Studio 1 – Project Journey – Week 5

Color Scripts

There’s a science to choosing color schemes in a movie, to make the movie visually more attractive and to provide psychological assists, and how designers use complementary pairs in a movie’s art design.  Ralph Eggleston from Pixar was the person who introduced color scripts. He suggests that it provides a definite color palette for the movies. It defines the lighting, the color scheme for the Pixar movies.

Color script serves a functional purpose in animation. Its provides the director all clues he can get from start to finish of the movie on screen. Color script is an early attempt to map out the color, emotion and moods for the film.

Having a color script will not make or break your animation but it can definitely help the studio to evolve new ideas and figure out different approaches to early stages of story telling. The first attempt of any animator is to set the mood for the project.  Color script is not about making a pretty piece of art; it evolves throughout the early stages of the film, hand in hand with the story development.

It is often best to start from a traditional predefined color scheme. Analogous, Complimentary and monochromatic color schemes are just a few of the traditional color schemes available as a starting point for designers




Colour Script. (n.d.). Retrieved October 22, 2016, from

Creating a Color Script – Mike Cushny. (2011). Retrieved October 22, 2016, from


Studio 1 – Project Journey – Week 4

We are now at the beginning of texturing our created assets. It is an exciting phase that we are all looking forward to. I did a little research on some tips & tricks to keep in mind while we texture & the top 3 were:

  1. Material definition – a good way to judge if a texture is working or not is to see if the material definition is clear or not. That means that one should be able to tell what kind of material it is just by looking at the texture even if it is not on the product. Example : A wooden texture vs plastic must have the difference noticeable just by looking at the amount of spec in the material.material-definition
  2. Base material can be re-used – If one is creating a set of props with similar materials, creating a base material texture well ensures it can be re-used & variations can be added. Eg: in our project we have multiple trees & also wooden baskets & barrels etc. So once we have the base wooden texture created we can re-use that & just create variations so as to fasten the workflow.
  3. Beauty is in the subtle details – the beauty of a texture is in the depth that can be added to it & one of the ways is to put subtle details into it. Eg: cracks in a wooden plank, moss on certain corners of a rock etc. These small subtle details that are not obvious in the 1st glance is what makes the texture more interestingsubtle-details



The Top Ten Tips of Texturing | CGSociety. (n.d.). Retrieved October 14, 2016, from

@. (2015). 3D Texturing Tips | Tips to Push Your Textures to the Next Level. Retrieved October 14, 2016, from



Studio 1 – Project Journey – Week 3

Another week’s gone by & it was an ok week. We had a few successes in terms of modelling but more of redo work to correct mistakes & bring the quality further up to what is expected. It gave me some time to explore & read about some of the tools & technologies that interest me.

This week I was reading about “Holoportation”. This is a fairly new technology that was introduced by Microsoft earlier this. This is a new way of 3D capturing that allows high-quality 3D models of people to be reconstructed, compressed and transmitted anywhere in the world in real time. When combined with mixed reality displays such as HoloLens, Microsoft’s augmented reality headset & a special camera rig setup, it allows users to see, hear, and interact with remote participants in 3D as if they are actually present in the same physical space. The sense of smell & touch cannot be transmitted & with the current technological development, the hologram of the person appears only within the field of view. Hence, the person being holoported could actually appear to be standing inside a couch or a table or even floating in air based.

Technically, the camera setup captures very high quality details from every angle & the custom software stiches them together to generate a fully formed 3D model. This is then transmitted/holoported to anywhere in the world. However, this process generates a huge load of data & currently most video streaming codecs are not 3D friendly. Hence, compressing gigabytes into megabytes of data for fast transfer is a big part of making this technology a success.

Currently the spatial problems are something that still needs to be worked on, but we are fast getting there.

Microsft hopes to eventually make this a consumer product. It could change the way of 2D video calls to something a lot more tangible & real. They also hope to make using this technology to communicate and interact with remote users become a natural face-to-face communication that could bring down expensive business travels down significantly.

Star Wars’ holoportation may not be a far fetched reality now.



  1. Holoportation – Microsoft Research. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2016, from
  2. (2016). Microsoft introduces the world to ‘holoportation’ Retrieved October 07, 2016, from–1317809
  3. How Microsoft Conjured Up Real-Life Star Wars Holograms. (n.d.). Retrieved October 07, 2016, from


Studio 1 – Project Journey – Week 2

With another week gone by, we’ve made some progress. The week began with us beginning to model some of the assets needed. We began exploring unity & realized the magnitude of the learning curve there to get this right. Mid week due to loosing some more team members in the other team the 2 teams were merged into our project. We suddenly became a huge team. More team dynamics & some increase in scope to utilize all the team members well. We finally managed to finally assign work to all team members & today the 1st round of client outgoings in terms of base mesh modelling is going out. Fingers crossed. 🙂

This week I have been researching a bit about game character modelling. Some of the tips I gathered along the way:

  1. Know your restrictions:

It is imperative to know not just the polycount & texture page limits but also the environment settings & how the character will be used in those settings. In other words what details will be seen etc. Our character has a hood but that does fall off hence making the hair is important. We also have close ups of her face & hands & hence those details are also important to get right. Also getting the Units & scales right are important to make sure all measurements are correct.


