New Narratives – 30 Second Animation – Now I Can Breathe, I Think?

three months has brought our team to this moment, we present to you….A Bright Idea –

BUT WAIT, Micheal Bass had suggested we fixed the lighting in one area so we took this down then fixed one final part then…

BOOM, our final animation!

To be honest, from being broke away from my original team to being put into a team that had already rolled the ball down the street, i managed to catch up and hopefully helped along the way! I am so proud to have worked along side with Rebecca, Lorna, Cassie and Hollie, its been such a roller-coaster but im kinda glad its over for now so I can get my level back!

Here’s hoping full class of passes for this year folks!


Image And Data Visualisation – Head Model #2

Extra Visual Inspiration –

James Taylor Maya 2016:

“Download the IMAGE PLANES used in the vid:
Too fast? Download the EXTENDED CUT video, it’s 3X longer!
This Maya 2016 tutorial shows how to model the female head and face. Creating attractive women is a must for any character artist – this tutorial shows how to create a female head that not only animates well, but looks pretty doing it!

The character modeling process in the video shows how to model proper topology around the eyes and mouth, the two key areas for animation. Follow along and your resulting mesh will have zero triangles!

I’m James Taylor – I’ve worked on million-selling video games like Mortal Kombat and NBA Ballers; I’ve been a web designer, a cel animator, a visual effects artist, and everything in between. Currently I am a professor working in the Chicago area. This channel showcases the techniques I use in my professional work.

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Show your support if you want to see more tutorials like this – click subscribe and share!” – James Taylor

Modelling A Head With Proper Topology:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Personally when it came to the three part tutorial on how to create a head model, i felt this very slow and boring to watch as they were not using a proper face to model and more so a cartoon face which was not what we are not looking to achieve here, may as well mention it though on my blog.

When modelling the face, I followed the James Taylor Maya 2016 tutorial like it was religion as it was the most recent edition online and felt it would be the most handy video to follow whilst modelling for myself.

When it came to actually following James Taylor’s tutorial it was pretty straight forward, although since he had a workshop set up differently on his version of Maya compared to mine it meant that i had to pause alot and catch up before continuing on with the video, then there came the almighty crash. I had a problem with my pathetic Laptop that caused Maya to crash thus losing my nearly completed head model which had left me utterly despaired and close to giving up on the head model itself but quitting is not an option when you’re paying over three grand a year to get this degree so i pushed on regardless and started again.

This time around I found myself producing the model alot quicker having the repetition of on the model hours on end to get it completed whilst juggling the New Narratives module. Another problem I have had with the modelling process was lining up my reference images, I feel I had done the best I could although I am sure the lectures will correct me when it comes to marking.

Because i am a numpty i did not take progression photos so i had to go back and take screens of my head model, though im sure when explained it will make sense!

Starting off with two cylinders then giving them 8 sub divisions each I was able to create the basic shape the eyes and lips, once i got the correct curves I need on side view I went ahead and extruded the eyes twice to make the socket of the skull to speak and once foe the mouth area to begin the process of the laughter line. Once I had extruded, moved and divided my topology I decided to delete on side of the face then mirror the geometry so I had perfect symmetry though my face does not have such perfection so went ahead with the soft selection tool to alter the other side of my face to fit the areas of the eyes, lips and ears.

personally the most troublesome part of the whole process was the ears, i found it so hard to model and even reached out to my class for relevant tutorials on how to do them, none of which had helped me so i stuck to the basic low poly ear technique that james taylor had went with for the head model.

Here are some of the sent videos from class:


Thanks guys but the videos proved too complicated, sorry!

The Final Product And Overview Of Module-



For the head model module I felt it was rather hit and miss to be honest, I felt the lecture series could had covered the need to know parts a lot sooner compared to the new narratives slides although this may be because the new narratives module is worth more marks overall and needs more knowledge given towards achieving what is needed in the final products. Any who, researching for the head model was probably the most fun out of it all getting to review other 3D modellers work and seeing how the topology would look on ones face, I felt this had helped me apply my own topology lines to my reference photos which in turn helped the overall process of modelling in Maya. Modelling the head itself now was beyond a challenge for me, it was so time consuming and the fact that Maya had decided to crash on my pathetic laptop at least three times meant I had to recreate my model multiple times but this had probably worked in my favour as each time the process was faster and better quality (despite me still believing my model is gross). I think the head model module is a module that requires a lot of research, patience and time keeping which I felt I did not plan my time out as well as I should had. Not in the sense of leaving it to the last possible minute but more so that I could had completed it a long time before if Maya did not crash, but regardless it has been an interesting learning experience that had defiantly helped increase my skill level on Auto Desk Maya and its complex controls. If I were to change one thing it would be to have relevant lecture tutorials earlier on when the given task is handed out.



New Narratives – 30 Second Animation – The Touch Ups Before Hand In

Conánn was not lying when he said the first year breaks you in some way shape or form, i feel I have broken mentally and its starting to flare some of my CFS symptoms up but nevertheless, the job must be completed for deadline. I only hope I’m being useful for my team~

Scene One Corrections –

This scene originally thought was meant to be pretty straight forward although i feel Cassie may had ran into a few problems along the way with the lighting which is totally understandable because lighting in any area is not an easy task unless you have done advanced photography in your life. Speaking of lighting problems we were experiencing some objects in the scene to be interacting with the light whenever this should not had been the case but just as things were going moderately bad, the camera decided to go on what Cassie and Lorna described as an Acid trip~

Thankfully we got this re-rendered on time~

This is much better i think yes!

Scene Two Corrections –

On this scene we decided to go with Lornas original idea on Lumen bumping into the lamp which i thought was a brilliant idea as it made more sense know what had cause that movement in the scene rather it stay still and make people think Lumen some how clipped through the object, Rebecca used the lamp model to create the animation shown in Lornas original story boards.

After that me and Rebecca went on to re create the curtain scene for the animation, it was very hard to replicate despite us only have to be a stepped animation but with me not being to familiar with the stepped animation for the time slider some parts needed edited on the graph editor~

For the eyes i was asked to redraw the eyes (several times) to look similar to lumen’s glasses which i  did get initally although the group felt my version was a tad messy so Rebecca had traced over my movement to get a crisp finish for the 2D animation

Here is the result of our 2D animating!

If you wish to see my version, check out the PhotoShop file.

Scene three Corrections –

This was by far the most straight forward scene to fix with only the lighting and the the hand animation screwing the light bulb, we did want to try something that was suggested by the lectures which Rebecca took upon herself to do. using the modelling kit on maya, beccaa had put indent on the bed where lumen would had been rest for most of her stay in hospital which in turn made the scene more believable in all honesty now that we look back on it.

Scene Four Corrections –

For scene four all i had to do was revise the new pose for Lumen then apply it to a poster, so it wasn’t too much hassle considering everything else was pretty straight forward with only a few lighting changes and Lumens hair being fuzzed up from being electrocuted!


Image And Data Visualisation – Head Model

To start of my head model project, I decided to look into what exactly is good topology when it comes to doing a head model.

Reference images from
Thundercloud studios is perfect for examples!
Keep squares and no triangles folks!

“Main topology lines in head model:Green lines are mostly to help polygon flows form the shape of the body part base on surface curvature while Red line will play their role during particular extreme expressions. Note: Red line loops will varies in different head models base on animation requirements, the more extreme expression & wrinkles the face have, the more extra red lines will need to add to the face to build up the deformation properly” – ThunderCloud Studios


Reference images from - Anatomy Of Human Face Muscles.
Muscle diagram of facial anatomy 

One thing I have learned about facial topology is that the most crucial areas are the eyes, lips and laugh lines if I am correct from initial research. From one of our lecture classes it was obviously made clear that planning the topology line work is well placed on the face before tackling Maya to create the model, here are more images of face models highlighting what I think are the most important aspects of creating a good face model.


We needed reference photos for the head model project which i did not want to take myself encase i  had mucked it up somehow so i kindly asked our lecture Conánn had a pretty slick camera to take our reference photos with ease (thanks again sir!)

Here are the reference photos below.

Conánn seemly knows how to bring the better looking side of me out in a photo, what is your bloody secret man!

When I look at my head i start to see that my face is asymmetrical, like most other human heads but when looking at my photos particularly the two side views, you can see my ears are very much different to each other with one being more curved than the other and slightly higher on the right side on my face (in the front view)

Only thing i wish that was different was my hair, damn my hair needs a trim AGH!

i thought it would had been best to do some traditional tracing over my reference photos so with that i printed out my images, drew other the topology i thought would work well with Maya then that way i have a rough guideline for my face!

Here are the drawings for the side view images, i feel these would help the most as the side view in Maya will no doubt be the main maker for achieving nice curvature on the lips, cheeks ect.


Oh my lord, well…I look interesting with poly over my face! I decided to attempt drawing low poly on myself as a lot of my visual inspiration above have relatively low poly. I think i will begin looking into modelling as soon as possible now~





New Narratives – 30 Second Animation – Feedback

Today we presented out animations, for the most part i thought we did well – emotions were running high in the class today which also made things, uncomfortable to say the least. Our group did pretty well and I am very proud of our efforts this far into the module, just a few more pushes and its all over…Eww.


Tutors Feedback –

Scene one:

  • It is not clear which light is broken
  • The pan should be parallel to the wall/ straight on them rather than angled

Scene two:

  • If we are doing a close up of the curtain, replicate the psycho scene
  • Have the camera the way it was originally intended within the animaic
  • Have her walk into more objects

Scene three:

  • Fix the light glow
  • Have her have a comedic electrocution of the hand rather than just removing the bulb
  • Have Lumin make all the objects she touches glow so then it makes sense, including the bed

Scene four:

  • Change the dialogue

When looking back on how we created this it did not go without its problems, if we did not have every render identical then some scenes would come out almost pitch black and we also had to attempt to be efficient by using two macs to render our animation to meet the presentation deadline but i think our render time was so long because of all the lights and textures imported into the scene! (Very big file)

New Narratives – 30 Second Animation – Typography And Nurse

Typography –

For the typography for the animation, Cassie had gotten her mother to write each of our names down on a piece of paper then I was given them to recreate in a neon style, i then went ahead to gather information on how I could do this.

