During this course, the students will:
1. Apply a typical professional production pipeline structure, and adhere to a production
2. Analyze 3D sets and characters from animated films and broadcast media, and synthesize
methods for recreating these elements in their own projects.
3. Develop production designs and concept art for animated 3D scenes and characters.
4. Model new or reconstruct pre-existing 3D environments.
5. Create 3D character models of digital humans and/or creatures.
6. Use complementary software like Adobe Photoshop and Autodesk Mudbox to produce custom
textures and non-modeled geometry.
7. Build and apply skeletal control rigs to character models.
8. Create facial animation systems for digital characters.
9. Output final imagery in a variety of formats.
I. Survey of 3D Environments, Effects and Characters from Film, Broadcast and Games
A. Analysis of animation elements and methods of execution
B. Review of strategies for recreating animations with 3ds Max and complimentary software
II. Introduction to Production Pipelines
A. Industry production pipeline
B. Class production pipeline
1. Design visualization
III. Design Visualization
A. Story development
3. Voice and live action recording (optional)
5. Class scene requirements and limits
B. Concept art - characters, sets, visual effects
1. Visual development vs. previsualization
2. Building image and texture libraries
C. Environment design parameters
1. Scale: microscopic to galactic
2. Atmospheric and animated elements: fog, fire, fluids, cloth, etc.
3. End-use and polygon counts
D. Character design parameters
1. Level of realism: The Uncanny Valley and character design
2. Number and relative length of limbs and appendages
3. Clothing and personal props
4. Character sheets and poses
A. Proceduralism and the modifier stack
B. Modeling strategies
1. Modeling vs. texturing
2. Quads vs. n-gons
3. Appropriate level of detail: frequency vs. camera placement
4. Derivative modeling and cloning
C. Modeling techniques
1. Review: spline, patch and box modeling
2. Modeling with reference to image planes
D. Intermediate poly-modeling techniques
1. Subdivision surfaces and edge loop modeling
2. Graphite modeling ribbon
3. Turbosmooth and mesh smooth
4. Hard edge vs. organic/soft edge modeling
E. Non-modeled geometry
1. Bump maps
2. Displacement maps
1. Photoshop and Mudbox texture techniques
2. Creating and modifying UV coordinate layouts
a. The Unwrap UVW modifier
b. Pelt mapping
3. Texture mapping and painting
4. Viewport canvas
1. Character Animation Toolkit (CATrig)
2. Custom rigs: bones
a. Forward and inverse kinematics
3. Morphing: wiring parameters
4. Controls and custom user intervace (UI) elements
1. Skin modifier vs. physique
2. Skin wrap modifier and low-resolution meshes
I. Lighting design
1. High key vs. low key
2. Volumetric effects, light color, temperature and mood
3. Projection mapping, gobos, etc.
J. Set dressing and props
A. Shot layouts
1. Turntable views
2. Character tests
D. Atmospherics and effects shots
B. Video post effects
Topics covered in Lecture will be applied and practiced in Lab.
How to Cheat in 3DS Max 2015. McCarthy, Michael. Focal Press. 2014
Digital Modeling. Vaughan, William. New Riders. 2012 (classic)
Instructor prepared materials