  1. Research:

Get as much research & references in place before starting work so that one is clear on the look & design aspects expected.


  1. Start simple & add detail to only where it is needed:

It is very easy to model with no restrictions but if a body part is not being seen up close or not being used in any kind of animation & hence doesn’t need to be deformed, or it is going to be such a miniscule part of the overall scene, it makes no sense to put in all that effort & use up the polycount budget.


  1. Be economical:

To optimize the poly count it is best to delete all unseen geometry. Eg: under the clothes. Anything that doesn’t add to the shape of an object or to how it deforms should not be there.


  1. Follow natural muscle lines:

While building the model, try to remember the way the model is going to be animated. The poses the model needs to take etc. Try to keep the topology in the same flow so that the deformations looks natural to those poses.


  1. Retain a seamless model

A character with a lot of different clothing elements, armour etc can become a nightmare to rig & animate if they are in different pieces. Ideally they should be combined & make into one piece so that animating them becomes easier & one doesn’t face issues of the meshes below popping out from underneath for certain deformations.


  1. Take advantage of normal maps:

Normal maps are a great tool to fake extra details without making the mesh too dense. It should be utilized to the maximum wherever required.


  1. Check the silhouette:

Sometimes while working on a model for long, it becomes difficult to look at it with fresh eyes. Seeing just the silhouette make a difference. Just add a plan shader on a contrast background & see if it reads well.


  1. Make the character distinctive:

Find innovative ways to make the character distinctive by exaggerating some parts, in terms of colours used or by giving it a personality.


  1. Leave the scene clean:

Since normally projects involve working in large teams, it is a good practice to use correct naming conventions & leave the last version of file worked on as clean as possible so as to reduce confusions.




  1. (n.d.). Loonygames’ Thinking Outside the Box. Retrieved October 01, 2016, from
  2. (2015). 20 top character design tips. Retrieved October 01, 2016, from
  3. (2011). How to create character models for games: 18 top tips. Retrieved October 01, 2016, from
  4. The Division – Best Character Builds. (n.d.). Retrieved October 01, 2016, from

Studio 1 – Project Journey – Week 1

My animation journey continues & the beginning of trimest3 has been a roller coaster ride so far.

It began with us being divided into a group comprising of a mixed bag of personalities from trimester 3& 4. We were assigned designated roles & responsibilities based on what the professors thought we would handle best given our past experiences. Being a team lead it was crucial for me to know my team members, understand how they function best, what are their key interests so I could align them better with the tasks & roles assigned to them. Most importantly I wanted them to know how I function & what I envisioned for us as a team to achieve at the end of the trimester. Setting boundaries so as to avoid conflicts & misunderstandings was also important. We had our share of a few minor personality conflicts but nothing that couldn’t be resolved. As of last evening I could see the team becoming comfortable with each other, cracking jokes while working tirelessly to meet the day’s deadlines. I could sense them finally getting excited about the project as they could see all the hard work from the last 5 days coming to life & the project beginning to be a promising one.

Apart from all the above personally for me this week has been a huge learning curve. I have always shied away from doing storyboards as I am not very good at drawing in perspectives. I can visualize the scene in my head but find it to be a challenge to put it down on paper convincingly. Unfortunately we lost a team member to the pressures of deadlines & I had to step into the task. It was quite uncomfortable in the beginning & I realized if I want to get over this mental block of not being able to draw convincingly, I would have to take the bull by it’s horns. Not that I really had much of a choice in the matter  ;).

A few essentials for making an effect storyboard that I learnt were:

  1. Ensure that the story is tight & all three acts are in place.
  2. There should be no element / scene that shouldn’t be progressing the story further or adding value to it.
  3. It is crucial to identify the key scenes in the story, since the storyboard is only to give a gist of how the viewer will be engaged in the story.
  4. 1st block out the elements in each scene to see if it is working. The rules of composing a good scene should always be kept in mind such as effective camera angles, rule of thirds, the kind of shot it is (wide angle, close-up, over the shoulder, tracking shot) etc.
  5. Once the story flow seems to be working well the amount of detailing we want to put in should be decided. One can make it as detailed as one wants but the idea is not to create a pretty picture but to have all elements in play be put in. E.g.: for us the lining of the trees, the bend of the road, the placement of the braches, the subtle rays of sunshine penetrating the forest etc was crucial to show in one of the scenes. In another where the focus was on a clsh between the 2 characters, drawing in the background in great detail was not really relevant.
  6. To further explain the scene the jotting of a dialogue or sound is beneficial. Adding numbers to each panel also makes the board clearer & easy to follow.
  7. Further details explaining a shot can be added in a short description below each panel.
  8. Once we are happy with the overall storyboard we can refine the pictures better.
  9. Adding a pop of colour to emphasize the character / crucial element of the shot is a great way to understand the viewer’s experience through the journey & also make sure our crucial scene element is emphasized enough.
  10. Last but not the least, get constant feedback from people around you. It only helps to get a fresh perspective on it as sometimes we are so over engaged with a project that we miss the very obvious mistakes.


  1. By using Opposing Poses like in some of the examples shown below, you can have characters curved or directed on an arc, other characters have straighter poses, but still aimed on an angle. This kind of dynamic posing sure beats the hell out of characters standing straight up and down all the time. (n.d.). Terminology. Retrieved September 23, 2016, from
  2. The making of: Storyboarding Tips & Tricks – eyewantcandy. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2016, from
  3. Karen J Lloyd’s Storyboard Blog. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2016, from

MDU 115.3 – Asset Production

This assignment involved producing a hard surface realistic / fantastical model of a spaceship suitable for a game engine. We needed to come up with our own storyboard on how we would like to present the finished model. I am going to attempt at documenting my process down below as this is not.


The model I chose as a reference was the iconic all time favorite USS Enterprise from Star wars. I used references from various shots from the movie to come up with a storyboard on presenting my model. To make my presentation more interesting I additionally had the planet earth put in there as a prop for some of the shots.

The storyboard for the same is as below:

Storyboard, 2016 Storyboard, 2016

  • Storyboard, 2016


 I used polygonal modelling for this assignment. The blueprints I used were:



Dreadnaught, n.d

Wireframe of the model as a result was:

Wireframe Back

Spaceship_Back, 2016

Wireframe Front

Spaceship_Front, 2016

Wireframe Left

Spaceship_Left, 2016

Wireframe Top

Spaceship_Top, 2016





The UV Map for this asset was created using the UV editor to select elements & then relaxing them out. The model is divided into a few parts named as below:

  1. Top
  2. Bottom
  3. Propeller
  4. Missile
  5. Stand


Each of the above had a separate UVW map. The maps I ended up making for each were:

  1. Diffuse map
  2. Bump Map
  3. Specularity Map


The Final UVMaps look like the below.

(Spaceship_UVW Maps, 2016)



This part of the pipeline was what I ended up spending a considerable amount of time on. Since until now I had only done texturing using available textures mixed with a little self-created texture to assist, I was keen to actually do this whole texture from scratch myself & see if I can make it as realistic as possible. The references picture used were:


By the end of it each UVW Map (Diffuse, Bump & Specular) looked as below:

(Spaceship_Top_UVW Maps, 2016)

(Spaceship_Propellor_Maps, 2016)

(Spaceship_Missile_Maps, 2016)


(Spaceship_Bottom_Maps, 2016)


Scene Assembly

I assembled a basic scene to get a fair idea of how my world would look like. This gave me an idea of how I wanted to take my shots & the lighting, camera etc requirements. The assembly I came up was as below:

Still Shot

Spaceship_Scene Assembly, 2016



For this animation I have used a 3 point lighting system in all the shots. The Key light & fill lights were setup in warm tones though at different intensities & the rim light was a cool blue colour in the same hues as picked up from the environment.


It was during this phase that I added desired motions to various assets using controls like their position, angle etc. Keyframes were meticulously set to make sure all object work in tandem when seen together. The storyboard was brought to life at this stage.


The final rendered videos were edited in Premier Pro to add music, title page & some effects for the final output.


  1. Aneesha Rai, Storyboard, 2016
  2. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2016, from
  3. Aneesha Rai, Spaceship_Back, 2016
  4. Aneesha Rai, Spaceship_Front, 2016
  5. Aneesha Rai, Spaceship_Left, 2016
  6. Aneesha Rai, Spaceship_Top, 2016
  7. Aneesha Rai, Spaceship_UVW Maps, 2016
  8. Aneesha Rai, Spaceship_Top_UVW Maps, 2016
  9. Aneesha Rai, Spaceship_Propellor_Maps, 2016
  10. Aneesha Rai, Spaceship_Missile_Maps, 2016
  11. Aneesha Rai, Spaceship_Bottom_Maps, 2016
  12. Aneesha Rai, Spaceship_Scene Assembly, 2016
  13. Rai, A. (2016, April 12). Star Wars spaceship 3d Modelling. Retrieved April 12, 2016, from
  14. (2012). Space ship VFX test with Blender and After Effects. Retrieved April 12, 2016, from
  15. (2014). Blender Animation:Space scene test. Retrieved April 12, 2016, from
  16. (2013). Star Trek Into Darkness: Enterprise rising from the ocean. Retrieved April 12, 2016, from


