CREDITS - 3D Set Modeler / Character Artist

Company: Animation Collective, NYC.
Client: Nickelodeon
Date: 04/2005 - 07/2007
Project: Kappa Mikey - Animateed TV Series ( 2 Seasons - 52 episodes )

image


I started work at Animation Collective in April 2005. They had just rented a new space and we were the first ones in the door. I was living in China town. The story was to be set in Tokyo. And we were looking at a lot of anime' background reference art.

BREAKDOWN:

image

Shibuya Crossing

image

image

The first model I was faced with, was a giant version of Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. The process evolved over the 2 seasons of production, but all of the final images involved in some way a combination of modeling, and base shading in Maya, and then the work of a painter to add in the signs, atmosphere and mood. Later in production, we did more shading and lighting directly in Maya to speed up the process. When we started, a lot of the burden was on the painters (special thanks to Lawrence Valenti and Soonmin Chung). In the end, it was less so. Either way, the models did the structure, and the painters worked their magic on top, and it produced incredible results.


image



image


And the signage of course was a huge influence on the final results. There is nothing cooler than an empty street seen set in a Japanese marketplace.

image



image

If we did a third season, I am sure that the sets would have just been rendered from the start. It really didn't matter at the end, who wass putting the textures on, and would still use the same talented people just in a different work flow. But the work flow we had was very flexible, and art direction friendly.

image



image

But when the backgrounds were meant to be animated, there was really no choice but to flesh them out a bit more in 3D. We used Maya and Mental Ray, with an overlay of toon shader outlines and some effects to achieve these shots. We did these within our small 2-3 person team before they were sent off to the compositors, who were using After Effects.

image
Animated Action Sequence



image
Animated Set

Another of my chores was to model and rig characters. Usually some sort of destructive robot. It was good practice to have an animator waiting for a rig, because they were usually critical and a good sounding board for producing professional rigs. There was a sequence of a talking motorcycle, and non only did I get to rig the motorcycle, I was lucky enough to get to animate him as well. That was a fun sequence.


image



image

image


And then there were the props. We created 100's of vector rendered props.


image



image

image

WANT TO SEE RAW MODELS FROM THE SHOW?!
GO NOW