Tag Archives: Lightwave

Lightwave

While attending school at Westwood College of Technology, I was very adept at animation and multimedia. I was hired to help teach these classes after I had taken them. The 3-D animation class was the one I favored, and I ended up teaching that one several times while I was taking other classes. This project was a result. I needed something to work on and test my skills as an animator. So I chose to do an animation about one of my favorite bands, Primus. Primus has a “mascot” named Skeeter which they use in some of their work. It is a little clay-mation mosquito that appears in some of their videos. I decided to model a group of “Skeeters” and animate them playing one of my favorite songs by Primus, “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver”.

This ended up taking me an entire semester, but the end product turned out really well. It is about two minutes long and the animation shows three “Skeeters” playing their respective instruments. It is all key framed animation and most of the textures within the animation are custom created in Photoshop. Initially I was not going to lip sync their mouths but after I got the basic movements down I thought it would be a fun challenge to do so. With this decision I ended up creating a fairly complicated skeleton for their heads so I could make all parts of their heads move with the beat. It was a really fun project and I think it turned out great. I even went to the extent of creating an alternate ending to the video where a giant fly swatter came smashing down and squashed the band.

Here is the character model for Skeeter. You can see he is stretched out and ready to have his skeleton added for animation. This is a great shot where you can see the bump mapping, texture maps and other various texturing. I designed the wing transparency to resemble cells of an insect wing. The wings are both transparent and reflective. skeeter_model_still
Here is a high resolution frontal shot of the Skeeter band. Here you can see some of the finer details of the scene. The purple spots in the background are disco lights that start moving around the stage when the song starts. skeeter_band_ready_to_jam
Here is a shot of the red Skeeter jamming out on a guitar solo. You can see the blue Skeeter stomping around the back side of the drummer during this solo. skeeter_walk
A close up of the blue Skeeter singing away. It was quite a challenge to lip sync the song and I suggest if you ever want to do something similar make sure it is a song you really like! skeeter_singing
Red Skeeter jamming out to one of the many crazy Primus guitar solos. skeeter_guitar_solo
Here is a close up of the drummer Skeeter banging away on his drums. These drums were fun to model and I did all kinds of experimenting with the color and style I wanted for the paint job for the drums themselves. skeeter_drummer
This is a shot of all the Skeeters jamming out during a change in the tempo. skeeter_jam

The actual high res video itself was created on Macs years ago. I will post it on here as soon as I can convert and compress it. For now I will post up the low res test avi I have.

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