3D Animation

Hey Everybody

I was planning to enter the online game animation competition for the round up season. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to finish it, but I’m going to upload some renders (pics and videos) of some of the things I did get done.

I had no experience of 3D at all until this project, so any comments etc on the 3D aspect would be appreciated.

All the renders were made with Maya 2011 and most were rendered in Mental Ray

This is a link to the thread on our forum (I have made it public now): http://www.robotics.org.nz/index.php/forum/game-animation-design/87-game-design-ideas.html

I will make a youtube channel and upload some renders there (I will post the link once it’s made)

Click on the images for a full HD render.

Here’s an early render of a field. I think I was testing out the area light.

In this image I was testing out mia_material and Sun 'n Sky

This is a teaser image of a 300 frame video I will upload soon (rendered with maya software renderer).

This is our final primary game object

I did get the light under the field working like in clean sweep, but I had deleted it to make it a bit better and I can’t find a render yet.

Ok I have my youtube channel up now: http://www.youtube.com/user/MichaelLawton3D

I have posted one video showing a few test renders.

The animation which I mentioned above with the particles in it hasn’t rendered yet (I had never rendered the final product), but it should be up in an hour or two.

And BTW, you might be interested to know that a lot of the test renders I did were rendered on a render farm of about 10 PCs that I set up using Backburner (all Pentium 4s:eek: except my laptop - thats one reason why some of them flicker a bit)

It looks really good. I am not at all into the 3D Animation world but from an audience standpoint the scratches on the lexan field walls looks great and adds a really hardcore aspect to the animation.

It is really cool that you can do all of this while only having minimal experience. Stick with it.


Thanks DK. I wasn’t planning to have that many scratches, but it was mainly to test the concept.

I have finally rendered and uploaded the particles vid. See it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73_9MomUZgA. I stopped it halfway though rendering by mistake, so I had to create a particle cache (30GB BTW :eek:) so I could start half way through. Turned out once I had rendered it the opactity on the particles wasn’t ramped so I had to start again anyway :mad:

Both my youtube vids look really bad quality - does youtube take a while before they go to full quality or something? Most youtube vids I’ve watched don’t look that bad.

Dude, so epic! My team won the game animation challenge for round up this year, but seeing your initial renders and game field, I realize that our animation[comparatively] would have been in dire straits.

Its a shame we didn’t get to see it this year. Hey, at least you have the field and quite a lot of stuff done already for next year’s online challenge.

Commenting on the game: I’ve always wanted to have a “speed bump” kind of field obstacle. Your game looks amazing and I love the sunset in a desert (presumably) close shot.

I just sent our team’s animator links to these renders. 575 is gonna have to try harder for this year’s game animation challenge.

Hi Michael

Seems like quite a few teams started making animations in NZ and couldn’t finish them. I know Rangitoto was a fair way through theirs and I also spoke to someone in Palmy I believe who started making theirs.
I am holding some animation workshops at Rangitoto in the near future, though will be focusing currently in the workflow for 3ds max and blender and combining them to create realistic renders without the hard hitting render times. I am welcome for you to come along…
Maya is ok… but for someone with no experience the step up from max to maya is easier and the work produced from beginners on max often turns out to be alot better than when first using maya.
Obviously I am around to help out and comment on your work… and I’m sure Cody will put in his 2 cents.

As for the vex logo into. Fairly good.
As you may or may not know I am foremost a motion graphic designer and the into is up to good standards… however. There is always a however and a way to improve! I personally would have used AE or C4D to to anything with particles unless using outside plugins in autodesk software.

Anyway the people at RAR are happy to help as I know a few people with similar skill sets. If your interested in attending one of the animation workshops just flick me an email!

  • Sam

You’re making me wish I lived in NZ! :smiley:
I’m trying to familiarize myself with 3ds Max, but it’s taking a while…
Are there any tutorials that you’d recommend?


Sure… Just flick me an email and I’ll see what I can get hold of! :slight_smile:
Same goes for anyone else wanting to know more about max or ae etc

I can never constructively comment on the Maya animations because Maya and Max are such different beasts. I like the broken glass look but I fear it is overdone.

The field glow needs some help. For Round Up I actually ended up making a texture map just for the illumination channel to emulate the glow pattern I saw on a reference picture I took of a real world’s field.


And the field tiles, don’t even get me started…

Base Pattern



Spec Pattern

Then theres stuff like this that never made it because I couldn’t afford to render Round Up in HD.

Then the stuff that everyone remembers…

But back to the thread, these renders look great. A lot of people just don’t understand how much goes into the process of 3D animation. We are recreating a visual representation of the world. That’s really hard! And the burdens that are required. I mean, rendering alone can break a project and throw animators problems that they never expected. You have to be able to adapt and improvise in this industry or it will chew you up and spit you out!

I really do hope to see you guys compete in next year’s animation challenge. If your smart and determined you can work out certain details now and be ready for the online challenges to open.