Saturday, 24 December 2016

Space Pug - Completed UVs

 Eager, young Space Pug, now with UVs and the grid texture. UV'ing Genghis was supprisingly troublefree, more tedious than difficult, the head was the hardest part but with a little advice from Alan I managed to unfold it correctly. I may have to reshape the UVs on the grid to better use up the space. Next onto rigging and skinning.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Space Pug - Completed Mesh

 The completed mesh for Genghis the Space Pug in a series of rather vain shots. I made two tactical modifications to the mesh; firstly, removing the tether attachment tube and not modelling the tongue both of which will be added during rigging to ensure that they appear correctly when the mesh deforms. Secondly, I decided not to model the radio mouth piece as it made the head look a bit too cluttered. 

Everything is set for UV'ing which will commence shortly. I am really quite proud of this, made me look back and realise how far I have come in the space of 3 years.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Space Pug - Modelling Genghis 7#

Genghis, now with added eyes and a throat. Only a few more bits to add to his body like teeth, a tongue and his radio. Hopefully will be done soon. I decided to do a rendered image to make it look a bit more presentable than just a work in preview in Maya.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Space Pug - Modelling Genghis 6#

Genghis, now with added pug. Did a lot more modelling of the facial features and wrinkles. Not fully complete as the eyes and more wrinkles need to be added, but looking nearly finished soon. I am quite proud of this, with some rigging it should be a cool model.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Space Pug - Genghis

Finally around to modelling Genghis, the actual pug part of him. This is a Mk.2 because the first one was lost due to a failure to save on uni computers. This one has come out better I believe, guess every cloud has a silver lining.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Space Pug - Black Hole Experiments 4

Some smaller experiments this time, using instancese on particles to explore adding textured geometry. Also tried out using a NURBS cylinder instead of a simple NURBS curve.

Black Hole 4 from Max Ashby on Vimeo.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Space Pug - Black Hole Experiments 3

Black Hole 3 from Max Ashby on Vimeo.

Another experiment, getting closer, the next task will be making the Black Hole bigger and also making the space/time warp effects.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Space Pug - Space Suit Model

Genghis now has a Mongolian Mk.9A55 space suit, this suit is a combination of a larger mesh and other modelled pieces like the bolts/tethers and helmet which are separate meshes combined onto the main body. The next job will be modelling Genghis' head itself. Skinning this will not be easy.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

3D Animation - Maya - IK Tutorial/Train Set

Train Set IK from Max Ashby on Vimeo.

A simple tutorial on IK handles to make objects move along curves, not too difficult, useful thing to know.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Space Pug - Modelling Genghis 4#

More modelling, I'm concerned about the scale of the model and may need to re-size it. The stringy supports on the legs are separate meshes that will need UV'ing and then attaching the main mesh, these parts took a few tries to get the look and feel right.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Space Pug - Modelling Genghis 3#

The days work; finished the legs, added some paw boosters and some wrinkles in the suit, also began making the smaller "dome" for the tail. The next task will be finished the dome and adding bolts to the neck and the string details to the legs.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Space Pug - More Black Hole experiments

Black Hole Experiments 2 from Max Ashby on Vimeo.
Black Hole Experiments 3 from Max Ashby on Vimeo.

More work on the Black Hole, this time using more particles and using fields/solvers and goal weights to simulate effects. A lot of particles going on in this scene so render times worry me. Also thinking about putting a galaxy behind the hole to simulate a warping effect and trying to condense the particle fields.

Its time to start looking at rendering in After Effects as well.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Space Pug - Modelling Genghis 2#

Further modelling of Genghis, the legs being added and slowly moulded, I'm also going to try and add some creases around the legs to simulate creases in the suit. Its coming along alright, might need to model the front leg a bit more.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Space Pug - Black Hole Experiments

Black_Hole_Experiments from Max Ashby on Vimeo.

Started a few try outs in order to create a Black Hole, Maya doesn't allow for the collapsing of stars so this is how it'll work. A lot of trial and error has been involved so far, mostly in seeing what works and what doesn't.

I tried using a gravity field in Maya to see if it were possible to draw objects towards a point in space, this didn't really work as gravity in Maya works differently to the real world, maybe a bit more experimentation is required on this.

The actual hole will be a funnel design rather than a sphere, to mimick the misconception of a black hole as a "portal" that absorbs everything. That wasn't too difficult, I applied a lambert shader with no reflectivity to create a fully black object.

The next part which I spent quite a long time attempting was creating an accretion disk, that is the glowing disk of matter around the black hole. Experimented with particles for this, eventually creating a NURBS circle as an emitter with a Vortex field. Not a bad result but the number of particles needs to be more and the thickness of them greater.

