So it is finished and I’m finally free 😀 …well…for now

This project made me think, rage and be happy about many things.
It also taught me to be patient because with Maya one has to work smart not hard. I have the same issue every time I start a new project in the software, but because this project required us to animate our rigged models as well as the camera – the number of issues increased. And so I understood that the only way I can get rid of the problems, is by patient studying and watching tutorials. If the process is rushed one tends to make a lot of mistakes which are even harder to fix after you’ve done some more work on top of that. So the only way to avoid that tedious fixing process is to avoid making mistakes in the first place. Just double check everything before you get to the next step.

Besides the functionality of the software, I’ve had problems with the idea. One of which was the lack of original concepts and thoughts. My first idea was to make the two arms wrestle. But by the time I’ve developed the designs for the zombie and the robot – the idea was taken. It didn’t take me a long time to come up with such concept as a card game, however it did take me a while to compose a good story board for that. It was hard because, how can you show an interesting card game, when the only two characters that you have in the scene don’t even talk, and in my case don’t show any emotions. So I relied mainly on sharp movements of both the robot and the zombie, and the camera work. The latter one gave my scene more life and dynamism. Quick short scenes and rapid camera cuts will keep you entertained. I used my camera tool well to my opinion, because I relied on a simple idea of making the next scene be different from the previous one. What I mean is that you won’t see two consecutive scenes that look exactly the same or at least very similar. I tried to make each scene different by changing camera angles and using a lot of cinematic shots and tricks. I hope it turned out well. That’s all for camera work, now let me tell you about the design process.

So my zombie design didn’t have much thought put into it. I wanted something simple and goofy looking. Because from the very beginning I knew that I won’t be using real textures in my work. I knew that I’ll only use simple shaders and colours. As I described that in one of my first posts about this project, I was going for Team Fortress 2-ish style, so the designs for the zombie came rather quickly. The zombie sketches and concepts for the arm are the only designs that I’ve made. That’s because my robot designs came to me when I was modeling the zombie arm and I didn’t sketch it out because I wanted to improvise and play around with shapes a little bit. I used my zombie arm sketches as a reference for my robot and I think it turned out quite ok.
Here are the designs:
Drawing Hands PracticeZombie arm sideZombie arm top

Despite countless rage quits I’ve managed to enjoy the animating process. I understood one important thing about 3d animation: it’s hard at first, modeling, rigging, smoothing, duplicating, setting up lights etc., but as soon as you’re finished with that – you don’t have to come back to it, unless you want to, and the animating process goes smooth and fast, but also depends on how fast and how productive you are.
SO, if I were to do this project again, I would use the same designs because it saves time and doesn’t look too shabby. I would spend more time on the storyboard and probably do some animatics if the time allows that.

Here’s the video of the final product:
I hope you like it 🙂

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