Category Archives: Research

Walk Cycle Research

I found these resources (cited below) to be particularly good in working out how to make the character walk not only believably but in a way that conveyed it’s persona.


Draw with Jazza. (2012). How To Animate – Walk Cycle FBF (Frame by Frame). Available: Last accessed 9th Aug 2015.

Jasmin, F. (2010). A Walk Cycle Tutorial. Available: Last accessed 9th Aug 2015.

Williams, R. (2001). Walks. The Animator’s Survival Kit. London: Faber and Faber. p102-173.

BNS Glass Research

I found this article helpful in creating realistic glass, I only used the basic settings but it is definitely something worth revisiting.


Monroig, A. (2013). Create Realistic Glass and Caustics in Maya: Part 2.Available:–cg-30722. Last accessed 28th Jul 2015.

Head Modelling Research

Eye Modelling



DSC_0270 DSC_0271

Ear Modelling



Costa, K. M.. (2009). Realistic Eye Modeling for 3D Characters.Available: Last accessed 3rd May 2015.

Napier, J. (2011). 8 Sensitivity and Response in Plants and Animals. In: GCSE Biology for CCEA. 6th ed. London: Hodder Education. p58-59.

Pigeonchicken. (2011). How to Model a human ear in Maya. Available: Last accessed 4th May 2015.

Research II

Below is the research that I did for our second presentation. I read several books based around the anatomy of storyboards and different camera angles and techniques that filmmakers use. I made notes on them and shared them with the group so that we had an equal footing.

We all mentioned The Land Before Time as one of our favourite dinosaur films and this made me dig out my VHS of it and try to watch it. It kept flipping jumping which was frustrating but I did find out that the franchise is still going! Apparently a few more films are to be released soon, I knew there was a TV series that was going but I’m surprised that they are still making films of it.

I looked up different styles of dinosaurs, and dinosaurs that would have been alive at the time of the Cretaceous Era to see what the environment was like and what other species we could have as another character alongside our T-Rex. I do kind of want a Pterodactyl (specifically a Hatzegopteryx) but that isn’t really simple.

I also cited Rayman as one of our influences in the design of our characters as we now want our dinosaur to have floating feet.



Block, B (2008). The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media. Oxford: Elsevier. p3-288.

Byrne, M. T (1999). Animation: the art of layout and storyboarding: complete step-by-step techniques in drawing layout and storyboards for classical, TV and computer game animation. 2nd ed. Kildare: Leixlip. p1-187.

Cristiano, G (2007). The Storyboard Design Course. London: Thames & Hudson. p10-178.


The Land Before Time (1988) VHS. Directed by Don Bluth. United States of America: Universal Pictures.


Figure 1. Rayman. (1995) From: Rayman. Directed by Michel Ancel and Serge Hascoët. [Game Still] Milan. Ubisoft Milan. At: Last accessed: 8th Mar 2015.

Figure 2. TwoAnimators! Monster Dinos (2010) [Digital Drawing] Last accessed 9th Mar 2015.

Figure 3. Wall Monkeys Cartoon Green, Blue Baby Dinosaur  (2013) [Wall Graphic] Last accessed 9th Mar 2015.

Figure 4. BBC, Pterosaur Size Range (2014) [Digital Drawing] Last accessed 9th Mar 2015.


BBC Nature. (2014). Cretaceous period videos, news and facts.Available: Last accessed 7th March 2015.

BBC. (2014). Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction. Available:–Tertiary_extinction_event. Last accessed 9th Mar 2015.

BBC. (2014). Pterosaurs. Available: Last accessed 9th Mar 2015.

Titanic Coincidence

I just found this article particularly interesting. There’s other events that it talks about but the bit about the Titanic is what I was looking for.

“#5. Morgan Robertson Writes About the Titanic… 14 Years Early

A hundred years before James Cameron turned douchebaggery into an art form at the Oscars, American author Morgan Robertson wrote a sh***y book called Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan, about the sinking of an “unsinkable” ocean liner. When you see the cover, you figure you’re pretty clearly looking at a fictionalized version of the Titanic story.

No surprise there; it’s a story that’s been told over and over (there were 13 Titanic movies before Cameron’s, including one by the Nazis) but Robertson’s book was first.

