my friends in Vermont who is a game art and animation major. She showed me some of her work in maya and 3Ds Max but they seemed so much more detailed than anything I had been able to make, but this was because after she created the structure of the object, she would import it into zbrush to fine tune it. I know someone had posted about textures in zbrush, but I still didn't really know what it was. ZBrush allows you to mold your object, almost as though it was clay. Everything seemed so much more realistic when you could add features or wrinkles to a face or muscles to a body. You can also create objects from scratch, similar to how we do it in maya, except instead of extruding from your initial shape, you mold and stretch the object (or that was how she did it the one time she showed me).

This is a gallery of some of the things you can make in zbrush. Below is a short video of a sped up creation in ZBrush of a mans head.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Making Guac

I found this video in one of my friend's Facebook wall. I know this is not 3D, but I still thought that it was pretty awesome. This is a stop motion animation about guacamole. I thought it was pretty creative and visually interesting. The sound effects used here also added to the animation. I also liked that instead of preparing real guacamole, they opted to used random objects to shoot it. This detail added to the whole creativeness and awesomeness of the video. The stop motion technique is something that I really enjoy. I though it was really well done in this video. It made this video even more enjoyable. Here it is, Check it out!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

3-D Television

We've all been to at least one 3-D movie experience in our lives, (and if you haven't, well shame on you.) Anyway, 3-D generally required the use of 3-D glasses. Even the first generation 3-D televisions required expensive glasses in order to function. Now we're at the point where we don't need the glasses. Toshiba has introduced a television that doesn't require the glasses in order for things to appear 3-D. Go to the mall in Ithaca (Pyramid Mall) and near the SPCA and AT&T there is a television display where it looks 3-D without the glasses. Honestly, I think it's terrible. Within 5 minutes of standing there and trying to watch the TV I got a headache and had to walk away. It's so distracting. I personally think 3-D is cool for special effects or for things popping out at you (Like Harold and Kumar's 3-D Christmas). For regular television it's ridiculous.
If you want to read the article about Toshiba's TV I've put the link here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Playstation Vita Augmented Reality

Sony just released their new handheld gaming device, the Playstation Vita. The big hook here is their new augmented reality gaming. The system uses a series of cards as place holders for the on-board camera and turns any area in your playground. Here's a demo below. Everything you see is seen through the screen of the Vita.

This is pretty fricken cool in my opinion. They've taken 3D models and found a way for them to interact with the world around them. I'm a little skeptical as to just how well this system works. It's possible this is it operating at it's absolute best. I remember trying the Xbox kinect and being pretty disappointed. It worked fine but you needed to clear an absurd amount of space in your playing area in order to have good results. What sort of parameters will the vita have? They claim the world is your playground. I'm interested to see if that is true.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


So unless you like the Gorillaz this video will make no sense but nonetheless for this week's blog post I decided to talk about the Gorillaz' new video for their single DoYaThing. This song is a collaboration with Outkast's Andre 3000 and LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy. Below is the song:

If you like the song, there is also a 13 minute uncut version. Let's just say it's 8-9 minutes more of Andre 3000 saying how awesome he is.

Personally I am floored by the quality of the CGI in this video. The level of detail that went into their characters is incredible. For a few years now they've been doing great videos like this. What I love is the overall feel and quality of them. They look unbelievably realistic. I can't pinpoint it exactly what I really love about their design, but I think my favorite part is that they are placed in a real environment in post. I always think that's an incredible technique to use. Shoot in a real location and have an actor wear a green suit to chroma out in post and place your model in his place. Just incredibly cool. If you're more interested in how this video got made, a making of video was posted a few weeks before the video dropped. Here it is:

Invention of Love

I found this movie the other day. I think it's a pretty sweet and cute story. I like the animation and the tone they used to tell this story. I think it fits perfectly. Stylistically, I enjoyed the way the played with colors. The contrast it created in some of the scenes was amazing. I also thing that the had a great use of shading to give deepness to the movie. This movie proofs that sometimes simpleness works better for some stories. I think that if the movie would've had polygon shaped characters, it would've been way different and it probably wouldn't have captured the main theme of the movie.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Alex Roman

Below is an ad for Silestone, a company that makes countertops, that was created entirely in CG using 3D models. It shows fruit falling and smashing into pieces like glass when it comes into contact with the counter. What amazes me is how realistic the fruit seems, I never would have guessed that they weren't real. I think it is also interesting that they chose to make them falling rather than just film them falling and then switch to CG when they hit the countertops. It was made by Alex Roman who used 3D Studio Max, V-Ray, After Effects and Primiere Pro.

