Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Pixel Portfolio

A quick update for the blog. I have now added a new page at the top called Pixels! This is a seperate gallery dedicated to my pixel work that I had created for a game project I worked on.

Head on over by clicking Pixels! on the top menu or just use this link below:

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

FLIP winner badge

Just received an email confirming the award I won for Caged at FLIP festival 2011.
The official name of the award is:

Best of Festival - Audience Choice

I have also been sent the official winner badge which I have now added to the dedicated page for Caged.

Flip winner version of the Caged poster

Monday, 14 November 2011

Blog version 2

With the end of the S5S blog, I can resume my focus on this blog and what had bothered me for a long time was the look of the blog. So it was the perfect chance to give this blog a makeover. However, it hasnt just got a new look but has been updated with new content.

With the new blogger update for viewing images in a slideshow format, it was clear that I needed a gallery page. Also, I have added a seperate page for my showreel with indepth detail on what my contributions are to everything shown in the showreel which I believe will be helpful for any jobs I apply for.

I plan on adding more pages in the near future but for now I can call this blog v2!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Caged wins an award at FLIP 2011

So FLIP festival 2011 was held this weekend where i attended the event on Friday and Saturday. Considering the festival was in danger of not being held this year, the FLIP team pulled off an awesome festival that in my opinion was better than previous years that I've been to.

It was an honour meeting industry figures Bill Plympton, Barry Purves, Cosgrove Hall (they made Danger mouse!!!) and Aardman. Bill Plympton's masterclass was amazing and very informative. He also showed a pencil test from his upcoming film " Cheatin' " which I cannot wait to see. I recognised him more for his Hot Dog film so will definitely catch up on his past films such as "Idiots and Angels".

From left to right: Me, Bill Plympton and Josh

BrothersMcleod also premiered their latest film, Isle of Spagg, which was awesome. I love the style and the humour was great. I enjoyed the scenarios the little boy was put in and couldn't stop laughing.

Caged was shown on Saturday during Open shorts 5 and I am proud to announce that it won the award for best film from open shorts 5 (Each open shorts session had its own winner based on public vote).

The ringmaster sting that I made with Sector5 Studios was also shown on Friday to open the first event of the day, Open shorts 1. Unfortunately I missed it by 10-20 seconds as I was in the queue to go in to the cinema room. The winners of the sting competition will be announced online later on, so fingers crosswed we win.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Caged at Shorts on Walls

A quick update to announce that Caged will be screened at Shorts on Walls today at the Lighthouse (Wolverhampton) which starts at 7:30pm. Looking forward to going there tonight so hope to see everyone there.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

process of the ringmaster 1: eyes

As promised, here's the first of a series of behind the scene posts for the FLIP sting entry we made at Sector5 Studios. I will also use these to compare my skills with the skills i had when making Caged so expect a lot of comparisons.

For this post, I'll focus on the eye as there's a huge leap from Caged. For Caged, the eyes were shaded through basic material colours. For the Ringmaster, I decided to UV map and texture the eyes following the philosophy that the eyes are the first thing the viewer will look at in a character; so it was important for me to kick the bar higher that I set for myself with Caged by putting in effort in to the eyes.

Render comparisons of how they would look in their final state

The results were noticeable straight away but there is still a massive room for improvement as I was treating the Ringmaster as a test subject for texturing the eyes. For example, the iris can be improved a lot in its texture.

the ringmasters eye was originally going to be plain colours which I've labelled Caged style

The next big change is in the blend shapes. In Caged I created blend shapes for the pupil to increase and decrease in size but it still didn't look right. The reason for this was that the iris never changed in size. For the Ring Master I made sure to do this which meant extra blend shapes were needed for the iris, eyeball, and the cornea.

The difference is subtle but pays off in close shots as well as adding to the characters personality. In this case it exaggerates the ringmasters crazy personality with the blood shot eyes.
 Whilst there's a big improvement in the eyes in comparison to the eyes i made for the characters in Caged, there's still a huge room for improvement. Perhaps in the near future, I will have another comparison between a new project and the ringmaster.

You can catch both the FLIP Sting and Caged at this years FLIP festival later this month. For more details visit: http://www.flipfestival.co.uk/

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Caged to be screened at FLIP festival

A short update to announce that Caged will be shown at the FLIP festival on Saturday 29th October.


The 3D project I introduced in my previous blog entry is complete and ready to view online. Over on the sector5studios blog, we announced that it was our entry in the FLIP 2011 stings competition. If you haven't seen it yet check it out below:

I will go into depth on the process behind this project in future blog updates.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

New 3D project

Now that the Sector5 Studios blog is starting to reveal one of the projects that we are working on, I can at last start to talk about it...a little.

The Ringmaster was teased in a screenshot during the last company blog update. My role was to take the concept art designed by Matt Ayris and to translate it to 3D. This is the first time I've worked on a 3D character who I haven't designed myself and I can definitely see the advantages of it and already the character surpasses what I was able to accomplish in Caged.

As always I begin modelling with the head

The head completed and ready to have geometry mirrored. A rough hat is also
now added.
A great experience in this process was constantly getting feedback on the design and where to improve it which is something I didn't have during Caged since the designs were my own. I'll be updating this blog regularly over the next few days with more development info on this project which is now getting close to being completed.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Graduation Ceremony

My graduation ceremony was held yesterday at the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton. I was quite nervous about the event but it ended up being a great day, despite wearing a suit and gown (former being something I'm not used to wearing).

Me on the far left.
The graduation for the school of art and design began at 2:45pm with my animation class being seated on the front row which meant that we got to go up on stage to collect our degree first. Luckily I didnt fall over, drop my hat or make a fool of myself on stage so all went well.

It definately felt weird as this ceremony marked the end of my university life which I've enjoyed alot and will definately miss.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Caged development page added

I have now added a development/ behind the scenes page for Caged which you can access from the menu above or by clicking this link:


I may update it at a later date with more videos and more detail on the development process.

This week is also my graduation ceremony which I'll also be preparing for. I will definately write a blog update dedicated to that event.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Impressions of Bridgnorth Animation Festival

Taking place at the Majestic Cinema today, the Bridgnorth Animation Festival was held as a part of the Bridgnorth Music and Arts Festival.

Caged was screened during the local animations segment which were also the animations up for nomination for the public vote award. Every animation shown was amazing so it wasn't clear who would win the most votes. it was also great to see some familiar faces too. This was the first time that Caged was shown on the big screen so it was just as special for me. In the end, I did not win the award which I lost out by 1 vote. Still, I'm very proud of coming in second place and it serves as a big motivation for me to do even better next time. (The animator who took 1st place was from Wolverhampton University which was awesome, a big win for our university).

I thought it was great that they gave animators the chance to speak to the audience before their film was shown. I have experienced this before last year at Shorts on Walls (where Sentry was screened) so I was expecting to talk to everyone with no hesitation, strenghtened by my enjoyment of doing presentations. To my surprise, I was still nervous! Perhaps the bigger audience was a factor in this but it felt like this was my first ever screening so it was both a brilliant experience and a little scary too. To be honest, I dont want that feeling to ever go away either when it comes to screening films at festivals.

This was also my first time in Bridgnorth which was quite a surprise with just how different the setting was even though it was next door to the city I live in. it felt a world a part but a great inspiration for ideas too.
Overall, I enjoyed the festival and look forward to going back next year. Hopefully I'll have something new to submit there.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Bridgnorth Animation Festival begins tomorrow!

Caged will be shown tomorrow at the Bridgnorth Animation Festival as detailed in my previous post. Looking forward to going there as this is the second festival that Caged will be screened at. There will also be public voting event for all animations screened, I'm going up against a ton of awesome animations so looking forward to the outcome of that.

I have also sent Caged to Flip Animation Festival and Canterbury Anifest 2011. Really hoping it gets selected for these festivals too.

My university has also advertised the animation course using three screenshots of Caged and allowed me to take one with me as a souvenir:

Scan of the Course leaflet featuring 3 stills from Caged

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Caged selected for Bridgenorth Festival

Caged will be shown at Bridgenorth Festival's (which begins August 26th) Animation Mini-festival (on August 27th). This will be the second festival that Caged is screened at. 

The venue is the Majestic Cinema. I've provided the program and location details below. I would also like to thank the organisers of the Animation mini-festival for giving me the opportunity to screen Caged.

Sector5 Studios will also be present at the animation screenings too so we're looking forward to meeting everyone there.

----- Details on the festival----

Animation Mini-Festival
Date: Saturday 27 August 2011
Time: 14:30 - 17:30
Location:Majestic Cinema; Whitburn Street; Bridgnorth;  WV16 4QP
The Majestic Cinema has toilet facilities and a car park to the side. 

Parking Information: This website details Bridgnorth Car parks:
Event Running Order (subject to change)
14:30 - welcome
14:35 - 15:00 - James Clarke - Animating the World
15:00 - 15:30 - Screening of local animated shorts compered by James Pearson
15:30 - 15:50 - Q&A discussion
15:50 - 16:05 - Audience vote & break
16:10 - 16:35 - screening of animations from Autour de Minuit
16:40 - 16:50 - Forward For screening
16:50 - 17:00 - Present audience vote award
17:00 - 17:20 - The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan
17:20- 17:30 - Additional screenings - TBC

Friday, 5 August 2011

My impressions: Drawn from Life

Last Wednesday, Jonathon Hodgson gave a talk in Birmingham, Drawn From Life, which was hosted by Animation Forum West Midlands. I'm a big fan of AWFM's events so this was a must to go to.

I enjoyed the event and it was very informative, definately an eye opener into the world of animated documentaries. It's a genre I would now like to try out in the future. I love telling stories with my animations so it was motivating when Jonathon spoke about telling a true story almost like a fantasy with different plot devices available in animation.

I also enjoyed the networking opportunity that followed after which was perfect since it was the first day for Sector5 Studios (which is the new animation company I have formed with 3 other animators).

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Sector5 Studios

Its been a busy month but I can atlast reveal what I've been up to which is starting a new animation company known as Sector5 Studios. It's a very exciting time for me as I'm also working with 3 animators that i've become great friends with during my studies at Wolverhampton University.

As well as being an animator, i am also the head of social media meaning it's my job to keep our online presence up to date. This is perfect for me as I enjoy online networking too.

each of the animators at Sector5 Studios are bring their own specialities forward so that we are able to work on a variety of animation forms: stop motion, 2D and my speciality: 3D.

Visit our website at:

as well as showing your support and following us at:





Saturday, 9 July 2011

The Cut 2011 Impressions

Decided to go against my original plan of going on the last 2 days as I didn't want to miss the debut showing of Caged.

The cut 2011, being a part of Mosely festival, took place in a pub similar to past screenings I've been to like Shorts on Walls. After a minor hiccup with the projector the screenings opened with the Brothers McLeod animation, THe Moon Bird. Even though I have seen this multiple times already at other festivals it's still a treat to watch.

My film was the 8th film shown during the 12:30 screenings and I was glad that the screening room was dark and the projector worked great as some events have shown films in lit rooms or next to a window with street lights having an effect on the visibility. I was however, slightly disappointed in the turnout with only a few people turning up. I hope the amount of people coming to the screenings improves for the next 4 festival days.

I will try to come in for next week's screenings but will definately be back for next year.

Friday, 8 July 2011

The Cut 2011 Festival begins tommorrow!

Caged will have its festival debut during The Cut 2011, showing on all four days.

The venue is The Prince of Wales Pub in Mosely. Screenings will take place on the ground floor.

My film will be shown during the following screening times:
Saturday July 9th -
12:30 Screening

Sunday July 10th -
12:30 Screening

Saturday July 16th -
2:30 screening

Sunday July 17th-
screening suitable for kids (must be accompanied by an adult)

Monday, 4 July 2011

Caged Selected for The Cut 2011 Festival

Pleased to announce that Caged has been selected for its first festival screening at The Cut 2011.
The festival begins on July 9th and continues running on the 10th, 16th and 17th.

The festival program can be found here:

Caged will get shown four times (in other words once per festival day):
Saturday July 9th 12:30 Screening
Sunday July 10th 12:30 Screening
Saturday July 16th 2:30 screening
Sunday July 17th 12:30 screening suitable for kids (must be accompanied by an adult)
I will post more details on the festival itself in a future post (such as the location of the festival).

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Business Card design

Seeing as I posted a photo of my degree show booth, I might as well post my business card on here too. I was quite happy with the design although it was printed on to high quality paper instead of card. I am glad that i did this as I have a couple of new things to add to the card such as my twitter profile link, plus I also want to have a design of the back of the card too(most likely screenshots from my animations / films).

Me standing with Caged characters

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Extended Showreel now online

I've uploaded my extended showreel that was on display during my degree show. I felt that my main 1 minute showreel didn't give much attention to my older work so I created this 3 minute extended showreel to show off my non-3D animations.


I will also be updating my deviantart gallery too with Caged related work such as stills from the film and concept art so keep an eye out for updates from there. Now that I have a twitter account, I can use that as the central hub for all my sites.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Student Show Photo

Finally got a decent photo of my booth for the degree show. The Life size cut out of Enzo and Bird to the right of the image is barely visible unfortunately.

Caged was shown on the left monitor whilst my extended showreel was shown on the left monitor

I have also submitted Caged to the OneDotZero festival, making that the fourth festival that I have submitted it to. Fingers crossed that my film is picked for the screenings.

Sunday, 19 June 2011


As you can see I've added my twitter updates to this blog, which I joined a few days ago.

Follow me at:

Saturday, 18 June 2011

End of Uni and the student show + My Degree

Delayed post as I was trying to get a photo of my booth from the student show. I will hopefully have a photo of it in my next blog post instead.

Last Saturday the student show came to an end as well as my time at University. I enjoyed the student degree show and had alot of interest from others which was great.

So what now?

Apart from looking for a job I will also be pushing my film, Caged, in to festivals. So far I have sent my film to three events and hoping to be selected:

The cut 2011
Smalls Film Festival

I'm hoping that the FLIP animation festival is continued this year too so that I have a chance of having my film sent by the Univserity.

I also got my degree and it was as I had predicted:

"You have been awarded a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Animation First Class on 7 June 2011."
Really happy I got what I had hoped for and I will make sure to keep improving.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Final Grades and my Student Degree Show experience

Still two days left for the student degree show and then my time at university comes to an end (which is both exciting and upsetting as I'll miss the 1st and 2nd years as well as the lecturers, its been an awesome time).

Last Friday marked the start of my student degree show with a private viewing for the evening. It was a very busy night and I got a lot of attention. I was extremely pleased with the evening, especially with the new contacts that I made.

The student show then opened for the public this week and closes tommorrow (Friday 9th June). The past three days have been great and whilst it's no where near as busy  I've still had a lot of interest in my film and gained more contacts.

I also got my final grades for this year which I'm definately proud of and my degree is definately a 1st by looking at my grades (13 grades out of the 14 that make up my second and third year have been A's). I was also told that the examiner found my film to be the best student film he has seen which is very motivating for me to keep animating.

I already have some ideas for new films although these will be shorter than Caged.

In my next blog post I will include a photo of my booth at the student degree show.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Student Degree Show 2011

So it's finally time for the student degree show, something I've been looking forward to since last year's degree show. It's been fun preparing for the show especially since I've been one of the main organisers of the event for my class.

It's been an interesting experience pitching for a budget, organising posters and life size cut outs as well as helping with the designs for the promotion of the animation show.

The degree show begins on Friday 3rd June with a private viewing from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. This is an invite only day so to attend and to have the chance to see Caged, you must print this e-invite off:

(allows 4 people to attend)

or you can

RSVP to:
E: art-design@wlv.ac.uk
T: 01902 322058
The degree show will then be open to everyone on Monday 6th June to Friday 10th June (no invite needed).

Friday, 13 May 2011

The sound of Caged

The sound effects of Caged consisted mostly of foley sounds that I recorded myself mixed with royalty free sound effects for scenes I found difficult to make sounds for, such as explosions. The sound effects were then compiled with the film in premiere.

However, the quality of the sounds weren't consistent as well as not simulating the environments that the film takes place in. This was solved by adding reverb to certain sound effects and composing them into the music, which was something composer, Joe Cruickshank, wanted to improve the audio of the film. Certain sound effects and notes in the music would sometimes clash. After an entire night was spent working with Joe, we finally reached the final soundtrack with the enhanced sound effects.

The enhanced sound was a definite improvement as sounds had the echo, although i reverted the bird's cough and Overlords scream to the original as the echo (which was realistic) took away from the effect that I wanted to achieve with them. So the end result was a mixture of realistic and non realistic effects to make the world believable but to also make sure the film's narrative was not harmed in the process.

Huge thanks to Joe for creating the original soundtrack and taking the sound effects to a whole new level.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

First Screening of Caged

Today was my final presentation at Wolverhampton University and also the first time Caged was shown in a completed state. Really enjoyed the presentations for my year and seeing everyones hard work paying off.

The presentation for me went well although I had planned on showing extra content in case we were required to show more. In the end, it wasn't required so the extra content prepared was not shown. Good news is that I will update the blog instead with these.

With only an essay to complete for my course, I will now begin to focus on the student show as well as planning what film festivals I will be submitting Caged to.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Caged completed

It feels really weird but Caged is finally complete totalling at 4 minutes 50 seconds (including credits).

Really excited about showing it this Tuesday for the last presentation in my course (*sniff* If only the course was another year or two longer).

With the completion of the film ,my focus will now be aimed at it's promotion for the student show. With a poster concept ready to be printed, I can start designing the space I will get for the student show (hopefully with a life size cut out too)

Here's another screenshot of the film:

Enzo isn't happy despite his surroundings...

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Caged Trailer now online!

With my film almost complete, I have uploaded the first trailer for Caged:

I will be re-editing and spending more time on the trailer once my film is finished, for now I quickly put this together to promote my presentation on May 10th. Can't wait!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Caged progress report

Things are moving at a good pace, although I have only finished the first half of the film, I only have one more environment to create with the rest being lighting so I am very close to finishing.

Alongside a screenshot, I've also posted what it looks like whilst working in maya. Enjoy.

Enzo is captured and dragged back by his feet

A special guest

Here's another screenshot of the film, this time featuring a special guest from my past work.

Can you SEE it?
Any guesses?

Friday, 22 April 2011

got any more boxes?

Here's another final render from Caged, quite proud of this shot, the shadows really enhance this scene:

Enzo lands beside Bird as their journey begins...

Enzo explores the crystal caves

Another preview of what Caged will look like with this render of the crystal caves.

shiny eyes....

Here, Enzo has followed Bird to keep him safe from the vicious Overlords.

This screenshot is different in the actual film, which is using a different camera angle.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Building the World of Caged

Now in the process of building the environments and lighting ready for the final rendering.
Here's some test renders of what the film will look like in the end. Some of the metal textures like the minecart's a missing however:

intro scene

Enzo meets bird for the first time

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Caged poster

In preparation for the student show, I've designed the following poster:

This is a design that I've drawn in my sketchbook when I first began the project and before I began blogging so its great to be able to create it in its final form.

The poster also features the logo for the film which I spent today working on since I was taking a break from maya.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Caged update

its been a while since my last update and have been wanting to update the blog during that time but with deadlines getting close I found myself neck deep in work, work that is beginning to pay off now that I am getting closer to completion. 

Caged is now in a complete animated form, albeit being mostly rough playblasts and blocked out environments. With constant reminders of the deadlines and concerns from others on whether or not I could complete it were quite heavy as I had to make sure I proved everyone wrong and hit that challenge. However, I definately believe I can hit that bar that I've set myself over the past year or two, completing Caged is much more to me that just "a 3rd year film".

A still from Caged in its current rough/ early state.

2 university deadlines passed today and it definately feels relaxing even though I have less than a month for the next pair of deadlines. It isn't going to be easy but the support and feedback I have been getting is awesome motivation.

One of the deadlines was for the credits of Caged which is fully rendered and in the final state and it's something I am proud of, being able to fully realise my vision and not having bland credits. I have always wanted to experiment with credits in my past films but was either stopped by time constraints or just the inability to get exactly what I want from my mind to paper. But, the credits system is definately how I imagined it should look like and its definately a goal for me to hit for my final film; to make sure it stands up to that quality.

A Still of the credits for Caged

Anyways, after 21 solid days (and by that I mean 2-3 hour sleeping) I have the animation complete (there are a few tweaks to make however). I can now focus on making it pleasing to the eye by creating the environments, lighting each scene and rendering it out in Mental Ray.

I should have my credits uploaded by next week (out of upload space for this week on vimeo).

The student show is also fast approaching early June, so its time to start thinking about that too. I have ideas in mind such as a design for the film poster and preparations being made for a life size cut out of Enzo and Bird too.

wow, wall of text for todays blog post. Will resume my weekly-daily blogs again with screens now that a lot of the stress is clearing.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

I think I have finally decided to stick with the title Caged for Project Enzo (will feel quite strange not using project Enzo to refer to the film anymore). However you may be wondering why "Caged"?

-Enzo is a slave
-Cage has a connection to birds
-bird himself is trapped in the mines
-The Overlord is also caged within the mechanical forms and insecurity
-Sticks to the one word title I like to give my animations


Having finished all development on my characters I began animating last week. I uploaded a work in progress showing the playblasts of the animation I had created on the first day(environments are blocked out):

Caged _ work in progress 1 from Ravi Maheru on Vimeo.

I have made slight tweaks to the animation such as the bird's tail being pushed completely back to streamline the bird whilst it flies. This was simply corrected by adjusting the set driven keys.

Since uploading this video I have animated the first 30 seconds (up until the point where the Overlords startle Enzo, who proceeds to hide Bird in his hands). If there ever was an adrenaline rush in animation, this is the time in production where I have that as I'm having alot of fun animating.

From what I have so far, I really believe that this will be my best film yet, although it means tons of 24 hour days. goodbye sleep...

Also, you may have noticed new music in the work in progress above, thats thanks to Joe Cruickshank, the composer of the film who I have worked with in the past (created the music for Sentry). This will ensure that the music and animation are perfectly in sync. It's a great feeling when the project is updated with new music specifically created for it. I cannot wait to have the finished piece so you can enjoy the animation and the soundtrack.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Biolord of Dance!

With skinning complete for each character I now move on to blend shapes.

"How you doing?"
 Seeing as the Biolord doesnt get much spotlight time in the film he was given a brief moment to be on camera and he chose to "dance":

........ahem...back to work...

Sunday, 6 March 2011


I'm actually quite surprised how fast I'm progressing through the skinning process for my characters. The last time I had attempted skinning was this time last year on a character test in my free time but I had spent a good 2-3 weeks on the skinning on and off. I'm now getting the skinning of a character finished in a day.

(No more "aghhhhhhh" for me.)  me messing about with the joints whilst skinning the "BioLord"

Friday, 4 March 2011

Progress Report - Project Enzo

The past few weeks have been quite busy and I've made a lot of progress in my film. Here are some quick render tests of my characters who are textured and rigged up:

The characters with textures and bump maps applied

I have also uploaded a new version of my animatic, having scrapped the montage styled time skip in favour of a smaller scene showing Enzo and Bird walking past a map before they are spotted on camera. The reasoning behind this was to make the story clear and remove unnecessary parts from the storyline.

I'm also starting to lean closer to the title of "Caged". I have had this in mind for a while but it didn't feel right at the time. However, I have another reason for this title as it not only represents Bird and Enzo but also the overlords being caged within their own insecurity (which is why they rely on their mechanical forms).

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Len Lye Exhibition - The Body Electric

Visited the Len Lye exhibition at the Ikon (Birmingham) today. Unfortunately I can't post any photos as I had to sign a form saying that I will not publish them, Took photos of some of his drawings/ paintings/ stills that would prove quite useful for the end credits of my animation in terms of inspiration or influence.

My favourite bit of the exhibition were the big installments that warped steel to create different sound and light like Blade and Fountains. The best being the piece, Zebra, which involved a thin rod spinning until it was fast enough to create the illusion of vase like shapes.

I was impressed by the animation as well considering the years that they were made in.

Although I was hoping for a bit more, it was still worth going...I just wish I could post the pictures though.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Texturing Enzo

Completed the colour maps and bump maps for Enzo. As for now, I am only having colour and bump maps and anything else I'll control using the material attributes. learnt quite a bit through this process which will help me speed up the texturing for the other characters.

Here's a quick render test, seeing these motivates me to keep working hard.

Added depth map shadows for this render, but without much alteration so the shadows
are not great for now.
As for changes, I'll most likely go back and edit the material attributes on the helment and rings to make them less glass like or least make them a bit worn out, but its not a priority right now.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Modelling True Overlord form

This was pretty simple to do, only difficult part during the modelling were the ear like things hanging at the back of his head. This was mainly the topology that I had causing weird alignment for the ears.. But that was solved pretty fast.

Also included the original concept art for comparison

I didn't bother modelling the belly button and other body parts similar to it as I'll do that through texturing like bump maps.


My animatic has also changed again after the feedback I received (which were all awesome by the way). The biggest difference is the montage being cut out where it showed Enzo and Bird having fun over a long period of time as it caused confusion amongst viewers. This has now been cut out in favour of introducing Enzo's awareness to Bird's deteriorating health due to the atmosphere of the mines.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

modelling the Overlord - Complete

Wanted to post this a few days ago but didn't get chance. Here's the basic model of the Overlord complete.

The Mechanical Overlord

Completely underestimated how difficult it would be to model him. Had to jump back and forth from "drawing board" and back to modelling as my initial designs were impractical. This was mainly the joints of the arms and legs. The arms were designed to follow a more organic approach and because they were close to the torso it wasn't gonna allow much room for the arm to move. The moment I would bring it down for a rest pose the arms would conflict with the torso. In the end I went with a ball joint that pushed the arms out a bit to also avoid any conflicts between each mesh.

The legs, which I'm still not happy about yet, were troublesome as I couldn't get the right shapes out of the thigh armour. here's hoping these legs move well. The legs will be quite limited in movement so I don't have to worry about the thigh's spikes conflicting with the torso.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the outcome and how close I've kept it to the original designs. As for the torso vents, I'll sort that out in the texturing phase and also decide if they are necessary.

All that's left now is to model the True Overlord which will a piece of cake compared to the rest of the models ( or maybe I'm underestimating it again, haha!)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Modelling the Overlord

Started modelling the Overlord now, heres a progress screenshot. His face was a more difficult than I thought, mainly because I kept changing my mind with how I wanted the jaw to be attached. However, since its behind the cloak / hood anyways the joint isnt important. I chose the route that would better assist the animation process so the jaw has a slightly more organic feel.

Overlords mechanical face

Friday, 14 January 2011

Project Enzo Final Animatic

2 animatics for Project Enzo, one in 2D and one in 3D.

Project Enzo - Final Animatic from Ravi Maheru on Vimeo.


I've uploaded my "predator" animation that I've mentioned in past blogs which featured a scientist becoming his experiment's prey.

It's like a Predator... from Ravi Maheru on Vimeo.

This is based on the October competition from the 11 second club. Enjoyed making it and pleased with the outcome.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

New semester starts

Has been a really busy holiday (for me it just meant working all day at home). The big presentations are now done and provisional grades are coming in which have been awesome for me so far; really motivates me to work even harder and to do better than what I've achieved so far as theres always tons of room for improvement.

