Animation 1

  • The Astronaut Project

       Click on this link to go to the next project

    Animating the Airplane    DUE April 29

    View each of the following videos in order to properly animate your scene. 

    Complete the requirements for each step.  I will be checking for accuracy.

    If you would like the pilot that I use, it is available to download below.  After download, go to File>Import.  Then, apply the texture.

    1 - Preparing for the animation

    • Set the scene
    • Combine specific objects
    • Set up a controller for the airplane

    2 - Setting up the ground plane

    • Set up the plane with color
    • Add hills and mountains as demonstrated
    • Add a small airport/tower if you are not behind

    3 - Animating the propeller

    • Combine the blades
    • Begin animating with a slow start
    • Increase speed to at least 20 rps

    4 - Animating the flight of the airplane

    • Begin moving several seconds after the propeller
    • Slow start, with a few small jerky motions
    • Long run before take off
    • Rotate plane on take off
    • Speed gradually increases, then stays consistent in flight

    5 - Animating the camera

    • Create the camera that you will animate
    • Adjust size of image
    • Add numerous transitions and camera movements

    6 - Completing a batch render

    • Finalize render settings
    • Start the batch render

    7 - The Post-Production Process

    • Use Fcheck and save as a movie
    • Finish the movie in iMovie:
      • Fade in/out
      • Title with airplane model and your name
      • Airplane sounds, edited with proximity to plane
      • Background music
      • Edit out any errors and irregularities with movie
      • Save as file, turn in


    • Airplane model, with details and textures, DUE March 24

    • Animation Essentials:
      • Bouncing Ball Animation DUE March 22
      • Pong Game Animation DUE March 28
      • Solar System Animation DUE April 1

    The Airplane Project

    This assignment will introduce modeling with image planes.  Follow each step carefully in these videos to get started:

                  Watch in full screen and increase the resolution

    Modeling requirements

    • Set the project!!!!!   (File > Set Project)
    • Clean edges, with most edges beveled.
    • Airplane consists of mostly basic parts.  Add as many extra details as time allows you to do.
    • A mixture of lambert, blinn, phong and/or mia material x materials.
    • Clean and organized Outliner.  Utilize groups and ensure that each object is named.  This is demonstrated in the third video.
    • Clean textures.  Utilize a PSD network at least once.

    And, at the same time, work on these projects:

    Complete these short animation projects to help prepare you for your upcoming airplane animation project. 

    Assignment #1:  Modeling tutorial


    Go to, login and go to your playlist.  You will find "Quick Start to Modeling in Maya: Volume 2"

    Follow the tutorial precisely as demonstrated for you.  

    At the very end of the tutorial, you are given an assignment to create your own similar object.  This object is what you will create to go along with Assignment #2, the cluttered desk.  

    Assignment #2:  The Cluttered Desk 

    The main aim of this project is to create a desk that might be found in your bedroom at home.  Even if you don't have a desk, let's pretend you do.  And clutter it all up!  Man, you are messy!


    • Open a new scene

    • Go to File > Set Project

    • Create a new folder in your "Work in Progress" folder called Cluttered Desk, then press 'Set'.

    • Model a deskhowever you want.  But it must look real.

    • Then, model 10-15 other objects that would be found on top of the desk: 
      • Some of these objects can be simple, like a book, paper, pencil, ruler, etc...  
      • However, you need at least 3 complex objects like a monitor, laptop, mug, telephone, clock, headphones, etc...
      • DO NOT DO any objects that have:  fur, hair, cloth or liquid

    • Place all of the objects randomly on the desk you created. 

    • Model a wall behind the desk.  Maybe include a trashcan, window, picture frames, and/or a chair to finish the entire look of the scene.

    • Add textures to the objects using images you've downloaded.

    • Render the final image.

    All modeling is due 2/22

    Final rendered image is due 2/26

    Preparing for Final Render and Print:

    Ensure that each of the following steps are completed prior to saving your image and printing

    • Objects
      • Review all requirements as listed above
      • Include a floor and wall, textured
      • Texture all objects
        • If using a blinn or phong texture, adjust reflectivity to desired strength

    • Lights
      • At least two lights of your choice are required

      • For Spot Lights--
        • Adjust color (if desired)
        • Adjust intensity (no more than 3)
        • Cone angle
        • Penumbra angle (softness of light border)
        • Shadows
          • check "Use Ray Trace Shadows"
          • Adjust color (lower to a medium gray)
          • Adjust light radius (about .6)
          • Adjust shadow rays (40-80)

      • For Point Lights--
        • Adjust color (if desired)
        • Adjust intensity (no more than 3)
        • Shadows
          • check "Use Ray Trace Shadows"
          • Adjust color (lower to a medium gray)
          • Adjust light radius (about .6)
          • Adjust shadow rays (40-80)

    • Render Settings
      • Render Using  >  Mental Ray
      • "Common Tab"
        • Image Format:  JPEG
        • Size Units:  Inches
        • Width:  24
        • Heighth:  18
        • Resolution:  77
      • "Indirect Lighting"
        • Image based lighting:  Create
        • Physical Sun and Sky:  Turn off
        • Final Gathering:  check to turn on
        • Ambient Occlusion:  check to turn on

    • Camera Angle
      • Position your view so as to get the best view of all of the objects that you created.
      • Try to put the view from a standing or sitting height

    • Final Render and Saving
      • After rendering, check for the following:
        • Shadows look natural, with soft edges
        • Reflectivity is not too intense
        • Lighting is satisfactory
        • No hidden objects that you created
      • When satisfied, it is time to save your image:
        • File  >  Save Image
        • Location:  "Finished Work" folder in Animation folder
        • Files of Type:  Windows bitmap
        • File name:  Your full name


    • Project is set:    5 points
    • Desk Created:    10 points
      • Quality and realism of desk:    10 points
    • 3 complex objects:     5 points each (15 total)
      • Quality and realism of 3 complex objects:    5 points each (15 total)
    • 7-12 additional objects:    15 points
      • Quality and realism of 7-12 objects:    15 points
    • Wall and a few simple objects modeled around the desk:  5 points
    • Models are textured and high quality:    5 points
    • Scene is rendered:    5 points

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