Roman was the one who made The Third and The Seventh which is a short film made entirely in CG (I believe someone in the Motion Graphics class posted it on the blog).

On his Vimeo, he posted a video that shows how he did the modeling for some of the shots in his move (The Third and The Seventh). It just shows quick shots of each object through its phases until it becomes the final product, I thought it wa really interesting. The very first shot of most of them (even though it was probably made in 3ds max) shows a similar model to what we are using in Maya.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Video Games

I'm sure at least a couple of you will agree with me when I say, I miss old school video games. I miss the crappy controls that only made you increasingly frustrated, (especially when Mario wouldn't go where you wanted him to and then you fell off the side of the building and lost a life.)

The new video games that are coming out are absolutely ridiculous. The graphics are so lifelike that it's almost scary. The characters are no longer generic, block faced and permanently angry. Now they look like the actual player they're supposed to resemble. Take Madden 12 for example, the players are almost spot on. Back in the 90's the players faces were practically disfigured, they had pointy cheekbones. Now it's as though each player has been hand sculpted to perfection.

I find it really interesting how far the graphics of video games has come over the years. Although I still favor the older games, but that's just me.

Here's a link to some youtube gameplay of Madden 12, just so you can see how lifelike these players really are in their looks and movements.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

MSN Butterfiles

So after creating our models by importing and tracing pre-existing images, I found this video that reminded me very much of that process. In this commercial by MSN Canada, you can see 3D models of real-life objects attached to the butterfly wings. It would make sense that these models would be easily made by tracing existing images as well. I also love how this video uses liquid and smoke effects (with the cocoon and flu shot butterfly, respectively). Check out the commercial below, it's really well done!


So this is kind of old, but I get the feeling just about everyone loves Pokémon. About a year and a half ago some guys made a dark and gritty trailer involving the original 150 Pokémon (Mew wasn't in the trailer sooooo). Anyway here's the trailer:

So yeah, that was pretty cool trailer. It took them about a year and a half to make and I have to say their final product is really cool. When it came out it took the internet by storm. Now looking at the character designs and models, they are pretty nice. I actually really like the changes they made to some of the character. They took away a lot of the cuteness and made it work for the feel that they were going for. How out of place would it be if the Pokémon were adorably murdering each other. I think it would've been a little disconcerting. I thought the texturing was also pretty interesting and unique. Each of the Pokémon retained the look that they should have in a 3-D world (i.e. Pikachu is fuzzy, Geodude is hard, Ghastly is... gassy..., and Jigglypuff looks jiggly). Were there some problems with the overall animation. Yeah a little, there were some flaws but I think overall the two guys did a great job on the models. If you want to read more about this trailer, there is an interview with the creators here.

Because tutorials are great AMIRIGHT?

This one comes from I figured since we're dealing with character modeling (and specifically heads and eyes) this one would be interesting. It shows you how to created optimal eyelids for closing and eyeball movement. Probably way more advanced than we're get to in this course (or maybe not?) but for those of you who plan on revisiting your Waynes or Rai-Chus, this could be worth a look. It's worth noting that this guy's eye surface is way smoother than what we're working with and he's using some tools we haven't covered yet. But just something to keep in mind. Keep looking forward!

Psst. I said look forward dude.

Cool Maya Tutorials Site

Hey guys. I found this site,, that has a ton of really in depth maya tutorials. One in particular that caught my eye was this one about high polygon realistic character creation. You may or may not know that for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Grand Moff Tarkin (the non-Darth Vader bad guy from episode IV) appears for a brief moment to over see the construction of the death star. Because Peter Cushing, the actor who portrayed Tarkin, had since passed away, they created an entirely CG version of him for Ep III.