MDU 115.2 – 3D production Pipeline


MDU 115.2 – 3D Production Pipeline

This assignment involved producing an animated advertisement for the board game “Pirates Gold”. Most of the assets were given to us. We needed to come up with our own storyboard. We also needed to model & texture the gold coin chest at a minimum. I am going to attempt at documenting my process down below.



The story I came up with involved having the users see a few features of the game to get them interested enough to want to buy the product. Hence apart from the assets given to us I also needed a few more elements:

  1. An additional chest, I call the Crab_Chest for simplicity, from which the crabs would pop out to reveal themselves as pawns of the game.
  2. A dice, which is the integral element to moving the game forward.
  3. A sword, which will add a surprise factor towards the middle of the ad so as to keep the audience hooked & also to indicate that there are several surprise elements they can expect.
  4. The final Gold coin chest from which all the gold coins at the end of the game will spew out.

The storyboard for the same is as below.


Storyboard Part 1, 2016


Storyboard Part 2, 2016


I used polygonal modelling for this assignment.

  1. Gold Coin Chest

This chest was made to look rustic to offset the fact that it contains all the gold coins. The reference for the same was:


Peter Pant TChest ref 2

Treasure chest, n.d

Polygonal modelling was used in this case again with it being built in 2 parts – the base & the lid.


Gold_Coin_Chest – Polygonal Modelling, 2016


  1. Sword

The sword was kept fairly simple. A mixture of the 2 below was used as an inspiration but the handle was changed to instead add a jewel to it & make it wooden to go with the overall theme of wooden chests & pirate’s loot like jewels & gold coins.


Zelda’s_Sword, n.d


Simple_Sword, n.d

Polygonal modelling was used for this. I built the sword in 3 parts – the steel blade, the guard & the grip.

Sword Before Mapping

Sword, 2016


  1. Crab Chest

The reference for the crab chest is

teasure chest selected1

Crab_Chest_Reference , n.d

I used this reference as a guideline to make the shape of the chest. I changed the location of the lock to suit more with the way the camera would be focused on the chest ie; the front rather than the side. I added some handles on the side using the below as a reference for that.

The below is an image of the completed Crab chest model using polygonal modeling.


Crab_Chest – Polygonal modelling, 2016


  1. Dice

For modelling the dice, the reference used was:

Red Dice v2

Dice, n.d

Since this was a fairly simple object I used a standard primitive & applied the chamfer modifier to get the slightly rounded edges. The end result of the model looks as below:


Dice – Primitive Modelling, 2016



  1. Gold_Coin_Chest

The UV Map for this asset was created using the UV editor to select elements & then relaxing them out. Pelt Map method was also used. The Final UV Map looks like the below.

TChest VU

Gold_Coin_Chest – UV Map, 2016



  1. Sword

Used the pelt map tool for this asset along with the relax option. As can be seen in the above, before mapping the checkers are all stretched & distorted.

Sword UVW Map

Sword – UV Map, 2016


  1. Crab_Chest

Since this asset was built with multiple parts & this was not the main asset, only the lid & a few elements that were getting distorted were flattened using flatten Mapping tool.

Crab Chest UVW part1

Crab_Chest – UV Map – Part 1, 2016

Crab Chest UVW part2

Crab_Chest – UV Map – Part 2, 2016


  1. Dice

The flatten mapping tool was used to get the UV Map for this asset too.

Dice UVW Map

Dice – UV Map , 2016




  1. Gold_Coin_Chest

Since this was the main asset, I painted the textures so that they could be unique but keeping the colour guidelines given to us in the asset folder. Photoshop was used to aid in this process along with a Wacom tablet.


Gold_Coin_Chest – Texture, 2016


  1. Sword

This asset was textured with my own self painting some portions like the blade & the gem along with a wood texture for the grip.

Sword UVW Diffuse

Sword – Texture, 2016


  1. Crab_Chest

For this asset ready textures were used.


Wood Texture, n.d

copper gold Metallic Texture

Metallic Texture, 2014


Black rusted metal 2

Rusted Metal Texture, n.d

  1. Dice

This is a simple object that was just painted out in photoshop with the help of a Wacom Tablet.

