3DS Max

  • Atomic puppet inspired building



UV Unwrapping



After modelling a 3D object the next logical step is to add texture to it. But before imagery can be added, the model first needs to be uv unwrapped. This basically means you turn the 3D object into a 2D net of itself, so that when texture is introduced the net can easily fold back around the model.

The texture menu in Maya is called ‘Hypershade’. This is where shaders and textures can be added to models.

To mark areas that i uv unwrapped i needed a new material, so from the menu i created a ‘lambert’ one. In the details for the lambert, i clicked the box next to the colour option. This opened another menu, and i chose checkerboard since it makes it easier to tell which parts i have unwrapped. After that i dragged the material onto my model by holding the middle mouse button.

To start unwrapping, open the ‘uv editor’. Select a number of faces on the model that you think will flatten out without distorting, then shift right click in the editor, and select ‘planar map’. The faces won’t be unfolded properly so you need to change your selection type and select all the uvs. Shift right click again and there will be an option to smooth uvs, an ‘unfold’ button will appear which you need to hold and drag as far right as you can. This completely flattens out those faces and highlights if they don’t work (e.g. overlapping).

To connect sections of the net, you select an edge that both sections share, then shift right click and ‘move and sew’. This connects them but you will need to unfold them again after.


This is what the net of my spaceship  looks like so far in the UV editor.


I still have to UV unwrap some of my model, like the underside and the guns.

Robot Character Design


In Tony’s lesson we were set a project to research robots and come up with some concept art ideas. Our final outcome will be one developed design of a robot that has been coloured (e.g. using Illustrator). The first step was to research robots from games, movies, etc.

From my research i created a mood board of different robots for inspiration:



I did some mini silhouette sketches, just to get an idea of the general shape of the robots.

I then made some more drawings of what the robots would actually look like


After that i chose one of my drawings to work on and develop. I took it into Adobe Illustrator, went over the lines, and made some adjustments.


During the lesson, the class viewed each others robot designs and got to give feedback. This allowed us to get an idea of what we can do to improve them. The main thing said about mine, and other people’s robots, was that more depth should be added to make it look more 3D.

Animation in Maya


In our lesson with Matt we learned how to animate in Maya.

  • Left click drag = move through frames
  • S = set keyframe
  • Shift drag = move keyframe (inner arrows to move)
  • Right click = delete keyframe

12 Principles of Animation


1). Squash and stretch

This gives flexibility to objects. An example of squash and stretch is a rubber bouncing ball. The way the object squashes and stretches tells the viewer what material it is made of and how heavy it is.


2). Anticipation

Anticipation is the preparation for an action; if an object is about to travel in one direction it will momentarily move in the opposite. This movement builds momentum, and is something that is often seen in real life.


3). Slow in and slow out

Objects need time to accelerate and to slow down, like in real life. If this is not used, movements will look unnatural and robotic.

slow in & slow out.gif

4). Follow through and overlapping action

Follow through is the idea that parts of an object keep moving after it has come to a stop. Overlapping action is similar, as it means that parts of the body may move at different times (e.g. when waving the shoulder may go up first).


5). Arcs

Objects in real life use arcs when moving – if someone moved in a straight line it would look robotic.


6). Exaggeration

Exaggeration is pushing objects


7). Timing


8). Solid drawing

solid drawings.gif

9). Appeal


10). Straight ahead and pose to pose

straight ahead & pose to pose.gif

11). Secondary action


12). Staging


AE Tracking Footage



New composition, 1080p

Edit, preferences, gpu info, tick box

Type name, size 300

Click Pan behind tool (snaps the selection to the text), drag circle to centre of name, then align name to centre of screen

Change renderer (top right) from Classic 3D to Ray traced 3D

Select the name, geometry options, change bevel style to Angular

Add a new light (spotlight) and add shadows

Import the video

Effect, perspective, 3D camera tracker

Click on the drop down menu for the video, effects, 3D camera tracker, advanced, turn detail analysis on

Click on 3D camera tracker

Skip forward to 4 seconds in the timeline

Select 3 points on the ground in a triangle

Right click bullseye, set ground plane and origin

Right click again, create shadow catcher

Make name visible again

Set its position to 0,0,0

Change scale and rotation



Playstation VR


In class everyone got the opportunity to try out games in VR. There were two platforms, i don’t remember what the other one was but the one that i had a go of was the PlayStation VR. The headset for the other one wouldn’t fit over my glasses, but the PlayStation one did, and i could adjust the focus on it.

Once i was in, there were a number of different games that i could play. The one that i chose, and a number of other students did too, was a game called Valkyrie. It was a futuristic space game where you are controlling a spaceship and have to navigate and shoot enemy ships. The whole experience was quite strange – it was weird being able to look around by turning your head – but it was very cool.


Valkyrie gameplay