The specific tutorial I've linked to, shows exactly how they did that (at least for the sculpting of the character). I chose this particular tutorial because it's just like what we're doing right now except TIMES A BILLION. Check it out, and feel your blood pressure raise at the sight of all those edge loops.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Augmented Reality

My friend told me about this deodorant commercial which I thought I should share with the class.

I think this is a great example on how to mix 3D with both reality and advertisement. Although the graphics might not seem that complex, they work with the concept of the story. The main reason I wanted to post this add was because that were in charge of this campaign took these concept of angels falling to a whole new level. They live animated a big add in London.

This technique is called augmented reality. I though it was pretty cool and innovative. It made me think that 3D and animation actually expand to all sort of platforms.

Modeling Heads

Since our assignment for next class was to finish up our character, I though I would look up some tips on how to finish modeling a head. I found a website that has some really detailed pictures about specific features on a head that is modeled in polygons, as well as where the edge loops should be and how to space everything. I think it is a good reference if any of you are still finishing your character.

This website also has a lot of reference pictures about the anatomy of a head and the differences between right/wrong images to use.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I was really excited when I heard that we'll possibly get to use a MakerBot in our class! For those of you that don't know, the MakerBot is a 3D printer. If you don't know what that is, you should watch the video below:

Unlike many 3D printers out today, MakerBot 3D printers are affordable, costing around $1100 versus $25000-$250000, and open source. A MakerBot can even print its own parts! There are endless opportunities when it comes to printing with the MakerBot, you can print toys, accessories, tools, and more. It's really awesome! You can print almost anything if you have a 3D model of it, all you would have to do is scale it down and convert it to instructions the printer can understand. The printer then basically squirts out plastic in the shape of your model. If you aren't great with 3D models, you can find thousands of open source 3D models on the website Thingiverse that you can use with the MakerBot.

I would really love to get the printer we have set up so we can print out some basic models with it!

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Last night I went with some friends to see Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. I know what you're thinking, why would I even bother. Well I love terrible movies but despite that I found myself thinking that I should talk about the CG in this film. I actually thought it was incredibly detailed and that the Ghost Rider model itself was nicely textured and modeled. It really looked fantastic. If you haven't seen a trailer here it is:

The Ghost Rider model itself looked fantastic. The skull and flames looked unbelievably realistic and lifelike. I know what that sounds like but just follow me. The transformations that Nick Cage went through seemed seamless. Even the vehicle transformations looked like monstrosities from hell. The CG team put in a lot of time and effort into this film and it really shines through. My friends and I came out of this film commenting that surprisingly we hope this film gets an Oscar nod in visual effects next year.

I know what this sounds like, but I think you should give this film a chance. If not for the hilarious Nick Cage moments, but for the CG itself.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tron: 1982 vs 2010

When Tron first came out in 1982, it was considered a breakthrough in CGI technology when the majority of the movie was not live action. It failed at the box office but developed a cult following years later. The reboot in Tron: Legacy that came out in 2010 propelled the graphics into a three dimensional world that was not limited by the computer. The game in the 1982 version was stuck just moving forward and turning a right angles. But the 2010 version upgraded them to realistic motorcycle movements where the there is a non-grid scenario. I also think that light is a big contributing factor to the newer movie because it makes the characters stick out more and a darker environment caters to the audiences emotions.

Jeff Bridges stars in both films, young and old. In Tron: Legacy, they used CGI to model his face to seem younger so he could appear besides himself. Similar to the effects in Benjamin Button, Bridges face was mapped and digitally recreated, then stuck on a younger actors body. I think this is also what they used in The Social Network to create the Winklevoss twins.

