Skeleton Half Views
January 14, 2014

Here's a series of images that show how the skeleton from the previous post fits inside the basic Minimate body.

This obviously shows the detail in the model more than the previous renders. I tried to strike a balance between the complexity of a human skeleton and the simplicity of the Minimate form.

Here's a video turnaround just because I can.

Another skeleton post coming on Thurday too.
 Roamer Zombie Turnaround
December 17, 2013

To finish up, here's the Roamer Zombie turnaround of the Minimate featured in the Skybound Walking Dead Contest post. Here's the released version.

 Rick Grimes Turnaround
December 12, 2013

Here's the Rick Grimes Minimate featured in the Skybound Walking Dead Contest post. This is the basic face texture that matches the released Minimate.

Hairpieces are still challenging. Maybe I should practice.
 Walking Dead Contest
December 10, 2013

Man, sometimes I think I only do this stuff to enter contests. I don't, I honestly enjoy creating this stuff. But here's yet another contest entry. Skybound, the publisher of The Walking Dead comics, created an animation contest to promote the Minimates line. I had figured out a good way to get Minimates to talk using texture maps, but hadn't actually implemented it. This gave me the opportunity to push forward.

The rules instructed you to send a link to an animated short featuring Walking Dead Minimates. I read the rules very carefully, there was no directive on the type of animation. However, every other entry was stop motion...

...and done by children.
 Shark Nose Stealth Jet
January 18, 2012

To date, DST has made four different versions of the MAX Stealth Jet. What's one more?

Here's a little video of it in action. It only looks slow in the video, I had to slow the video down so you could recognize the jet. If I showed you at full speed, all you'd see is a gray blur. It's proven that the shark head nose art increases speed (and awesomeness) by three orders of magnitude.

I'd love to see this as an actual, produced version. They could include several more stickers with all sorts of iconic nose art.

 Minimates After Dark
January 11, 2012

Time for another Minimate video. Like all the others, when the idea for this popped into my head I figured it wouldn't take too long. And like all the others, I was wrong.

When I started it was an excerise in deforming a model with shape keys. I just wanted to see what it could do. How it got from "Can I hinge the torso?" to the final video, I'll never know.

I had to recreate all the Spider-Man image maps because they didn't have a high enough resolution for the closeups. Now they're all up to 4096x4096. The table texture took some work as well. It's the most realistic wood texture I've made.

I love that keyboard and surprisingly it wasn't difficult to model. Once you create one key the rest are either simple duplicates or duplicates with a bit of stretching. The front row did need some rework, but it was quick. Look for this model to reappear in later projects.

The pen is what ate up most of the time. The modeling was simple, but the rendering and material tweaking just about broke me. I had a problem where I couldn't get the transparency clear enough, yet still visible. After a long back-and-forth series of tweaking and test rendering I discovered the problem wasn't the transparency but the reflections. I gave it a slight mirror finish to catch reflections of the desk and Minimate. Foolishly, I also applied it to the interior surface of the tube. All of the inner-reflections clouded the tube and caused much frustration. It also added to large render times.

Please don't go cutting open your Minimates looking for the eyeballs. I still hear the screams.

 "Top Gun" Animation
October 3, 2011

Remember way back during Comic-Con when I said I'd have a new computer generated animation ready to show? Well, I didn't think it was going to take two months to finish. When I got back I saw a few things I wanted to change, a couple scenes I wanted to add... and the Comic Cover Contest at the Multiverse didn't help matters. Nevertheless it's now "done", not perfect mind you, just done.

Using the the Stealth Jet and Pilot from the Mobile Action Xtreme line, I've created a short with lots of swooshing noises and a recognizable (perhaps?) anthem.
 Spider-Man Turnarounds
July 15, 2011

Well unfortunately, I didn't get the large rendering project done before Comic-Con like I had planned. As penance, I threw together a couple new turnarounds using existing Minimate models, both Spider-Man. The first is the basic Spidey from the Day-O Dancing Animation.

The second is 'tron-ified' Spider-Man from this post.

I'll have a work-in-progress version of the long teased 'large rendering project' at Comic-Con. If you're in the San Diego area and interested in seeing it, just ask. It should be easy to pick me out from the other 130,000 con-goers, right?