Category Archives: Art


Buddy Rig and Swim Test

So I did a quick little animation testing his body weighting. He does some looking around and then I show his swim tail in action.

You can download a higher resolution version from here (wmv)

Buddy Rig

So after getting some ideas from our animator/rigger at work I built a new rig for Buddy.

This one’s center of mass I think turned out more accurate. I added a lot more bones to the rig as well to support facial animation. I also added IK and FK arms and FK and Swiming tails as well.

The swim tail is driven by an expression and can be blended along with the FK tail into buddy’s active pose.


Not sure why his eyes are missing. :)

Buddy The Manatee

My has done work with writer and illustrator Tim Thomas who created Buddy The Manatee children’s books. Buddy has been featured on various signs at local parks as well to help inform visitors about manatees.

He has been looking into doing some kind of animated movie featuring buddy so I decided to try doing some modeling of buddy using JB as a base.



Mantis Test Animation

I finished his leg and decided to do a little test animation.


(whoops noticed his arm goes through his head at one point, its just a test, still needs a real animation rig)


We had this idea for a somewhat interactive tv program and we did some intial brain storming on the idea.

One of my friends really liked the look of these CubeCraft characters. You print them out then cut and fold them and you get a 3d paper character.

So did some test modeling based on that. I was nice too because the cubecraft printouts were laid out almost in perfect UV type of setup.

Here is a couple of animations. Oh its also my first walk cycle animation, I think it looks good. (Got lucky all the rest have not been very good)

Here is the model with some of the cubecraft textures applied.

6 Million dollar man-tis

So I set about to rebuild my mantis, better, stronger, faster. I was happy with my initial model so I just needed to break it up into separate pieces.

This made since, most insects use some kind of articulated arms and having a single mesh doesn’t work well. Way to much work when skinning, the joints don’t flex and stretch like skin in most cases.

Plus this would actually make animating much easier since each piece is basically rigid and doesn’t really need to be skinned (hopefully).

Here are some images of me dissecting the contiguous model and reworking it to be segmented. I have colored the different segments to make it more obvious where the joints are.


One more leg to go then it will be ready to send to ZBrush for a initial sculpting pass.




Initial Model

So I started the mantis model in a similar fashion to JB by building a polygon cage for him. Having more experience I did have better placement of my edge loops and basic topology.


But I ended up keeping the model all together as a single mesh which I later learned from our modeler at work is a general no no for insects.



Modified his pose now to make getting to areas easier in ZBrush. And gave him some green coloring.


Mirrored and ready for ZBrush.


The next post will talk about dissecting him in to a segmented version.