Dice UV Diffuse

Dice Texture, 2016


Scene Assembly

I assembled by basic scene to see how the final visual output should look. This gave me an idea of where all the various assets should be placed, the lighting , camera etc. It also helped to see how to have the grass/ tree angles so that it is seen as best as possible in all possible camera angles. The assembly I came up was as below:

Scene Assembly

Scene Assembly, 2016


Lighting was the final part of the setup before starting the process of actual animating. I used a combination of 2 lights: the skylight & a spotlight. The spotlight helped give focus to the center of the board & the skylight helped light up the surrounding environment ever so little to have it subtly visible but not take the focus away from the board.



It was during this phase that I added desired motions to various assets using controls like their position, angle etc. Keyframes were meticulously set to make sure all object work in tandem when seen together. The storyboard was brought to life at this stage.



During the rendering stage I setup the render with the below settings to meet the requirements of the brief.

Render Setup

Render Setup, 2016


The final rendered video was further edited in Final Cut ProX to add some music/ sound effects & the title pages. The music was taken from the London Symphonic Orchestra – Pirates of the Caribbean. The final result is as below:



  1. Aneesha Rai, Storyboard Part 1, 2016.
  2. Aneesha Rai, Storyboard Part 2, 2016.
  3. Aneesha Rai, Gold_Coin_Chest – Polygonal Modelling, 2016
  4. Zelda’s Sword. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2016, from
  5. Simple Sword. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2016, from
  6. Aneesha Rai, Sword, 2016.
  7. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2016, from
  8. Aneesha Rai, Crab_Chest – Polygonal modelling, 2016
  9. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2016, from
  10. Aneesha Rai, Dice – Primitive Modelling, 2016.
  11. Aneesha Rai, Gold_Coin_Chest – UV Map , 2016.
  12. Aneesha Rai, Sword – UV Map, 2016.
  13. Aneesha Rai, Crab_Chest – UV Map – Part 1, 2016.
  14. Aneesha Rai, Crab_Chest – UV Map – Part 2, 2016.
  15. Aneesha Rai, Dice – UV Map, 2016.
  16. Aneesha Rai, Gold_Coin_Chest – Texture, 2016.
  17. Aneesha Rai, Sword – Texture, 2016.
  18. Metalic Gold Texture. (2014). Retrieved March 01, 2016, from
  19. Wooden Texture. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2016, from
  20. Rusted Metal Texture. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2016, from
  21. Aneesha Rai, Dice Texture, 2016.
  22. Aneesha Rai, Scene Assembly, 2016.
  23. Aneesha Rai, Render Setup, 2016.
  24. Torkvemada91. (2014). London Symphonic Orchestra. Pirates of the Carribean. Retrieved March 08, 2016, from


R & D Blog – Week 4

A highlight of the history of 3D Graphics & a practitioner that inspires me.

Animation has been a part of our lives from as early as 30,000 B.C. Of course it was not in sophisticate slick the form that we know it today, but none the less as a part of our human evolution we have been constantly trying to depict motion, be it the bronze age pottery of the bowl depicting a leaping goat or Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian man drawing showing various angles to depict motion.

The picture below depicts a high level overview of the history of animation right upto the the 1st 3D Film, Toy Story’s release.


 (History of Animation, 17 January 2016)

I love to draw & I love to create. To bring to life my drawings was something that fascinated me from childhood. Hence, it is safe for me to say that my interest in 2D animation, character designs & illustrations is what has got me to this point. On embarking on this learning journey, I have begun to slowly appreciate the nuances of 3D animation too.

While researching for this blog I came across the new technology introduced by Disney called “Meander”. The idea behind developing meander was to merge the power and flexibility of computer generated imagery with the expressiveness and individuality imparted to characters by an artist’s hand.


The method uses layering hand drawn images, over characters and backgrounds that are already rendered digitally, so as to give them a kind of 3D quality. The Meander program, allows the 2D hand-drawn artwork to “stick” to the dimensional CG layer underneath. Hence, even thought the image is flat it has a very stylized feel to it.

(Paperman and the Future of 2D Animation, 12 Nov, 2012)

A practitioner that inspires me

Patrick Osborne is an American animator & film director. He has won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2014 for “Feast”. Born in 1981, he graduated from the Ringling college of art & design in 2003. He has worked on a number of animated films such as Big Hero 6 (2014), Wreck-it Ralph (2012), Tangled (2010).


Some of his work & sketches can be found here:

His Academy Winning Short Film “FEAST” using the meander technology.

(Feast by Disney – Short Animation, 13 April 2013)


  1. (n.d.). Retrieved February 07, 2016, from
  2. Early waysof showingmotion. (n.d.). Retrieved February 7, 2016, from
  3. History of Animation. (2016, January 17). Retrieved February 07, 2016, from
  4. Booker, L. (2013, February 02). Meander, The Technology Behind Paperman, Disney’s Beautiful, Charming Short. Retrieved February 07, 2016, from
  5. Failes, I. (2013, January 31). The inside story behind Disney’s Paperman. Retrieved February 07, 2016, from
  6. Holmes, S. (2015, October 09). The making of Disney’s new animated short: ‘Feast’. Retrieved February 07, 2016, from
  7. Wolfe, J. (2014, November 13). A Chat with Kristina Reed: Creating Winston and Disney’s ‘Feast’ Retrieved February 07, 2016, from
  8. Kaganskiy, J. (2013, March 05). Trying To Woo Animators, Disney Accidentally Invents. Retrieved February 07, 2016, from
  9. The Future of 2d Animation Software? (From Disney Of Course…) | 2D Animation Software Guide. (2014, May 23). Retrieved February 07, 2016, from
  10. Wilson, M. (2013, February 22). Why This Oscar-Winning Disney Short Looks Like Nothing Made Before. Retrieved February 07, 2016, from
  11. Vary, A. B. (2014, November 9). The Story Behind Disney’s Adorable New Short Film “Feast” Retrieved February 07, 2016, from
  12. Radish, C. (2014, August 20). The Story Behind Disney’s Adorable New Short Film “Feast” Retrieved February 07, 2016, from
  13. Pig, S. (2012, November 12). Paperman and the Future of 2D Animation. Retrieved February 07, 2016, from
  14. Pourdanandeh, K. (2015, April 13). Feast by Disney – Short Animation. Retrieved February 07, 2016, from

R & D Blog – Week 3

Lighting, Rendering, Composting


Lights bring life to an object, scene, characters. It plays a pivotal role in defining the look of a scene. It adds visual depth and complexity to a scene, thereby heightening its dramatic impact. It has two purposes which help differentiate 2D models from 3D models.

  1. It produces shadow which causes the 3D model to appear to be anchored to the ground.
  2. It adds depth to the model through the use of advanced shading techniques.

When a scene is rendered, modeling, texturing and the whole appearance of the scene is only visible due to lighting. There are various standard lighting options available. Some of them are:

  1. Point / Omni Light – This is like a normal household light bulb which casts lights in all directions from a single source & has no specific shape & size.Point light

(Point Light, n.d)

  1. Directional Light – It is the opposite of omni light. It presents a very distant source of light & the rays often go parallel in a single direction eg: sunlight.Directional Light

(Directional Light, 1997)

  1. Spot Light – It is a light designed to direct a narrow intense beam of light on a small area. They can be targeted spot light or free spot lights, those which have not specific target object. Eg: desk lamp or a street light.Spot Light

(Spot Light, 2015)

  1. Area Light – This is a light that simulates the size of a physical light source in real life. With other types of light, scaling up the light in your scene only scales up the icon, and doesn’t change the illumination whereas if you scale up an area light, it accurately simulates illumination from a larger panel of light. It emits light within a set boundary of a certain size and shape (rectangular or circular). It produces soft-edged shadows that make rendering look more realistic. It is the opposite of directional light as it goes in all directions and do not emit parallel rays.area light 2

(Area Light, 2013)

  1. Volume Light – It is similar to omni light as it casts rays in all directions from a certain point but it has a specified shape and size & illuminates surfaces only within the set volume. It tends to provide the effect of smoke, fog etc.Volume lighting

(Volume Light, 2014)



3D Rendering is the process of producing a 2D image based on three-dimensional data stored within a computer. They are calculations performed by the software’s render engine to translate the scene from a mathematical approximation to a finalized 2D image. During the process, the entire scene’s spatial, textural, and lighting information is combined to determine the color value of each pixel in the flattened image. There are 2 types of rendering, based on the speed at which images are computed & finalized.

  1. Real-Time Rendering: used most prominently in gaming and interactive graphics, where images are to be computed at a very high speed. The key features are:
  • Interactivity: as it’s not possible to predict a player’s actions, the resultant images have to be rendered real-time .
  • Speed: Just so there is no break in the fluid motion of the images, the rendering speed required is a minimum of 20 FPS.
  • Method: Having a dedicated graphics hardware as well as pre-compiling as much information as possible helps improve render speed. Eg: Pre-baking lighting information into the environment’s texture file helps to render faster in real-time.


  1. Offline or Pre-Rendering: Offline rendering is used in situations where speed is less of an issue & hence the a dedicated graphics hardware is not required for the same. Some of the key points to be considered are:
  • Predictability: There is not unpredictability on what is expected in each frame eg in an animated film. Hence, it can be pre-rendered.
  • Photorealism: Since there is no major time limits to rendering, a higher level of photorealism can be achieved as higher resolution textures etc can be use.



