Gear Models

These are some images of the gears that I modelled in Maya for the 15 seconds.

Before modelling the gears I looked at a few tutorials to start me off. Once I looked at a few of these I gathered an idea on how to start. Once I had got the general design down making the gears became fun. Getting to test out different styles and shapes was a good way to see what worked and what didn’t work.



Below is then some images of the gears I modelled. These will then be added cube shape to make the final shift, the mechanical device.


Cog Vectors

These were some graphic concepts that I came up with. The gears in the concepts are taken from the animatic. I wanted to take the graphical aspect of the animation and see if i could develop it more.

The original idea was to help work on colour palettes and see what we liked and didn’t like. Testing things like composition, scale, rotation and shape. Initially in the first couple of graphics the number of gears used was small. This showed the mechanical side of project. Changing the placement of the gears allowed me work out patterns and play with positive and negative space.



After seeing what some the concepts came out like I though about adding more gears and then reducing the size of them. I noticed that the smaller the gears got the more of a pattern began to show. An almost organic patten started to appear. With that idea in mind I began to make more patterns using the positive and negative space .


The next step was to try and develop the colours used. Looking at contrasting colours and colour gradients was how I made the ones below. Now keeping to similar compositions  colours were added to the different layers in hope to select the possible colour palette.


Finally these four concepts developed through the rest of the others. For these I decided to use greyscale for the colour palette. Greyscale was something that we all agreed on and wanted to keep. The scale of the gears in these are decreased in size. One thing that I noticed was they got so small they almost lose the mechanical look and become organic. This was a cool idea to experiment with and develop more.


Head Model Beginnings

So before beginning my head model I wanted to do some research into what I would actually be doing. I looked into typology and how to map out a face in order to get correct typology.

Below are some tutorials that were suggested from tutors and other class mates.

One was the method of patch modelling and the other one is modelling from a cylinder. Another method of creating a head model is called box modelling.


I decided to go with the first tutorial and use patching modelling as method for my head model.

Malum Meaning

So what does Malum mean? So originally the idea for the project was to go and so something more fine arty or graphical. While trying to finally decide on a narrative there was some clashes of ideas. No one could really agree on an idea.

Finally an implicit meaning came through. Suggested by Dervla, we could look at the idea of industrialisation and how humanity have had an effect on the environment.  Dervla’s idea was to have a snake wrap around a tree trying to get an apple. The snake being humanity and the apple being nature. The idea of predator and prey. But I wasn’t overly found of this idea as I thought it would be to unrealistic in the time that we had. So a compromise had to be made.

After having a think about what way we could develop the narrative I thought about making the apple the focusing point of the animation. Let the apple change within itself to show the effects that have been made to it. This idea went down well so we finally had a narrative and a plan. One question still left unanswered. What does the apple mean?

So while researching into apples and their meanings I came across that another word for an apple is ‘Malum’. Malum is then the latin word for evil or a misfortunate event. I thought this was a cool concept to test out. The idea that something organic and pure can be seen to be evil due to human interference. I thought this was an awesome name for the project and helped tie things togteher.


This is the first draft of the animatic for ‘Malum’.

We choose to use a vector styled animatic. This was to convey our idea in the simplest way possible. The animatic was for us to show the timing and the camera angles used.

The vectors created for the animatic will then be used in graphic concepts for the final animation.

The general narrative of the animatic is showing the different stages of the apple shifting to a mechanical device. The idea is to visually show how humanity have destroyed nature and in a sense almost replaced. This was to give us a guide on timing and what stages will be introduced.

The grey scale colouring is something we want to keep in the final outcome, we can hopefully develop in a way to make it more interesting.



Andy Thomas

Andy Thomas is a digital artist that specialises in particle based motion graphics in which is inspired by nature and technology.

I came across this designer while looking through Vimeo. I had seen one of his animations on the creators project. This was a project called synthetic nature. In that project he makes the organic abstract models twist, stretch, squash and scale in and out. This is all the animated to the music that he designs. Again the idea of visuals being animated isn’t something new that I’ve talked about but seeing the different ways that this concept is carried out is something that I’m interested in.

Link to his Vimeo account.


