Friday, 6 June 2008


We have final pitch next Friday and are planning to finish all until then and in case we are chosen...also improve it.

After Luisa finishes the animation we need to do the compositing to match live action and 3D animation RENDERED IN ALPHA CHANNELS perfectly.


We had luck with actual sound capture in this sense. The sound of the footage works just fine with 30 seconds of animation. Firstly there was a classical music on the Trafalgar square where we met and we decided to include that. Then the music slowly dissolves in everyday busy street sounds on the back of our chatting behind the table. As we exaggerated the footage, our chatting started to sound like insects sounds so funny that we probably wont need to import any sounds from sound library, just do a bit more of adjustments of the original soundtrack of the footage with the final compositing.



The final income was about 30 minutes of hardly useful footage. Craigs hands were shaking quite lot and also there are hardly any close ups which would reveal "the beauty" of our models in a whole.

We might do it again.

Before Luisa started animating, we needed to sit down and cut the footage into 30 seconds frame.

It happened that that one day I sat behind Mac in Convergence editing we simply decided to do editing with FINAL CUT PRO, which we found very nice mixture of Premiere and After Effects.

The footage starts slower and then progresses onto the happening with a bit exaggerated movement and also sound.



We borrowed some so-so camera (I admit, I still don't know all the abbreviations on it!) and "hired" my friend Craig for one afternoon. We had t buy him lunch!

The weather was of course London like- cloudy, and the sun shined when we just finished...thats why we will need to do some color and light correction in post-production.

So we found a nice busy street cafe and caught several surprised looks from passers-by. Not even mentioning that the waiters wanted to take our coke away sooo badly and the worst of all....our poor cameraman fell asleep few times in between ...with camera in his hands! Hahahaha

We also figured out on a spot that it would be great to prepare ourselves a bit better. Maybe the tripod wouldn't be bad idea, considering we need to composite 3D reneder in alpha channels onto the footage...

and the second missing thing was an invisible fishing line...for the imaginary insects to take away the can...well innovative as we are we solved that problem with our hair! :-)

It was loads of fun...our filming! I wish we did documentary about " Behind the scenes"

Change of IDEA...FINAL ONE?

After a bit of a creative clash of ideas and nervous discovery that things take longer than we expected, we finally sat down and agreed on a final version of the story.

The final version is a very simple gig I think very appropriate for young audience of Nickelodeon channel:

Busy streets of London. Cut to the table where two are chatting, drinking a can of JOKE COLA (!). The insects notice their preferable object of desire- which isn' t a CAN, BUT THE DRINK INSIDE! They want to steal it and finally succeed after a lot of effort.

All we needed to do is to borrow the camera and go with the flow...find the best spot and film some live action with imaginatively insects!

My own PROUD version of COKE:
(its was a really hard job to draw on the can!)

Change of idea.....AGAIN????!!!

We were told by Nickelodeon, that we need to work more on a story. I think they were right...these insects would need to be driven by something, they would need to have a journey.

Also there is a bit problematic to use COCA COLA sign on a can and even Can't touch this music , as we could have problems because of copy right...thats why the impact of story needs to be elsewhere than the brand products.

Luisa made another animatic while I was hardcore texturing...and I liked some parts, but not all. Thats why I decided to take few of her ideas, mach them with mine and write my own version of the new script:


Part One- Establishing the scenery – Mid day, busy streets of London


Real life action- busy streets, different camera shots, very short and exaggerated movement.



Camera pans in on the full rubbish bin aside street. On the top of rubbish bin is a CGI can of Poky Pola. Anticipation.

Part Two- Insects discover the Poky Pola can- Mid day, full trash can, inside coke can


CGI insects fly into the scenery. They stop on the top of the can. Close up.
Insects are trying to figure out what this interesting discovery, which they have never seen before actually is all about: They look at each other, shake it (the sound of liquid inside), they knock on it and listen.

While they do all that, the nearly blind bee Iris is keep nearly annoyingly flying around.


ACT 2:

Inside can. We can see spider’s head checking.

While the others are waiting outside for the report, the bee is keep flying around. She even bangs into the camera once by accident.

While all the rest are thinking what to do…Iris …blind as she is…just flies into the can!

ACT 3:

A bit of silence Insects listen outside. Suddenly we hear the great enjoyment of the bee inside, she is bathing in the joy of tasty liqid.

Insects look at each other again, then dive into the can as in Mission Impossible. The tick Hendrick stuck, so they have to push him.

Sounds of enjoyment in the can, camera pans out a bit. We can hear the sound of the street again.

Part Three – The trump grabs the can

Suddenly the lazy TRUMP passes by the rubbish bin. He looks at the can, grabs it, tries if anything left inside and …DRINKS from it!


Part 4- The conclusion- Park


Park bench in a silent city park. The same trump now sleeps in sitting position, can of Poky Pola right next to him.


Close up to his face. Suddenly a head of an insect looks out through the ear hole, another one through nose, yet another through his mouth. Iris flies straight out as usually, while the rest have a bit of problem to squeeze out, specially Hendrick needs to be pushed again.


They flight out (the same way as they came to the scenery).


Close up. Camera shows them when standing in the remote position, watching sleepy trump. They look at each other again.


ACT 5:

Close up to the can. An insect hand stretches to grab it, to take it away!

Thursday, 5 June 2008


As we decided to use fur on two characters- the bee and fly- I needed to study fur in Maya a bit. Its really complicated to match it perfectly with the mesh! UV mapping of the model needs to be perfect in order for fur to work.


Iris the Bee has 3 different colours of fur. I spent ages doing proper UV mapping her,because apparently fur is connected with the texture even after deleting the texture and mesh history.

To get 3 color fur you need to extract the mesh, otherwise it doesn't work as as soon as you move something on the mesh (combining, moving vertices,...) the fur disappears.