This article shows how CGI has advanced through films from Tron to Tron: Legacy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

KIWI! =)

Hey everyone,
This video is titled KIWI, it's a project a student did at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Turns out, the animation is a combination of MAYA and after effects. It's an adorable video and worth checking out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Last week we briefly mentioned Star Wars, and I felt like there was no opportunity better than this to talk about Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The series, which is currently in its 4th season on Cartoon Network, was adapted from its film counterpart. Below is a trailer for the film:

There are a few moments in that trailer where I feel like the animation falls flat, such as when Anakin turns his head and says "Ahsoka" at about 1:43. The animation and CG just seems very wooden to me, which as an audience member and a student of 3D, you don't want to happen. That being said when I heard they were going to make a show following the movie, I was bothered. I felt like this would not live up to anything and it would not last long at all. When the show started some things were off, but the show had potential. There was something there that I couldn't put my finger on, but this seasons I figured it out. The character models, and the overall animation style has been perfectly refined. The characters look and move much smoother. I can't place exactly what it is; be it better texturing or better overall animation, maybe even everything overall is better. Either way the show has really come into its own and captured that spark that it was looking for: Below is a trailer of footage from this season:

Star Wars: The Clone Wars airs Fridays at 8 on Cartoon Network.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Maya Toon Tools

While fiddling around with Maya, I noticed there was a set of tools under a tab labeled as "Toon." As a fan of "cartoony" aesthetics for films and video games, I decided to look into how they could be used. As I had guessed, the tools are used to give that "cartoony" look to an animation, as seen below.

Impressed with the results, I decided to dig for more information and ended up finding this informative video on the tools (see below). The best part is that the video is made with toon tools as well so it also makes for a good example of what you can do with this style of animation. Come to think of it, cel-shaded video games such as The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker and Okami seem like they can be made with these tools as well!

Vector Park

Hey wow cool look at this. This weird little game popped up on my stumble account and I've been addicted to it. This website "Vector Park" is filled with all kinds of seemingly simple/deceptively complex little interactive animations. Spider in particular applies a really neat way of looking at depth. When you move your mouse up, it moves the spider not just but farther away. Down = closer. It's a fun little experiment and somewhat mesmerizing. Enjoy!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Light Beams

Given that we just started exploring with lights in Maya, I wanted to go further and check what type of environments can we create in this software. I did some research and found this blog, Fstoppers. They do a really great job putting up tutorials about different aspects of photography and film. One of the articles I found was about natural beam light photography. Here are some examples of photographs that I really liked:

Penetrating Light Beam

Witness of the sign


Pueblo Indian Kiva

All of these give a different mood and color to their environment. We can actually see the lighting has different behaviors depending on the setting. I'm a firm believer that we have to keep in mind all these aspects before starting any kind of production. This idea applies to Maya as well. We need to know what environment we want to create before starting playing with lights, polygons, etc. Now that that's been said, I though that it would be pretty cool to create some beam lights in Maya. I read in some websites that this is accomplished by placing a spotlight and fog in your scene.
This video gave me a pretty good idea about how you would create a beam light in Maya. You guys should check it out!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

4D Movies

Cinemas around the world, starting with Glasgow, will start offering D-Box technologies which add another dimension to your movie going experience. Cineworld Glasgow, the tallest cinema in the word, will be installing new seats in their theaters which move and vibrate along with the movie. This lends the audience an entirely new experience. While 3D currently puts the movie right in front of you, 4D will actually put you into the movie.

To test this out, last year a South Korean company put similar products into a cinema and screened Avatar. Along with the shaking, the audience was also met with the smell of smoke and explosions, flashing lights, water mists and more. While products such as this usually find their home in amusement parts and tourist attractions, they will very slowly be incorporating themselves into the average trip to the movies. Especially since 3D movies seem to be becoming the norm. The tests in South Korea, by CJ 4D Plex, brought in 50% more viewers than with 3D or 2D movies.

The new Spy Kids movie will be incorporating some 4D into it's releases, putting 8 opportunities for smells into the movie, which they hope will enhance the action, adventure, and comedy. Since not all theaters are equipped to deal with smells, every audience member will get a card with numbers on it. When that number flashes up on the screen, you scratch the corresponding number on your card and smell it. It isn't exactly up to par with the newest 4D theaters but it's a start and will bring in most of your senses to enjoy the movie.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

"Scott Pilgrim vs The World" - Lucas Lee Fight

"Scott Pilgrim" is one of my favorite movies of all time. As a huge fan of comic books and video games, it really speaks to the geek in me. But what's truly impressive is director Edgar Wright's amazing use of CGI in this movie. Start it at 2:54 for the good stuff!