Space Pug - Modelling Genghis

The beginning of the 3D model for Genghis the Space Pug, haven't encountered any difficulties yet, modelling the legs and paws is the next major part.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Space Pug - Turnarounds

Turnaround pictures for Genghis the Space Pug, including showing his tether attachment pipe on the side of his suit.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Space Pug - Expressions

Expressions for Genghis, these expressions are the ones I want to be able to try and make in the 3D model. Update: 6/11/16: Changed the eyes for the "Curious" expression.

3D Animation - Maya - Quadraped Rigging/Final

The final tutorial for the quadraped rigging, now need to learn how to make a walk cycle.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Concept Art - Genghis the Space Pug

Finalised concept art for Genghis the Space Pug. This highlights the design and colours of his suit and also his paw booster and the radio mounted on his head.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Space Pug - Mission Patch

An official "mission patch" of the Mongolian Space Pug program. Created after seeing so many of these patches on other space flight missions, thought it might help give the pug and the animation a little bit more character. Also want to use this on the pug's space suit.

Space Pug - More Space Station thumbnails

These three thumbnails are my more refined choices. The first thumbnails is a rubbish compartment, this seems ideal because the Space Pug could be searching through it to find his chew toy that gets sucked out into space, this would set up the scene nicely.

The observation pod enables a small. self-sufficient space station model and also fits with the presumed search for Dark Matter with the TV screens. 

The last thumbnail is a little more obscure, a food compartment could be where the pug is searching for his toy which is mistaken for refuse and ejected into space.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

3D Animation - Maya - Soft Bodies

The tutorial on soft bodies for making footprints.

Space Pug - Amended Animatic

Space_Pug_MainFInal_Amended from Max Ashby on Vimeo.

The amended animatic for Space Pug, this includes changes to the chew toy, the posters and also the way in which the chew toy is lost in space. Does not include audio.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Space Pug - Space Station Thumbnails

These are some basic thumbnails for the interior and exterior of the space station, a few things to note here; the space station is only going to be seen and the start and end of the animation so it doesn't make much sense to create a large, detailed station that won't get much screen time, instead a single room will suffice. Secondly, a single room is adequate because the pug only needs a little bit of room to set up the scene before he is blasted out into the void.

I quite like the idea of the room being very big in comparison to the pug to add to the sense of forboding enormity that the black hole and outer space will share.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Space Pug - Concept Art

A bit of concept art for Space Pug. In my last tutorial Phil discussed thinking about the "Art of" now instead of 4 months down the line so this was to try and fit the artwork into a more themed approach to the project. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

3D Animation - Maya - Quadrapedal Rigging

The first and second tutorials for the Quadraped Rigging, especially since my character is a quadraped. Not difficult but there is potential to make some errors if I do not organise more correctly next.

Hopefully I can make a walk cycle out of it.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Thumbnails - Black Hole

Black holes for all. Numbers 1 and 2 are how I want the black hole to appear, kind of like a glowing hole in space rather than a particularly realistic Black Hole. I'm not sure how easy it will be to design the gravity bending effects in Maya, that' will need to be explored.

Friday, 7 October 2016

@Phil - Space Pug - Update Script

The updated script for Space Pugs, not too sure about the ending so I may modify that, but it seems kind of innovative. The rest of the script I quite like, I think it suits its purpose.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

3D Animation - Maya - No Flip Pole Vector

Another tutorial on rigging, I'll have to come back to this one again as it involves some complex things.

3D Animation - Maya - Conditional Squash and Strech

Conditional Squash and Stretch, pretty easy if a little bit complex in parts. Good for making characters stretch when needed.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Thumbnails - Genghis the Space Pug

Thumbnails for valiant comrade space pug of the Mongolian space pug program. I like the name Genghis because of the warrior grandeur associated with it and how it seems an fittingly ironic name for an otherwise pretty un-warrior like dog.

The first thumbnails had the space pug in a white astronaut suit typical of US space programs, but after looking at Soviet style space suits I opted to trade in the design for a more Russian, fabric orientated style. I like thumbnail 3 and also the baggy style suit of thumbnail 4. Pugs aren't especially agile creatures so both of these thumbnails help to define their form while simultaneously give them a space suit.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

@Phil - Space Pug - Script/First Draft

The first draft of the sript for Space Pug.
 I may need to sort out the ending and maybe shorten the script as it might be too ambitious.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

3D Animation - Maya - Squash/Stretch Rigging

A quick tutorial on squashing and stretching models. Not quite sure why it bends, but apart from that seems to work fine.

Space Pug - Doodles

A few basic doodles for my Space Pug project. Some ideas about objects, the black hole and the pug's name. Quite like the idea of him being Mongolian.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Project Proposal : Space Pug


The type of project: 2-3 minute animated short

Core Concept/idea: A space pug must rescue his favoured chew toy from the treacherous clutch of a black hole.