Here are some very nice Maya Fur Tutorials:

there is a possibility of achieving very nice fur looks with BUMP MAPPING in Z Brush:

But this is very time consuming, thats why we decided to go for Maya preset fur and adjust it the way we want.

I found this absolutely dreadful example of Maya fur fun, but different options of fur adjustments on one same model can be seen. This wolf is an example of bad UV mapping(squares on the back part).


I thought this part would be easier. I had an idea of texturing those insects as they are hand drawn. I was trying to use some parts of drawings I made for character desing and to recreate some of them with help of graphic tablet- in Photoshop. It didnt really work when I attached them, because the resolution of thextures have to be quite high - 1024 x 1024 to get soe nice renders. In praxis that means that I had to do very precise UV mapping, do UV SNAPSHOTS, print them out and draw very huge textures:

Friday, 9 May 2008


I was surprised


We decided to do only (ONLY!!!) 7 of them, because according to our timetable even this is too much if we think of all the after processes of animation! We might duplicate them if we needed more of crazy insects to develop a story.

Modeling here might look very easy, but actually it took me quite some time to achieve these assimetrical organic shapes. This time I modeled all a bit differently: not extruding and building so much as taking pure shapes like sphere and re-sculpt them with lattice tool or extruding polygons over curves ( Fly's hair)


Huhhhh, we rushed this was very hard to think of all the dancing moves these creatures could be capable of considering their anatomy.




Beneath Your Feet is a story about a bunch of crazy insect characters, trapped in the contemporary urban landscape of London. Us – humans - are just too busy, egotistic, huge and blind to notice these little creatures that exist all around us, but they don’t care too much, just as long as the party continues!


We decided to mix live action with 3D CGI animation.

Camera’s eye notices a shaking can in the bag full of rubbish. We cut to what is happening inside: the Old Fly Teacher Matilda is having a dancing lesson! As party progresses, she goes a bit mad, forgetting her age. Mosquito Fred is clumsily trying to dance nearby her. As she is completely on fire, not even realising what is happening to her, she grabs his trunk, swings him around and then…he disappears from the scene! A moment of silence…The whole dancing floor freezes in the position, then they turn into the direction of the “flight”, except Matilda, she is just slowly realising what happened, still in the frozen position. Then they look at each other…suddenly…start to laugh (each one with their own crazy sound), the music comes back again- and The Party goes on!!! The sequence finishes with the life action sequence of the same Coke can. The insects fly out, looking forward to another crazy adventure.

Although the story has a potential of several sequels; for example- they could have swimming lessons in a local puddle, Photo session on London Bridge, … We chose to do the Crazy dance lesson in an empty can of Coke in the middle of the busiest street in London.


After Luisa worked out in ANIMATIC how the thing with super stupid Mosquito banging into the glass for million times actually doesn't really work in 30 sec, we changed the plan again!

I went back to my drawing board and created the whole bunch of "SPECIAL INSECTS"! Im not exactly sure where I gt idea from, I usually just doodle for a while and here we go until ...I find the shape pleasant enough for aesthetic eye to develop it further into something more defined and well structured. I have the whole production process in mind when Im creating them... "How could I model that...what about it simple enough to animate this...what kind of environment this could function in..." I take all of these in consideration when creating character design.

Fred is a clumsy mosquito, born with a bit of a dodgy wing, which prevents him flying with the same “rhythm” as all the rest of his kind. His trunk is too huge to drink and he needs constant help to unfold it.

Matilda is a very old fly, an elderly teacher, but still too active to take her much deserved pension and leave her beloved students on their own.

Alireza is a spider with uncertain amount of eyes which does not obey the brain too well.

Hendrick is a grumpy tick, he is just moaning and complaining about everything, but it still wouldn’t be much fun without him!

Iris is a nearly blind bee, she is always there, but never knows exactly what is going on. She also helps Fred with feeding- but only- if she finds him!

Bob is a dragonfly, he is just simply- dumb.

Ed is a grasshopper with a way too complicated pair of legs to control them properly.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008





First we establish the scene, we can hear the exciting trumpeting of our character MOSQUITO CLUMSY FRED ( STANLEY?) before we see him.

He is having a bit of difficulty flying due to his since birth damaged wing, but that just does not bother him, he is a happy fella just the way he is.


Suddenly he stops! He noticed something. CLOSE UP to his eyes. Then CLOSE UP to what he sees through his eyes- TWO CAKES! Sound of biggest excitement.


As we mentioned our Fred isn't exactly the best flying navigator in the world, but he is trying.


Once he finally stops, there is another difficulty waiting for him...he needs to unfold this heavy, clumsy TRUNK! He sweats a lot.


By the time he manages this heavy task, his "host" already notices him....and unfortunately...also slaps him!


His "back to reality" is hard...but it doesn't stop him of loving his life!


When he wakes up from a moment of unconsciousness he sees that life saving poster on the wall. Its a BLOOD DONATION poster- the gastronomic Eden for his kind!


Fred laughs with his toothless mouth!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008



So Mosquito is going to be!

A blood sucking engine with a broken wing and very long snorkel which takes ages to unfold. He is a bit confused since he was brought into this world and will probably never change....he is ...lets put it this way...a hopeless case :-).

Lili PUT PUT favorite childhood cartoons!

an example of 3D mosquito....not something I would exactly go for.

Monday, 14 April 2008


I have plenty of funny ideas for characters and they aren't only fish....I kind of not exactly fancy the idea...but lets go to college tomorrow and see what our colleagues came up with!

I particularly liked this character designs of MAC McRAE:

These are also funny:



As we are thinking with Luisa to do something fishy, I searched for some funny fish jokes and inspirational situations: