Two weeks and we’re back with an updated version, which hasn’t been as simple as I may have thought to get to.

Firstly you can notice the lighting has changed, we added more lights to the scene as well as Michael sorted out Light-linking and attached a green one to each astronaut.

We smoothed out the terrain and Leanna got a bump map for the texture which looks really great now, a slight issue that came from the smoothing out though is on of the characters now slightly floating which we hadn’t realised till after it was re-rendered.

We changed some of the camera viewpoints as Conánn mentioned that hey were from the wrong angle.

Final shot we again changed the design of the Billboard which was Leanna’s work which makes it look so much better now, I re-animated the lights on it flashing on as the timing was off in our old version, I also added a glow effect in after effects to give the impression of the lights turning on, which I hope makes it more understandable. Jack made sure the first astronaut was included in the shot and even raised his arms so it looks like he’s celebrating.

Conánn had also talked about out title sequence and end credits, admitted we hadn’t put a lot of thought into it before but now with more time Leanna got this great font that reminded us of the Guardians of the Galaxy font and she made a 3d title in maya. The end credits I added in after effects.

There’s more we could do to this but I think it’s a good summation of our work and I’m proud to have made it at the end of just our first year  of animation.


Freshly Squeezed

This is our animation, it seems like it’s taken forever to get it to this point but here we are. The last few days have been fixing textures and rendering a re-rendering where problems have been spotted, we should have done a thorough check before rendering really.

I brought all the frames together using After effects which I’m new to, so I’ve been quickly going through some basic tutorials on how to use it and how best to colour correct a video, our colours are nice but I don’t they came out as bright as they could have to make the character stand our more. I also tried to dim the brightness of the red lights as they were slightly too jarring, which was complicated and involved masks and tracking masks, which I’ve been told After effects isn’t great for but I must make do.

Michael put together our sounds and Jack designed our title and Leanna helped with getting the timing right, and I think we’re all pretty happy with the final outcome here, we know we need to fix some things already.

Feedback from Presentation

Over all I think it went pretty, they seemed happy with how we’d worked as a team.

Corrections for us to work on,

The first astronaut isn’t in the last shot when he was expected to be there.

Generally colours need to stand our more, Yuan mentioned that the characters should be more prominent than the background, which we could maybe also do with Lighting as well.

For lighting Conánn talked about using light-linking to attach a light singularly to the character so it doesn’t illuminate anything else which I think we can do.

There was some animation issues, just with how things were animated like the lander having more swivel and the characters being more weighted though I’m not sure how much of that we can edit before final hand in.

We also need to look at our Logo design as they felt the Uranus Juice didn’t read too well and since the other logo is based of CokaCola that it is the better looking logo.

In general we’re also going to change the terrain texture since it didn’t turn out how we liked and the colour of the stars in the background along with the Billboard at the end, I want it to pop more.




The final shot of our animation has a giant billboard that’s illuminated, I’m slightly excited about making this because I’ve really wanted to try making some Neon lights and this seems like the best opportunity to.


I’d already tried creating a neon sign before so I was using that same technique.  Though I added in some more pieces and tried to animate the intensity of the glow so it looks like it’s moving. Based of a load of Neon signs like this one below.

For building the main structure of the Billboard I wanted to have a big screen and lined with light bulbs taking inspiration from the Las Vegas sign.


I had to give more luminosity to the bulbs, because if I had one transparent sphere it wouldn’t stand out so I needed to have two sphere’s one inside the other with the outside on being more translucent. These colours are place holders since I’m not sure what our final colour scheme for it is going the be, it’ll be easy to change later, I also left a space because we’re not decided on whether we want to add a slogan as well.

Here’s a basic test of how it’ll work.


This is what the final Billboard ended up looking like. I think I’m going to look at adding in extra glow in after effects as it’d take less time than rendering out lights in Maya. The sign could be better formatted possibly but the colours Leanna has used work better together.

Doing some Animating

These are the animations that I’ve done for our astronaut, the flag plant was the most fun and interesting one to do, as well as hard. With blocking out the key poses I think tried to key in the camera, I felt I needed the camera movement there to determine how the arm movement should look as I didn’t want it to be too hidden. I tried to keep in mind the principles of animation  like anticipation and follow through it took a while to get the timing right so it feels like that flag is coming done in a swift movement.

I mistake I know realise is that our staging is off, in our animatics they look right, but I need them to be turning left since the rest of the scene is now staged to be happening over there, the scene has flipped is what I mean.

The second shot is very short in our animatic but I still animated the character turning, it’s very fast but I didn’t want it to be a still frame establishing it.

I think I’ll still be tweaking these and the camera movements, and when I have time I need to learn more about rigging a character because for this it did take a while to figure out how the controls work and how the model will stretch, which lead to starting from scratch a few times.

Making a Can Substance Painter

I had to model a can for our second astronaut to be holding which I did quite simply in Maya.

We’ve also decided to try and use substance painter for our textures, which will be interesting as I’ve never used it before but I like the examples of what you can make with it.

First of all we had to uv map our objects, which is reaking down the faces of the object so we’ll be able to paint on them in substance painter. It can be a bit complicated for curved objects so I first automatically  mapped it then going into the editor I cut and sewed edges until I had a pretty good display that didn’t have any stretching.

can uv map

Michael shared a really useful tutorial on the basics of substance painter and how to use it. I followed along with it to try and understand how to bake textures and set up the layers, ambient occlusions. Then I started experimenting with painting the aluminium material I added the logo to the car design by using the stencil tool and using a rough artist brush to paint it on.