Research path: I want to research Soviet space programs, particularly the ones concerning the use of dogs. In addition I also want to research black holes and their effects.

Goals: To create a finished animated short that demonstrates both technical skill as well as being an engaging piece of entertainment. To successfully create rigged and textured characters capable of realistic movement. 

Outcomes: To create a finished, polished animated short. By the end of the minor project, two rigged and prepared characters should be read for animating.

Week 1 - 2 = Proposal, development of proposal, refining of the story.
Week 3 - 6 = Production of artwork, concepts, etc
Week 7 - 14 = Production of Assets (Maya characters, etc).

This is my proposal for my 3rd Year project; Space Pug. I hope this is a realistic proposal and will refine it from here.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Personal Work - Planetary Sunsnet

A little bit of personal work, a robotic soldier observes the sunset amidst the atmosphere of a strange planet. A combination of influences from Dead Space to pictures of Mars.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Maya - "Joint on curve" tool

Sharing this because it might be of use to some people. The "Joint on curve" tool.

This tool enables Maya users to place joints onto a curve without having to attach joints individually, I used this tool in the creation of my tank treads for my adaptation project. It was a little tricky at first but I got the hang of it quickly. The tool is actually a script which needs to be enabled in MEL before it can be used. It was downloaded from:

The tool has a variety of options for joints: joint size, name of the joint group, number of bind and control joints, their axis and also what kind of control shape each joint will have. It does not automatically connect each joint up however.

Bit of a niche tool I guess, it'd be useful for rigging up animals or objects that have curves or complex designs in their skeletons.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Maya - Bullet

This is the first time I've used dynamics (I think that's the correct term) and this is the result, after following a quick tutorial from Digital Tutors.

This was quick and easy to do, still need to learn a alot about how this works and how to use it correctly but it could open up some doors for some very interesting animations.

This is the quick tutorial I used:

Friday, 6 May 2016

Maya Submission

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - Low Resolution:

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - UV:

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - High Resolution:;postID=5547718968090750617;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=25;src=postname

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - Stone Normals:

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - Rope Normals:

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - Ambient Occlusion:

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - Base Diffuse Maps:

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - Stone Base Maps:

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - Stone Pillar Maps:

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - Rope Diffuse Maps:

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - Directional Emitters:

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - Metal and wood diffuse maps:

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - Flag:

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - Shield:

Pipeline 2 - Bridge - Viewport 2.0 :

Pipeline 2 - Mental Ray Proxies

Pipeline 2 - Motion Blue:

Pipeline 2 - Goal Weights:

Pipeline 2 - Conditional Goals:

Pipeline 2 - Mental Ray Portal Lights:

Pipeline 2 - Mental Ray Mia Material X:

Pipeline 2 - Mental Ray Final Gather:

3D Animation - Maya - Mental Ray Final Gather

3D Animation - Maya - Mia Material X

3D Animation - Maya - Sun and Portal Lights

3D Animation - Maya - Conditional Goals

3D Animation - Maya - Goal Weights

3D Animation - Maya - Motion Blur

3D Animation - Maya - Mental Ray Proxies

 The mental ray proxies of the aliens and the trees. Haven't thought of an immediate use but will still be useful to know.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

3D Animation - Maya - Bridge - Final Render

The final version of the bridge fully rendered and textured. This shows the lighting and shading which hadn't been particularly visible when I was modelling.

3D Animation - Maya - Bridge - Shield

The tutorial for the shield. A lot of texturing, useful to know.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

3D Animation - Maya - Bridge - Flag

The tutorial to create the flag.

The first time I've encountered nCloth and it is pretty cool. The tutorial would also be very useful for making drapes and fabric materials.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Adaptation B - Completed Rigging


A set of complete tank treads courtesy of Alan's formula which took a little bit of reverse engineering and patience to get right after a few attempts. I download a script to enable me to attach the joints to the NURBS curve then applied an IK Handle to make it seem like the joints move around the curve.

The fully rigged arm, this was very difficult intitially but eventually I settled for just using joints and controls to make a simple arm rig.

The rigging part of the project wasn't easy, I haven't done much rigging so it took a while to get right but I am happy with the results.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Adaptation B - Emitters


I managed to put some emitters into my model, two for the cigarette which emit smoke and one for the radioactive power-pipe which shoots out small particles.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Adaptation B - Completed UVs

Finally, all of the UV'ing, texturing, Normal Maps and Ambient Occlusion maps are completed. Normal and ambient occlusion was created using xNormals.

I had to modify the process on xNormals for ambient occlusion to better use the UVs set out in the high-poly mesh.

Not all of the model has normal maps as some came out disfigured on the meshes but almost everything (par the bolts) has an ambient occlusion map attached.

The two principle shaders used were Lamberts and Phong shaders. I used Lamberts for most of the materials and used the Phong shader for shiny parts of the model.