Compositing is the creative process of assembling and combining filmed or rendered elements from multiple sources, to create a final lifelike illusion or fantastical visual effect, delivered as a set of still or moving pictures. There are two types:

  1. Node-based Composting: Shows the composite as a ‘tree’ structure. The media objects and effects are linked together in a procedural map that sets out the process from raw input to the finished product. This is the preferred method for complex composites involving 3D.
  1. Layer-based Compositing: Each media object in the composite is a separate layer within a timeline. These layers are then progressively rendered one on top of the other.

Before composite

(Composting, 2010)


  1. (2011, February 14). The Importance of Light in the Animation of 3D Models. Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  2. DSK Supinfocom. (n.d.). The Importance Of Lighting In Animation. Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  3. How to Light a 3D Scene. Overview of Lighting Techniques. (2013). Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  4. Lighting — Point Lights: Intensity, Color, and Shadows (Essential Skills) (3D Animation Using Maya). (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  5. 3D Animation Workshop: Lesson 18: Light, Shadows and Feelings | 3. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  6. W. (2015, July 24). Google’s Spotlight Stories Now Available on iOS. Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  7. Real-time, All-frequency Shadows in Dynamic Scenes. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  8. Macfadyen, M. (2013, November 18). Michael Macfadyen Animation Year 3: Film Production Blog. Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  9. Types of Lights. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  10. Birn, J. (2002). What is 3D Rendering? Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  11. Slick, J. (2014, December 10). What is Rendering? Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  12. Rouse, M. (2009, October). What is rendering? – Definition from Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  13. The Industry’s Foundation for High Performance Graphics. (2013). Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  14. The Importance of Compositing: A Layer By Layer Breakdown in After Effects. (2010, October 25). Retrieved January 30, 2016, from
  15. What is digital compositing? (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2016, from

R & D Blog – Week 2 – Part 2

Rigging & Animation



The process of creating a skeleton for a 3D model so it can move. It is essentially a digital skeleton bound to  a 3D mesh. Similar to a real skeleton, a rig is made up of joints & bones, which act as a handle that can be used by animators to bend the character into desired poses. Some of the key terms used are:

  1. Joints / Bones – are points of articulation needed to be able to control the model.Joints


(Joints, n.d)

  1. Driven Keys – allows a control or object to drive multiple different objects and attributes. It has 2 parts:
    1. The Driver – object in control of the animation.
    2. The Driven – The objects & attributes that are being controlled by the driver.Driven_Key(Driven Keys, n.d)


  1. Blend Shapes – allows the flexibility to change the shape of one object into the shape of another object. Eg: set up poses for facial animation which can be operated by one control slider by tying in all the poses to the slider. This is a great way to quickly make face poses without having to move individual facial controls around but it does limit the edit ability.


    (Blend Shapes, n.d)

  2. Inverse Kinetics (IK) – allows the child node within the rig’s hierarchy to influence the movement of its parents. Eg: if you position your character’s hand the rest of the arm chain will be calculated. This allows the animator to animate independently of the chain’s hierarchy.IK(Inverse Kinetics, n.d)
  3. Forward Kinetics (FK) – allows the character rig to follow the hierarchical chain. This means more control over the chain, but also one needs to position each joint in the chain independently of each other.FK(Forward Kinetics, n.d)
  4. Control Curves – these help in manipulating joints within the rig by using simple NURBS curves placed outside of the character so one can easily select the curve to position the character instead of using the actual joints which can be tedious at times.Control_Curves1(Control Curves, n.d)
  5. Constraint – these are important parameters that limit an object’s position, rotation and scale based off of the attributes of the parent object.Constraint(Constraint, n.d)
  6. Deformers – these are algorithms that can move large sections of vertices on a model to produce organic shapes. E.g: Using a cluster deformer can help create facial controls for eyes, cheeks etc.Deformer1(Cluster Deformer, n.d)
  7. Skinning – the process of binding the joints to the 3D mesh so as to allow the mesh to follow when the joints are moved.Skinning(Skinning, n.d)
  8. Weight Painting – is the process of assigning the extent of influence a joint has on an area of the model.Weight_Painting(Weight Painting, n.d)
  9. Facial Rigging – When creating complex character rigs the facial rig setup is often at a whole different level. Facial movements require a lot of stretchy & organic motions & hence a simple joint setup doesn’t suffice. It needs a combination of deformers & blend shapes.Facial_Rig(Facial Rigging, n.d)


The process of displaying still images in a rapid sequence to create the illusion of movement. These images can be hand drawn, computer generated, or pictures of 3D objects. There are various types of animations. Some of them are:

  1. Traditional Animation / Classical Animation – In this technique each & every frame is created by the animator by physically painting them.