The transition of real world Michael Cera to CGI Michael Cera is all but seemless. I certainly can't pinpoint the moment when it happens. The CGI lends a sort of elasticity to the character that makes for an amazingly unique look. The idea of using CGI to make a character who wouldn't normally be able to pull of these kinds of moves makes for an entertaining movie. throughout. Most generic action movies (I'm looking at you "GI Joe") are content to put their characters in super suits or some other kind of shell that will give them their super abilities, but still allow the animators to avoid going for a totally human look. Here, we have to believe that it's our boy Scott throwing the punches, and he isn't masked for a second. Take note of the unflinching camera. It never cuts during the fight!

Textures & Render Passes w/ ZBrush & AfterEffects

Working with textures for our class, particularly the ones for the vases and glasses, made me think a lot about texture art in general. While I've never worked with 3D modeling or animation until this class, I've always been interested in texture art. I used to keep files of 3D models that had textures that interested me saved on my computer, so I decided to use one of my favorites for this blog post. It's a dragon created by artist Karol Pawlinski. Click on the image below to view it, it's actually a Flash file that contains a rotatable version of this 3D model.

I've always thought the sparkling texture used on this model was really pretty and unique. I was wondering if there was a way to recreate this in Maya or another program. Lucky enough, the artist also posted part of her work process on this model (seen below).

For this model, the artist used ZBrush for rendering and Adobe AfterEffects for compositing.

The following descriptions of each render phase in the image above are from the artist:

"1. the basic color material - a modified version of the "cb silver pearl" material from the pixologic matcap library. this is the basic layer on which everything else is layered. 
2. environment reflection - the flat material with a "light probe" texture assigned to it 
3. directional color - the flat material with a texture made in photoshop ( a slightly distorted rainbow gradient) it is used to create the overall color of the skin

4. directional mask - the flat material with a spherical black to white gradient - used to mask in the sparkling effect 
5. shadow pass 
6. ambient occlusion pass 
7. alpha mask 
8. depth mask - with an added disc mesh (under the feet) to keep the depth values consistent throughout the turntable 
9. model-parts mask 
10. 11. 12. three different noise textures on the flat material - these are used to create the sparkling effect"
 I couldn't find a "cb silver pearl" texture in Maya but I'm sure one could obtain it through files from ZBrush. I'm a bit confused as to what a "light probe" is in Maya even after research. Everything else seems to be possible in Maya or Photoshop and the last three passes were added in AfterEffects. This process turned out to be more advanced and harder to understand than I thought it would but I still would love to have a shot at recreating these textures one day.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Repairing Woody

One of the most amazing animated scenes I've seen in my life is from the second movie of Toy Story. This scene sis the one where Woody gets fixed after losing one of his arms. I think this scene is ridicoulous. There compelling part about it is that it is mainly XCU. This kind of proximity allows the audience to appreciate all the details and the work in this take. The lighting is phenomenal. Also the materials used for this scene are extremely realisitic. Some of the details that I appreciated the most, are the little pieces of threat coming from woody's shirt, the way light reflected on woody's eye, and the use of paint in woody's hair and boot. This is without any doubts one of the most memorable scenes in the history of Pixar (along with Up's heartbreaking intro, lol). I would love to be able to create something like that. Here's the video, check it out!