Looking at his other videos the music in a way controls what way the objects move and in what way they move. Lights and movements can be assigned to sounds so when the sound goes off a certain part of the animation will change accordingly. Even though Andy Thomas’s work is more of an organic shape and from there is still a technology base in his work. Making organic shapes work in a machine like way, timing the movements up with the sound makes the animation look like well time machine. The contrast within the animating and the models make you think what is the main theme in his work.

The Final City

So finally the floating city project comes to an end. It was both a fun and tough project due to many reasons, the main thing I learnt from this project was how key time management is while working a project.

Below is then some rendered images of the floating city. The final outcome of the city was great, I was so happy with the presentation and the how it looked.

Below is then some long shots of the city, the clouds and lighting on the city adds a pastel style to it. I thought it created a peaceful and chilled  environment which we wanted to have in the city.

Jenny took one for the team and rendered the city herself , so many thanks to Jenny. There was some problems when transferring the files over so Jenny had to retexture some of the city. Although I was happy with my outcome Jenny done an amazing job on the re-design.


There are some different variations of the final city, more so in the placement of the city itself. The colour palette is mainly based off all warm colours and and then some cool colours to add a contrast.

Although the final design of the city moved away from the original idea of an abstract structure I think this design was  good middle ground between structured and abstract. Going back to one of Kirstin’s ideas of the city in a pill concept, I thought the city design was a more detailed version of it.

Some angles showing inside the city. The shadows cast by the hexagon mesh creates the idea that you are inside an organic styled structure. The marble base and the hexagon styled bridge adds to the natural aesthetic.


Above is the rendered models by themselves. All the models in the city were done to a great standard created by all of the team.

A deconstructed section of the city to show where all the pieces together and to give a breakdown. Beside it a still image of the city.

This is then a PDF version of the final presentation – Floating City Rome


Life Drawing Reflection

Life drawing at first was difficult for me, I had only ever attended one life drawing class before during my foundation year. Initially I thought it wouldn’t be that bad but when I seen the level others were at and the quality of work they were producing made me see that I needed to make improvements. The main issues I came across was getting all the information down on the page in such a short amount of time. But when I was attempting to get the information on the page in the short time I was making errors in terms of the scale and or proportions of the drawing.

The advice that helped me was Mike explaining how the use of basic shapes made it possible to get the general form of the model down the add the rest of the details in with ‘c’ and ‘s’ curves. This made then the initial sketch on the page an easier starting point for the drawing. Once I had understood the what Mike meant my gesture drawings had improved in the quality and I was a lot happier with them.

As the semester moved forward areas such as perspective and tone came into it. Perspective was again hard for me to get my head around since I hadn’t drew much things with the sense of perspective of being involved. From Mike’s help I developed in that area. Although I had improved my drawing there is people who are still better than me in life drawing. I’m happy with the improvements i have made but i feel compared to other’s, the quality of my work is on a lower quality.

At the tail end of the semester we were allowed to use the hour class but draw what we wanted, in terms of what length we wanted each drawing to be. The drawing I spent half an hour on was posted previously on my blog was something i was really happy with. Having a half and hour to do a drawing gave me time to sketch of the basic form but still spend enough time on getting the proportions right. Then adding form and shading to the drawing helped show my skills. I feel as if that drawing in comparison to the general level of the class was where I should be rather than where I was at doing the quick poses.

Returning from Christmas and starting the new semester my life drawing skills had feel a bit just from not drawing as much as i had been . The first class back was just me getting back into the swing of things. Although they weren’t works of art they had the basic shape down like Mike wanted. So I had picked up stuff from the first semester. In general terms I feel as I have improved my drawing in terms of the way life drawing required.

I think life drawing was a good class to have while starting the year to help us understand the connection between 2D and 3D animation. The idea of perspective and tone in 2d drawings can be translated into 3d modelling and this was a great help while learning the skills that would help us make our 15 second films in this semester. I found life drawing to be helpful in getting started in the degree.


First Presentation

So the first presentation for the 15 seconds was an informal presentation. Each group had to talk about and explain their research and possible animations. For this presentation we didn’t have a set narrative as we were still trying to see what direction to go in.

The general ideas we had focused around,

  • light
  • patterns
  • graphics
  • visuals
  • textures
  • nature

From the feedback we received  our attempt to try something different had worked, we then want to keep on developing the ideas to hopefully make something no one is expecting.