Learn how to create a realistic neon text effect. In this Photoshop tutorial we will be focusing on. Adding a brick wall background. Then darkening it up to make it look as if it was night. Then applying a neon font. Creating a neon glow to the font. Then we’ll be working with blending options to bring out the glow. We will also create a cord to give it a more realistic look and feel.


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Photoshop CC tutorial showing how to make a custom neon sign using your own text.

Brick Wall background:

Freestyle Script FONT:

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Can we get 250 likes!? 😀 Thanks!

I just wanted to get a video out for you guys and this is a pretty nice effect so hope it helps you out!

PSD –…

Texture Download –…
Font –…

If this helped you out please like, comment and subscribe, they really help!

-What video should I make next? Let me know!





Out of the three videos i watched i personally liked the first one on my list, it was beyond the most comprehensible out of the three, Cassie was also determined that i followed that tutorial also so i went with her judgement and followed it. I had then bumped into the problem that my version of Photoshop did not have the filters required to make the font but thankfully Cassie had lent me her Mac Book to use so the job could be done.


The Nurse –

For the nurse i needed to create a silhouette of a female figure, initially the file i had she did not have her clothing added in or hair but here is a file of her so you can play about and see the individual layers used to puppet her in After Effects.

– Download Link –

Become a puppet master by learning how to use the Puppet Tool in Adobe After Effects! The Puppet tool allows you to add joints and animations to bring live to any static image!

To follow along with the tutorial, you can download the cutout image of me right here:…

I have a detailed written version of this tutorial available on my website so go check that out:…

The Puppet Tool in Adobe After Effects provides you with 3 separate controls to animate your static image with ease:

1. The Puppet Pin Tool
The Puppet Pin tool allows you to place pins on your image to define where joints on your character will be. These are best placed on actual joints like elbows, knees and other parts of the body that can rotate.

You can then control click these pins and record your manual animations directly in the timeline window.

2. The Puppet Starch Tool
By default, any animation from the Puppet Pin tool will be applied by deforming a mesh overlayed onto your image. This mesh is very flexible by default which can lead to your character having a very ‘rubbery’ animation where everything bends and twists. This might not always be what you want and you can use the Puppet Starch Tool to define which areas of your ‘puppet’ are inflexible.

Simply spray the areas of your image that you want to keep stiff and the puppet tool will do the rest. Try to avoid making large areas completely stiff as there needs to be some room for the animations to occur.

3. The Puppet Overlap Tool
When working with complex character animations you often have parts of the character overlapping, e.g. the hands overlapping the body during a walk animation. You can paint depth information onto your character with the Puppet Overlap Tool. This information tells After Effects in which order to render the parts of the mesh in case of an overlap.

The Puppet Tool (and its 3 components) are a fantastic tool to bring images to live directly in Adobe After Effects and I hope you will have fun with it and experiment!

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Video and Music – Copyright © 2014 SurfacedStudio

This is the tutorial used to animate the Nurse on After Effects!


New Narratives – 30 Second Animation – Scene changes Before Presenting

We need to change some thing, we need to make the scene more apparent in the animation which will need more camera pans with smooth movements so the character can be established better within the shot, we also need to work on the lighting more (Cassie had said she will take it and would not need any help but we are here for her if she needs it), the set up of the room will need changed, perhaps elongated with more beds and a window maybe. We did some doodling on the whiteboards to get across what needs to be done within the next coming weeks.


I was assigned with fixing the general shape and objects within the room, I started of with hiding every single object in the scene until the shell of the room was viable, I then grabbed the left end of the room and stretched it out by using verts mode. Once the room was at a decent size, i duplicated the beds, curtains and reels along with the I.V’s ect and made then all sit in other positions, that way the room would not be symmetrical as this ward is being used by patients so naturally it will be out of shape a little~

I then added a window in the room just to experiment how it would look being able to see the outside world from the camera shots, if it were not to work then we could always just change the camera position to either hide the window or keep a file that has no window.

shot showing length
Window and moon!

Cassie had worked ont he light set up with a longer room now she had to consider the other light sources that have now been added I.E, more lamps and moon. I feel she got the setting right although its sad we could not solve the lingering problem that one of the lamps direction light was not cooperating with us in the slightest and ended just setting the scene off baldy, as for camera work i believe it has improved the more we had to redo it and it has certainly paid off. With a longer ward we have opened more possibilities to adding credits to the beds or walls though that is up to debate whether everyone would like that or not (The didn’t)

Cassie had mentioned how she would like to edit the curtain and chair falling scene like this scene from Hot Fuzz, i feel like this would work perfectly as the amount that is going on with object falling over would need some fast camera cuts and zooms to identify what is going on though you can see from this test below

My chair animation and Rebeccas curtain~

Cassies test on Lumen unscrewing the light

Lumen being caught by yet to be edited in nurse!