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Adventures of TinTin

I went to see this movie over winter break and was really surprised how much I enjoyed it. I had never seen the animated books, but the movie was a complete re-imagination of the concept, directed by Steven Speilberg. It centers around a young reporter who uncovers an old secret that could lead to treasure, which leads him on a journey with a captain and his dog (it's a lot better then it sounds). The characters and environments were incredibly realistic, especially since the movie was in 3D, the storyline and humor was actually pretty mature for a kids movie. The movie used it's own internal art department in order to create all of the animations for this movie that referenced real items and locations in order to create picture-perfect recreations. The characters stayed true to the actors performance through captured motions and keyframe animation.
An interview with Matt Aikten, the visual effects supervisors, goes over how they recreated cities, oceans and entire deserts for the movie. They first did a template of the entire movie in CGI and previs, where they used the actors and doubles to create the scenes that were then turned over Aikten to edit and add lighting, animations and effects to create "a highly detailed world or idealized reality". The characters themselves were created with intention to look human, through their skin and movements, but kept a connection with the original characters through cartoonish sized hands and heads. I think this is interesting because when we eventually try to animate body parts, we have to make that distinction between real and animation sized objects. Many animated movies distort the characters so that there is a very noticeable difference, but TinTin had a very real feel to it's characters, and a look that even mirrored the voice actors. Below is a behind the scenes look at some of the high action scenes and how Speilberg created them and the artwork.

Aikten also mentions in the interview, that they used raytracing in order to create many of the reflections seen in the movie. One of the characters is introduced from the other side of a whiskey bottle, there is another scene in the beginning of the movie where we see a model ship through several mirrors. Rendering with raytracing gives them the correct spacial relationship between the character and the object.
He also mentions working with fluids to create an entire ocean, and that moving the stable objects with the flowing ocean is very hard to do. Aikten even mentions that a short shot of one character falling into the water and creating a splash was one of the most difficult things his company has ever done.
I would recommend this movie, even if you're not a fan of the original story, the animation is definitely worth it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Partly Cloudy

I'm sure everyone has seen at least one Pixar movie in their lifetime (and if you haven't, well shame on you.) This is the animated short that played before the movie Up! in theaters, and in my honest opinion this is one of the best shorts I've seen. Even in complete silence Pixar manages to evoke so much emotion into their animations. By far, this one is the best.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Her Morning Elegance

This video is a bit old but it's always been one of my favorites. Easily one of the cleverest uses of stop motion that I've seen in recent years, and the song ain't bad too. "But Danny," you may be but probably aren't asking, "what does this have to do with 3D?" I'm glad you maybe or probably didn't ask. Think of the perspective of this piece. We're looking down on a woman lying flat on a bed. This allows her to appear as though she is falling through the air, walking, or even swimming. Freeing our minds and embracing all three dimensions Maya affords us will be crucial in the coming months.

Ryan vs Dorkman

Hey everyone!
I'm posting here one of the coolest light saber battle videos I've ever seen. Ryan vs. Dorkman. I know it's long but if you have the time I definitely recommend checking it out. The guy who did the special effects for this ended up being one of those guys who gets his talent discovered via youtube and eventually went on to actually work for George Lucas. (Pretty cool right?!)
It's a really high quality video when it comes to cinemaphotography and especially in the special effects department. I've attempted to do a light saber battle before and it's so meticulous and time consuming for just a thirty second video. It's crazy to think this is about ten straight minutes of fighting. I can imagine the amount of time and preparation that went into the making of this. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dony Permedi's Animations

I really wanted to use my first post as an opportunity to share two of my favorite student 3D animation short films. Both are created by Dony Permedi, a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City. I've long admired his two shorts, Kiwi! and Pony. I feel Kiwi! is particularly relevant to our course because it was created with Maya and After Effects. Check it out below:

What I really enjoy about this short is how Permedi focuses most of his efforts on the animation aspect of the it. Because the short is lacking in certain areas, such as texture art, and because the kiwi is a silent character, the film relies heavily on the use of animation to convey certain points. Permedi did a great job of conveying emotions in particular. I always liked the part where he twirls down the rope because he looks so enthusiastic. The last shot of the kiwi's face is a very meaningful scene as well.

In an interview with the blog ISFAT, Permedi brings up a few points that I considered valuable advice for anyone starting out with 3D animation. He mentions how the animation took up his second year in graduate school and that taking the time to create storyboards and an animatic really helped the process of creating the short. He also brings up that he fouced on his strength in animation because he wasn't the best texture or lighting artist. He noted that had he focused too much on perfecting every aspect, he would have wasted too much time. Permedi also took the time to state that the CGTalk forums are a vauable source of advice and information for both fledgling and professional animators.