Bringing the textures back into maya has came up with some problems, where the seams don’t line up that well and looking back I think I would have had to do my uv map out differently, like this though I re-painted it not as shiny which seems to have worked better.

version 1


version 2

Waving Flag

I’ve been trying to create a Flag for both astronauts, I’m happy enough with the design but now I need to sort out the actual flag and that we want it to have some movement.

Doing some research I found out that there’s been a total of six flags planted on the moon and they were designed by a man called Jack Kinzler. Since there is no air in space the flags wouldn’t fly which they solved by adding a horizontal pole to the top.

File:Detail of Apollo AS12-47-6897.png

So following Mike Hermes, Maya tutorial : How to create and animate a flag with nCloth in Maya and 3D World, MAYA tutorial how to create a 3D Waving Flag I was able to recreate their waving flags using ncloths, wind and constraints.

It took a while to get the hang of it and I’m not sure why but the wind isn’t constant so  indeed to try and figure that out.

These are more tests with the logos on the flags and placed in the mock environment I have.

I needed to damper down the waving because it was too much and didn’t fit in with being in space, so I actually turned off any wind direction influence on the ncloth and just used wind noise, so the flag would only ruffle really.

Constraining it to the pole turned out to be problematic as it worked fine if the flag was staying in one place but when you go to move the flag the ncloth doesn’t actually follow it. I had to change the type of constraint I was using to a point constraint to the pole and then once you reset your animation with the movement it followed fine. There was actually two point constraints as I was then using two poles to mimic the real Flags planted on the moons.

Unfortunately it seems that through importing these flags into the animation the constraints stopped working and given we had other problems that were more urgent I didn’t get round to fixing it. It doesn’t completely detract from it but it would have been nice to have it after getting it all set up.

For attaching the flag to the astronauts hand we just parented it to the hand control of the astronaut.



references (2017). Detail of Apollo AS12-47-6897.png. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Logo Design

Our story has evolved to include these two competing drinks companies which means we now need to create a brand/logo for each company which we hadn’t considered before.

A fake that very quickly comes to mind is Nuka Cola from Fallout which is play off CocaCola, I always liked this twist that fits in with the aesthetic of the game. Along with the vintage Space propaganda we also looked into old drinks posters similar to this vein of style, to get ideas for names and if we see what kind of images they use we could possibly use something similar for our billboard.

These are concepts I did based off this style and some more modern posters, I some problems with the first one but I thought the second worked really well, if I’ve time to I would like to try more in this style.


These are logo design that both Jack (both left) and Leanna (right) were working on, we’ve been taking about brand names and I think we’ve decided on Crator Cola and Uranus Juice and we’ve two logo design for them. We still need to figure out what exactly is going on the billboard but I want to try bringing in Neon lights and I made some signs based off of Jacks logo’s by following a Mike Hermes tutorial. Bringing in the type font takes slightly longer but I think it looks really nice as a light and they read well against a dark background




Nuka Cola. Fallout Wiki. (2017). Nuka-Cola (Fallout 4). [online] Available at:

1. Pinterest. (2017). space animation. [online] Available at:

2. profile, V. (2017). The Best of Both Worlds with Ovaltine. [online] Available at:

3. Retrorambling. (2017). Mountain Dew – Carbonated Soft Drink. [online] Available at:

4.Roger Wilkerson, The Suburban Legend!. (2017). [online] Available at:




Updated Animatic

I updated our animatic, I wanted to change some of the drawings of the astronaut jumping to give him more personality and try and shape the jump movements. We’ve taken out some shots like the over the shoulder flag plant and are making the feet plant and flag plant happen right after each other (there isn’t a cut there it’s just hard to show a zoom).

We were told to try and come up with a more dynamic ending and Mike had given us the suggestion of the billboard turning on and the light blaring everything out and the second astronaut is then blinded. I made this version with that ending in mind, I’m not too happy with how it look on this so I’m not sure how it’ll look in maya and using the maya lights.


Retro Promtional Posters

Whilst researching Space artist references as a group we found different variations of vintage space propaganda posters

(BBC News, 2015)

These are some USSR posters, they made posters so that they could celebrate the technological advances made during the space race whilst not revealing them in case they were stolen by Americans, which is why the images are technologically accurate.

The posters came from an important time where space travel was new and exciting, the imagery of space travel is quite triumphant and idealistic, the artists didn’t have the same tropes we have now to work of so it’s like looking at space from a fresh perspective.

(, 2017)

We also fond that NASA had recently released these promotional posters for the Journey To Mars, again taking on a romantic view of space travel where the everyday person may one day travel to Mars. These posters make good use of composition and silhouettes as well as being a good source of how to use a colour scheme to make the barren landscape look non-earth, of course aided by the space suits and technology.

(OMG Posters!, 2017)

4.(ln, 2017) 5.(Simpson, 2014)

So this led to an exploration of how different artists have then made their own interpretations of  promotional posters, this has given us an idea of the icon imagery associated with space travel, the suit is very important but also the rocket/lander, blasters, things we could have in the environment to sell it as space.

I feel that with more modernistic versions of space and space travel can be very technological and cold, the future is often depicted as clean,white and flawless which makes it harder to create a fun characters that comes from that environment.

picture references

  1. BBC News. (2015). Posters of the golden age of Soviet cosmonauts – BBC News. [online] Available at:
  2. (2017). Retro Posters Show NASA’s Vision for Our Future on Mars. [online] Available at:
  3. Roger Wilkerson, The Suburban Legend!. (2017). [online] Available at:
  4. ln, J. (2017). Space Funk Canvas Print by Josh Ln. [online] Society6. Available at:
  5. Simpson, S. (2014). Behance. [online] Available at:



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