Kid Aquarius

In 2014-2015 I undertook a Advanced Diploma in Screen Media, focusing on 3D animation and modelling. Over my time there I learnt modelling and animation skills to an industry level using programs such Maya and ZBrush.  In 2015 as part of my final assessment I concepted, modelled, rigged and animated a 3D character and composited him into a camera shot I’d taken at home. The video was called Kid Aquarius. Later in 2015, it became a finalist in the AEAF Awards (film VFX awards) in Sydney. The gallery above shows the progression of the model. I originally started with an old illustration of mine. The first model however I felt was too realistic and I decided to completely remodel the head.  The new head turned out much better and was actually animated with Blendshapes in ZBrush, giving it a variety of preset facial expressions it could make that could be transferred to Autodesk Maya (where the majority of the animation would be done). I realised however the thick limb joints were going to cause animation problems so I made the difficult decision to start from scratch and try a more cartoony look. The next version unfortunately was a big fail. It lacked appeal and had drifted too far away from the original concept. Also, the shape of the head was going to make it hard to remove his helmet in animation. Luckily after many man hours, the last version nailed it! I wanted to keep the thinner limbs and took a lot more time tweaking his proportions, getting them exactly right. Due to time I decided to just not show his face at all, which would also add an air of mystery to him.  He was then rigged in Maya. The background was a photograph I took with a Canon 5D. And the entire animated sequence was composited and color corrected with Nuke and some use of After Effects. My only regret is I had to lose his helmet hose. There wasn’t enough time to learn the complicated rigging involved.

Client: Kid Aquarius
Year: 2015
Job Type: 3D