Project Enzo is the biggest project I am working on and it is a huge risk but its the result of constantly pushing myself further with each semester. I've reached a point where I have to outperform myself from each previous semester and its something I really hope doesnt bring me down in to a mess as even I can understand just how difficult the road ahead is. But Project Enzo is more than this as it is a chance to prove to myself that I am capable of reaching my life dream.


Will be attending "Breaking into animation, armed with a crayon" by Curtis Jobling. Looking forward to it as it's quite intimidating with the end of the 3rd year quickly approaching.


Don't have much to show since my last blog update, my body caught up with me and I couldnt concentrate on work for the past few days thanks to going to sleep at 3am-4am daily and a few 2 hour nights in between. It's annoying as I want to keep working but I find myself falling asleep. So a few days rest and I'll be back to normal as I want to get as much ready for 2nd semester which starts next Friday.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Modelling Bird - Complete

Whoa, this took longer than expected. Was hoping i'd get this done by morning but got confused getting the legs sorted out. i was also toying with the idea with adding the forth claw that sticks out at the back of the foot but chose to stick to my original design.

Really happy with the model, I just hope the topology on the wings translate well when animated.

Modelling Bird continued

With his face complete (His eyes are just placeholders for now), I've moved on to the body. This is slightly harder as I havent modelled a bird before so I'm experimenting alot with the topology for the wing as I need to mimic a hand with the three large feathers functioning as fingers. Will be interesting to see if my guesses work in the end.

I'm really proud with how his face turned out, I'm glad that I changed the eyes from what i had originally as these ones will allow me to give him better expressions. I'm also glad I didnt box model him, opting to model it by edges instead, it feels alot easier to sculpt the muscles in the face.

I wish he was real now and sitting on my shoulder, haha! :D

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Modelling Bird

made a start on 'Bird' this morning:

Changed his eyes as birds generally have round eyes
 Having a lot of fun modelling bird, although I really hope choosing to model it by polygons pays off as I could have used a sphere to model from for his head.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Modelling Enzo - base model complete

Enzo's base model is complete, now all that's left is modelling the slave gear around him which isn't a priority at the moment. Would have finished this yesterday but the hand gave me a few problems, mainly to do with the aim of having a quad only topology; which for the hand I've never tried before (using a mixture of tri's and N-gon's).

Worked out a quad only topology through experimenting, hope it animates well. What it has let me achieve compared to hands I've modelled in the past, is greater detail for the palm muscles and knuckles. In theory it should allow the hand to crease and bend naturally in the palm which is needed as his hands will be seen alot when holding Bird.

Had fun modelling him, definately the most detailed animation that will be present in the animation. For now, Enzo will take a break whilst I start modelling the other 3 characters. :)

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Modelling Enzo

here's a progress screenshot of Enzo's model. With the head complete, it doesnt take long to complete the body. After Enzo's modelling is complete, I'll move on to Bird's model.
Enzo so far

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Progress Report 3

its been a while since I last posted, huge thanks to my internet connection messing up during christmas holidays :( Anyways, happy new year and I hope you all had a great christmas too.

Finally resumed work on my final project. Progress on my main character's head (Enzo):

Half of Enzo's head with an incomplete helmet

pleased with his face, got the topology sorted out and I also decided to give him a round eyeball to save headaches later on if I had of stuck to the oval eyeball. Still unsure I will create teeth for him, never included it in original artwork and didnt think about it at all. I will most likely include some but they will be small teeth that wont be seen often. Still have to model the tongue however.

After modelling the face, I started deleting polygons to decrease the ploy count, I think I had around 1000 polygons for half a face which is ridiculous so spent a good amount of time reducing the amount. I now have it around 670 for half a face (would have preferred to have it smaller but I think I should be fine with this hopefully.

I've moved on to the helmet which is a lot harder than I imagined although it's mainly due to how I went about duplicating one helmet band and attempting to remodel it for the next part of the head.