(The Animation Process From 1938, 2011)


  1. Digital 2D Animation – This technique involves creating 100s of drawings and animating them to show some kind of movement. Using softwares such as Adobe flash, limits the number of drawings used. Small variations like changing the color or frame rate can be done easily.


(Making a Walk Cycle, 2013)


  1. Digital 3D animation – This technique involves the creation of an animated sequence using 3D models via softwares.


(CGI 3D Animated Short Film HD: “Selfillumination”, 2016)

  1. Stop Motion Animation – This process uses frame by frame animation where physical static objects are moved around and during the post production it is shown in a fluid movement.

(Western Spaghetti by PES, 2008)


  1. Chukimation – This is a combination of stop frame animation & live shots where characters are dropped into a particular frame.


(Good Burger in Chuckinmation, 2007)


  1. Puppetry Animation – Is created using life like puppets instead of objects.


(Indian Shadow Puppet Animation by Gul Ramani, 2010)


  1. Clay Animation / Claymation – Pieces of clay are moulded to create characters which are kept in a set & with only short movements the whole scene is made.


(Sammy Squid: Turns The Other Tentacle Claymation, 2011)


  1. Zeotrope Animation – is one of the early forms of animations. Some still images are drawn on a drum and when turned in a circular way, it creates an illusion of movement. The visual effect created by a zoetrope is the principle behind creating animated GIFs.


(Zoetrope – praxinscope 48 frames!, 2010)

  1. Cut-Out Animation – is the process of moving paper cut outs under the camera lens to say a story.

(“Coco” – Paper Cut Out Animation, 2014)

  1. Sand Animation – A technique that uses a lit glass table as a canvas on which the animator creates an animation by moving the sand in certain directions. The whole process is photographed and then during post production, they are merged to show the sand animation.

(ATORMENTA sand animation, 2009)


  1. Typography Animation – a combination of text in motion is known as typography animation. Typography animation is widely used during the titles part of a movie.

(Inception – Typography animation, 2010)

  1. Paint-on-glass Animation – this technique uses slow drying paints on a glass canvas, which allows the animator to manipulate the art and photograph them simultaneously to create an animation.

(The Umbrella – A short animation made with oil paints, 2012)

  1. Drawn-on-film Animation – One of the oldest techniques of animation that involved scratching, etching directly on an exposed film reel, introducing the light in variations to create shadows which are permanently embedded on the film created in a dark room, or just stick the black film reel on to a workboard and punch holes into them or stick just about anything on the film reel.

(Drawn on Film Animation, 2014)

  1. Flip book Animation – This technique involved artists drawing a series of images, with little variation to the pictures on a flipbook, so when the book is flicked rapidly, you can see the series of images in a fluid motion, trying to show a scene.


(Michael Jackson Flipbook Animation, 2013)


  1. Pin screen Animation – This technique uses a screen being pricked by thousands of headless pins to create pin screen animation. Once the pins are pricked, the screen is lit on one side, which casts shadows, based on the depth of the prick.


(Mindscape, 2014)


Animation is the amplification of an idea through simplification and abstraction; a sight gag timed to perfection; a visual poem; a moving painting; extraordinary sublime moments in the orchestration of moving image and sound; throw-away sick slapstick humour designed for the moment; stories that remain with you forever; time-based imagery that can be fantastically surreal because of its unique process of realisation; a journey through the human body and other datascapes; the invisible made visible; informative dynamic graphics that monitor critical processes; an animated neon sign. At its best, animation is an exquisite character performance synthesised at the end of a pencil, or increasingly through the sweep and click of a computer mouse, that would otherwise win an award for best acting


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  4. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
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  8. (2016, January 8). CGI 3D Animated Short Film HD: “Selfillumination” by André Kutscherauer. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
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  10. (2007, January 5). Good Burger in Chuckimation. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
  11. Ramani, G. (2010, September 8). Indian Shadow Puppet Animation – by Gul Ramani. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
  12. (2011, October 16). Sammy Squid: Turns The Other Tentacle Claymation. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
  13. (2010, January 2). Zoetrope – praxinoscope 48 frames! Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
  14. (20014, December 31). “Coco” – Paper Cut Out Animation. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
  15. (2009, April 2). ATORMENTA sand animation. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
  16. (2010, December 12). Inception – Typography animation. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
  17. Li, X. (2012, April 18). The Umbrella- A Short animation made with oil paints. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
  18. Abegglen, J. (2014, January 22). Drawn on Film Animation. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
  19. Flipbook guru. (2013, November 29). Michael Jackson Flipbook Animation. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
  20. (2014, November 26). Mindscape. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
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