Where it Gets Weird:

He was so eager to be first, apparently, that he didn’t bother to wait for the Titanic to actually sink before writing about it. The Wreck of the Titan was published in 1898, 14 years before RMS Titanic was even finished being [cheaply] built.

The similarities between Robertson’s work and the Titanic disaster are so astounding that one has to imagine if White Star Line built Titanic to Robertson’s specs as a dare. The Titan was described as “the largest craft afloat and the greatest of the works of men,” “equal to that of a first class hotel,” and, of course, “unsinkable”.

Both ships were British-owned steel vessels, both around 800 feet long and sank after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic, in April, “around midnight.” Sound like enough to keep you up at night? Maybe that’s why Robertson republished the book in 1912 just in case enough people didn’t know that he wrote it.

And you thought this guy was an ass.

Where it Gets Even Weirder:

While the novel does bear some curious coincidences with the Titanic disaster, there are quite a few things that Robertson got flat wrong. For one, the Titanic did not crash into an iceberg “400 miles from Newfoundland” at 25 knots. It crashed into an iceberg 400 miles from Newfoundland at 22.5 knots.

Wait, what the f**k? That’s one hell of a lucky guess!

What 41.1 million square miles looks like.

But maybe the weirdest thing about Titan were points that had nothing to do with the story, but check out after numerous inquires and expeditions to the Titanic wreck site.

For one, both the Titan and the Titanic had too few lifeboats to accommodate every passenger on board; the Titan carrying “as few as the law allowed.” While Robertson decided to be generous and include four lifeboats more on his ship than Titanic, it’s an odd point to bring up when you consider that lifeboats had nothing to do with the f**king story. When Titan hit the iceberg (starboard bow, naturally), the ship sank immediately, making the point made about lifeboats inconsequential. Why the f**k mention this?!”

Read more:


Quercia, J. (2010). 6 Insane Coincidences You Won’t Believe Actually Happened. Available: Last accessed 11th Feb 2015.

More research for IMD

So, the CCEA website was back online- not sure when it went down but I was able to then go on and get the fact files with information on ergonomics and anthropometrics. I still haven’t been able to get my hands on my ICT notes on HCI (Human Computer Interaction) so I may end up googling information on it.

I cited the original Pokemon gameboy game, Lara Croft (the first game) and Professor Layton as influences in our game design. The inventory of the first Lara Croft where you go into her backpack seemed applicable to Ruby (our character) and a way in which she could transport the crystal; with the other games, they incorporate text into the game to add information as to what is happening; also with Professor Layton there are strong fully animated scenes to tie events together and it is down to the player to influence the game through their choices – like our game.

On a side note: I recall from playing Lara Croft when I was younger, that the colour scheme was pretty simple. Aside from the clothes that Lara wore, the main colours were grey with scatterings of green for the grass. It was overboard with colour and the sound used was very simple. The sound of the bear growling still makes me jump anytime I hear it, and the background music always foreshadowed an event about to occur whether it was the appearance of the bats or the wolves coming to get you, it always made me panic and run her into a wall when I was trying to get away.

I just thought it was an interesting observation.

Still the best game I ever played.


Campbell, P. (2009). Images. Available: Last accessed 2nd Dec 2014.

Campbell, P. (2009). Story. Available: Last accessed 2nd Dec 2014.

Campbell, P. (2009). Stuff. Available: Last accessed 2nd Dec 2014.

Campbell, P. (2009). The Life and Times of Phil Campbell. Available: Last accessed 2nd Dec 2014.

CCEA. (2012). Support Materials. Available: Last accessed 2nd Dec 2014.

Gard, T. (1996) Tomb Raider. [DISC] Playstation 1. International: Eidos Interactive.

Hino, A. (2003) Professor Layton and the Curious Village. [CARTRIDGES] Nintendo DS. International: Nintendo.

Tajiri, S. (1996) Pocket Monsters Red and Green. [CARTRIDGES] Gameboy. International: Nintendo.

Phil Chapman

I was trying to research the Tomb Raider game because of the design of the inventory, seeing what it looked like, and I happened across Phil Chapman’s showreel on Youtube. It was also nice to see the characters in Maya and to know what we should be able to achieve.

Showreel :

Chapman, P. (2009). animation showreel by Phil Chapman. Available: Last accessed 30th Nov 2014.