Approaching VR


Since we decided to render or animation in Unity, I’ve been reading on the VR medium. It was interesting to see how our approach to it has changed from a few years ago and the way we integrate it now into our animation projects.



Rig available here:

Resources I used to help get me started on this task:

How to create eye blinking

Creating a character rig: common pitfalls (2018). Maya Getting Started. [online] Available at:!/url=./files/Smooth_skinning_Smooth_binding_a_skeleton.htm [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017].

Palamar, T. (2016). Mastering Autodesk Maya 2016. Indianapolis: Autodesk. (2018). An Essential Introduction to Maya Character Rigging by Cheryl Cabrera Chapter 8 Control Rig Setup for a Biped Character: IK and FK. – ppt download. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017].

YouTube. (2018). Maya 2016 Rigging Tutorial. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017].

YouTube. (2018). Maya: Rigging Professor in 6 hrs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017].

1st December:

Out of curiosity and need of understanding the different approaches to rigging, I had a look at Maya’s quick rig option. After inspecting it, I got rid of it and followed various tutorials.

I found the book Mastering Autodesk Maya 2016 to be very useful throughout this project, especially at times when my internet wasn’t working. It covers the basics of everything I had to learn to complete my tasks for this project. For more in-depth information on building an intuitive rig that’s easy to work with I had to turn to online resources.

12th December:


21st December:

At this point there is no more time left for me to tweak anything else, as we need to get to the next point in our project and allow Mark enough time to be able to animate. I already passed the model on to him and believe we are not far off schedule.

Throughout the rigging process, a lot of controls and constraints seemed to break when the file would be switched between my PC and the university Macs. I wasn’t able to figure out why and had to redo the rig and the blendshapes, resulting in some loss of time. I also realised that a lot of tutorials available to modellers don’t always consider how the model is going to move once it’s rigged, probably they don’t have to. At times I would forget as well and end up making some mistakes with parenting orders and constraints. That being said, for me it is definitely the most challenging and intriguing process in our field and would love to have a more comprehensive understanding of it. I plan to practice more on other models until I am competent at a professional level.


After examining at the type of movement that our character would have to perform, I saw no problem in creating a simple rig that was achievable within the time frame given and plan to do more comprehensive setups on my own time.




For this year’s Professional Practice module, we had to research different approaches to applying for jobs, writing a CV and a cover letter tailored to the ideal position we would like to get hired for, and put together a showreel.

The part I struggled with the most was deciding which would be my perfect job. I can easily and happily see myself learning to work in almost any position within the industry, as I am aware of the reality of those jobs. That being said, I have always had huge respect and admiration for gaming artists. The more I learn from this course, the more appreciative I feel towards their skill and ability to deal with pressure. Their audience is far more different than for example, movie audiences. The people that play video games take an active role in whatever world they are provided with, leading to them feeling cheated when games fail to deliver the immersion that they implicitly promise. The whole experience is an extremely personal one, so the video game artist, just as the rest of the developing team, has the immense responsibility of making it a good one.

What appeals to me most about the gaming industry is the community and the sense of fulfilment you experience as an artist for having created worlds and environments that empower your customers on a personal level. For years, the company I considered ideal to work for has been CCP. I have been keeping track of their progress and even with the latest round of dropped projects and cutbacks, there isn’t a bad comment or review of their community in sight. Working for them would also involve relocating to London or possibly Reykjavik, which isn’t really an issue for me since I adapt easily to life in different cultures.

On the other hand, I keep up to date with the opportunities available in Ireland and Northern Ireland because I believe there are numerous companies that provide amazing career paths. I stay informed through websites such as Glassdoor, Reddit, NI Screen, attend every 2D 3D meeting and any industry talks I hear of. I found the meetings in Hudson bar to be very helpful as the people that join are always up for chatting about their work. More often than not they really do enjoy what they do and can give valuable insight into what their jobs entail. It is with the help of current and former students that usually attend those meetings that I was able to understand the requirements of successfully applying for jobs not only in Northern Ireland but in other countries as well.

The Animation Industry talks on Friday, 8th of December were highly informative. The segments that interested me the most were presented by Prof. Greg Maguire, William Bar and Richard Williams. I was aware of Prof. Maguire’s company called Humain but never actually had the chance to talk to him about it so listening to him describe their projects was a bit of a revelation. That being said, all the projects presented on the 8th were interesting in their own way as they had different subject matters, all very relevant to our field.

I believe this module was greatly successful in teaching us how to prioritise our time and build towards a career in animation. All the guest speakers gave us good insight into the Belfast job market and more specifically, the various positions within our field.


ArtStation. (2017). Andrei Cristea. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Dec. 2017]. (2017). Contact us – CCP Games. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Dec. 2017]. (2017). Targeting Your Audience: 3 Important Tips for Designing Games. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Dec. 2017].

Jakobb Dee’s Digital Portfolio. (2017). Multimedia Artists and Animator. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Dec. 2017].

Jayanth, M. (2017). 52% of gamers are women – but the industry doesn’t know it | Meg Jayanth. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 18 Dec. 2017].

Mary Stewart. (2017). MU/DAI. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Dec. 2017].

reddit. (2017). Ireland Jobs • r/IreJobs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Dec. 2017].

Sageng, J. and Fossheim, H. (n.d.). The Philosophy of Computer Games. [ebook] Available at: [Accessed 20 Dec. 2017].

Wilson Center. (2017). Understanding Gaming Audiences. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Dec. 2017].







For a short while I was interested in doing compositing for my personal project and ended up watching a bunch of tutorials. It all started with Motion graphics. In all honesty, it looks like something I’d get really into but maybe next semester.


Greene, D. (2003). Motion graphics. Gloucester, Mass.: Rockport.

Vimeo. (2018). Compositing in After Effects vs. Nuke. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Nov. 2017].

YouTube. (2018). Part 9 – Batch Compositing in Flame. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Nov. 2017].

After Effects

While still extremely undecided as to what to work on for the rest of the semester, I’ve been having a look at what working with special effects means.

Naturally, I’ve been watching tutorials and reading whatever I was able to find in the library.

Beata and I found this really cool book in the 3rd year room and browsed it for inspiration. It was a great source of inspiration for our animations and in my case, helped define the style we were looking for. Since there are a few riggers mentioned in it, it proved relevant for my personal project too.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The art of special effects by L. Pardew was great to read to get a better understanding of where it all started from.

Motion graphics was by far the most interesting book I’ve read this semester as it covers not only the process of achieving some very intricate special effects, but the stories behind them. I thought it was very insightful and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in that sort of stuff.

Flame vs After Effects (2018). CreativeCOW. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

Greene, D. (2003). Motion graphics. Gloucester, Mass.: Rockport.

Pardew, L. and Tidwell, M. (2007). Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds max side-by-side. Boston, MA: Thomson Course Technology.

YouTube. (2018). Flame Premium Primer: Introduction. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017]

Doctor Strange

In my opinion, Doctor Strange was a fantastic movie. I believe the special effects were unbelievable and so I decided to take a closer look at how that was made possible.

Talks about 3D fractal simulation and time travel effects.

From ‘Inception’ To M.C. Escher, ‘Doctor Strange’ VFX Supervisors Lay Out Their Visual Inspirations

Visual effects breakdown

Getting started

Useful articles for getting started on this project.


Fantastic beasts and where to find them tips

Real time rendering of simulations and watercolour stylised animation

Useful articles on VR in different projects

Tron Legacy effects

Prometheus behind the scenes VFX

Special effects on inFAMOUS: Second Son

Blog at

Up ↑