L3 Games Design: 3D Animation – Research and Development

Treatment – The project name that I came up with for this assignment was “Penny” For this task I will creating a short animation of 15-20 seconds long for a leading stationary provider. This animation will be any stationary equipment of my choosing. For my animation I have chosen to create a pen that will jump into a stationary pot via an eraser. The pen will start of on its side and then slide its way into the eraser, using the eraser to to stand up straight. The pen will then jump up and down, side to side to show happiness in the animation. The pen will then jump onto the eraser and use it like it was a trampoline and get as much height as it can to jump into the stationary pot. When the pen interacts with the rubber, the rubber will have a jelly like movement that will create the realistic effect of what a rubber would look like if something interacted with it.

The target audience that would choose to look at my 3D animation would be any company the provides stationary or possibly people who work in offices. Therefore the age range that would be looking at this animation could be from 25 years old and onwards.

During my animation there are no visual elements apart from the props, a pen, rubber and pen pot. In my animation I could use a light source just to clearly show what is happening and to make the scene a lot brighter for the audience to see. If I was to create a real 30 second animation for a leading stationary company in reality, for example WHSmith, I would have a certain budget that I would use for the animation. Some animations that are only 30 seconds long can be very expensive, maybe looking into the thousands but it all depends on how many materials are used within the animation and how much time it would take.

Diary – 

Week 1 – Research – Pixar Short film

Week 2 – Research – Different stationary objects I could use

Week 3 – Development – Creating sketches and Treatment

Week 4 – Development and Editing – Creating a storyboard and starting the animation

Week 5 – Editing – Continue and finish the animation

Week 6 – Deadline – Checking all work, finishing any work that needs to be done, rendering my animation.

I created these two videos at the start of the assignment to show different emotions a character can do, the first video is of me acting sad and the second videos is of me showing no emotion, neither happy or sad. These two videos give me different ideas of how emotion is shown in a character and helps me know how I can translate that into stationary.

These two videos are two ideas that I had for my 3D animation. The first object was a pair of scissors that would move from side to side and the second video is of a stapler using its top part to hop around. Each of these videos have there own unique style to them and shows how different types of stationary can be used in different ways in animation.


These images here show my sketches and storyboard for my ideas for the animation. I decided to go for an animation of a pen because it has a bit more character to the animation and thought that it would be a bit more easier to show emotion through the object rather than a pair of scissors or a stapler. My idea first started out as a pen hoping around to show happiness, but then I developed it into something further by using the stationary pot. The pen would start of on its side and roll towards the pot and jump straight into it, but for me it didn’t look right because the jump looked a bit too big. At this point I had to think about what I could use to make the animation more realistic but I also wanted to stick to using stationary objects, therefore that is why I used an eraser to act as a sort of trampoline to bounce the pen into the stationary pot.


L3 Games Design: 3D Animation – Final


This shows my final animation that was rendered in After Effects, plus all the screenshots for the process of how I created each individual part of the 3D animation I made in Maya.

What went well during this assignment was creating each section of the animation, the pen, eraser and stationary pot, I enjoyed creating each individual part because it was a challenge for me, making sure I used the correct polygons for each part and making sure the scale was correct on each part so the rendering would look good further on in the assignment.

What didn’t go as well as I hoped was maybe the animation, it wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked it to be. The concept of the animation I was happy with but when I rendered the animation it didn’t look as smooth as I wanted to be. This could be because it was my first time using the software Maya, therefore I wasn’t 100% confident with the software and when doing each part of the editing I could quite get it as smooth as I imagined it to be.

What I would do to improve for next time would be to create a lot more sketches and to create a lot more ideas to give myself a bigger range of ideas. Therefore if I came up with more ideas I could of developed each one of them to then decide which one I think would be the best, rather than using the first idea and adding to that.


L3 Games Design: 3D Animation – Tutorials

My first tutorial that I created were using three different polygons, a cube, a cone and a ball and creating movement within the polygons from side to side, each polygon is set at their own speed, the cube moving the fastest, then the ball and then lastly, the cone.


Secondly, I modelled a column in maya, again this was using numerous polygons and arranging each polygon accordingly to size. For the bottom platform and creating the stairs leading up to the column, this was just a matter of using the cube polygons and then re-arranging the size to get the correct fit, once I got the bottom platform I then duplicated the platform and the made them just a little bit smaller to create each step. Again, similar to the stairs, to create each pole, I used to cube polygon and then arranged it to size, then I duplicated each pole to create 7 more. Creating the top was a bit more difficult then the first two parts. I used the cube polygon and arranged that to size but then had to use one of the tools to drag the middle up to the top to create the triangular effect


L3 Games Design – 3D Animation – Pixar Short film

The first shorts were made while Pixar was still a computer hardware company, and were used to sell the companies hardware products. The story of Pixar’s early short films illuminates not only the evolution of the company but also the early days of computer animation, when a small group of artists and scientists shared a single computer in a hallway, and struggled to create emotionally compelling short films.


The first Pixar Short, The Adventures of André and Wally B (1984). Created as a technical demonstration to to sell Pixar’s hardware.

Pixar uses all different types of technology in their productions. Their most prominent use of technology in the production is computers of their films. When creating a production, Pixar are able to run a software on the computers, which allows them to design different concepts, different storyboards and different types of modelling. Pixar can use all different types of softwares to produce animation in their films.

Pixar also relies on powerful and specially designed computers to use for the process of rendering.

From when Pixar was first created as a hardware developer, the company’s technology has had a massive development throughout the years with the development of the computer graphics industry. Its early short films, like Luxo Jr, and its debut industry standard software for rendering, the process of generating finished two-dimensional images from the geometry, surfacing and lighting data used to create a three-dimensional animation.



When creating a production, Pixar use digital lighting to brighten up the scene and to make it clear what is happening in the animation. Every time Pixar create an animation they use the digital lighting to make it look stage lighting has been used or to make it very similar to stage lighting. Key, fill and bounce lights and room ambience are all defined and used to enhance the mood and emotion of each scene. Lighting takes its inspiration from the colour scripts created by the art department. Animators , use ambient, omnidirectional and spotlights to create depth, shadows and moods.
Rendering is the act of gathering all individual clips or files to create one final product, this will include; sets, colour and character movements. Pixar have what they call a ‘RenderMan’ which is there software that gathers all individual pixels of every image from the model, animation, shading and lighting.
Using powerful computers, all of the digital information that the animators have created is assembled into a single frame of film. For Pixar to fully render an animation it could take an average of six hours to render one frame of an animated film.  Pixar animated films are produced at a frame rate of 24 frames per second (fps). For a 90 minute film, that’s nearly 130,000 frames of animation. At Pixar an individual animator is expected to produce 100 frames of animation a week.