To learn more about Dony Permedi, check out his website! As for the Pony video I mentioned earlier, check it out below!

Green Lantern: The Animated Series

I said in class that I want to work on animated programs, specifically for DC Comics, so I felt like my first blog post should pertain to my interest. Recently DC has released their first complete CG program; Green Lantern: The Animated Series. DC has done many 2D animated programs, such as Batman: The Animated Series and (more recently) Young Justice, but for them to jump on the bandwagon of many other production houses and dive into the 3D animation is very interesting. As a fan I was very tentative about this idea. I've seen many 3D TV series, and many have a great deal of fundamental problems; many dealing in the characters movements. I was afraid that DC's streak of well produced animated programs might be broken if they couldn't pull off the 3D very well. Bruce Timm; who is the artist behind Batman: The Animated Series; Justice League; as well as many others; mentioned his trepidations about this endeavor. "For a while, I was actually really resistant of CG because everyone was like ‘Oh, this is so much better and blah blah blah!’ So, I probably had a chip on my shoulder about CG, but then certain movies came out and it’s just like, wow, The Incredibles is amazing! To me, that’s like CG done perfect. And I really enjoyed Tangled. I thought Tangled was really awesome…. But it’s the difference between comic book line art and a painting. It’s not like one is better than the other just because ‘It’s a painting, therefore it’s better!’ Not necessarily. There’s a certain power in the black and white line art that you can’t get in the painting and vice versa." I think this was a very interesting analysis, especially coming from a man who made his name in 2D. What I think is remarkable about the show is that it retains his art style; the powerful jaw lines, the hour-glass bodies. It was iconic for my childhood and the idea that they are able to recreate that in a program like Maya is incredibly exciting for me. Everyone always says the possibilities are endless for these kinds of programs, and this just reaffirms that for me. The pilot episode has already aired and it was well received by fans and critics alike. Right now it has nominations pending for the 39th Annie Awards. Here's a 6 minute preview from the pilot:
The series returns Saturday March 17th at 10 AM on Cartoon Network.

Friday, January 27, 2012

One Two Three Four!

I would like my first post to be about one of my favorite movies of 2010. I'm talking about Scott Pilgrim vs the World, A movie that my not be in 3d but which graphics are definitely going to change the way movies of this genre are made in the future. What I like about Scott Pilgrim is that the graphics used not only look "cool" but also help tell the story. I think that the fact that this movie combines reality with animation to communicate with the audience is what makes this movie so different and original. I like also that the style of the graphics bring you into this videogamish world. Some of them even suit each of the characters by the style of the font or even the color of the graphics. This movie made me think that we need to plan ahead before we begin our projects. We might need to ask ourselves, which style am i going for and which elements am I going to use in my design to create it in order to achieve the look we are going fore. Here is the trailer for Scott Pilgrim.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Maya featured in Academy Award Nominees

There are many very impressive special effects being featured in this years Academy Awards. While look at Oscar nominees, I found a slide show that explains which software the movies used to create their special effects. Maya was featured in movies such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Harry Potter and even Transformers. The companies use Maya and other Autodesk softwares as the basis and core of their creative ventures. The programs ability to capture the lifelike characteristics such as hair, eyes, and muscles make for very realistic CGI. The story mentions that Harry Potter used MudBox as well for their digital modeling. The lavish art design of Huge and the CGI effects of Maya created an detailed set of 1930's Paris, taking of a year of work to complete and done by Pixonmondo. You really see the variety of how Maya can be used in films. In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it is being used to create hundreds of animals that need to pass as realistic and in movies like Real Steel it is used to create two robots battling. There is the complete difference in textures, from fur to metal, and the movements which each character makes. Maya is the connecting factor between Transformers and Huge, two movies with very different art styles and audiences.

I definitely wasn't aware that Maya had such a prominent role in the art direction and animation of movies. The fact that it is featured in the best movies of the year makes learning the program that much more exciting.