This video will be shown in class.

  • 12 Principles of Animation
  • For this assignment you will practice simple animation using a cube. You will complete 9 animations as listed below, saving each in a SEPARATE FILE, submitting a folder containing 9 Blender files with the animations when complete.

    9 Trials (Animations):

    1. The trial of the four-est. Have the cube move to the four corners, taking one second for each movement.
    2. The trial of the whirlpool. Have the cube move to the 4 corners of the grid, rotating at the cornerss to "face" the next direction. Each movement takes 1 second (rotation/timing)
    3. The trial of the hedgehog. Make the cube "roll". (translation and rotation at the same time)
    4. The trial of the needle. Have a simple setup of a cube and a torus. The cube should be larger than the torus. Animate the cube moving up to the torus, shrinking, going through the hole, scaling back up, and continuing.
    5. The trial of eagle (hatchling) Have the cube pause, then jump, then pause, then jump. (editing animation)
    6. The trial of the young eagle. Have a simple set-up of a cube and a wall. Have the cube move up to the wall, pause, crouch (animate scaling on the z-axis), then jump over the wall, landing on the other side.
    7. The trial of the perching eagle.Similar to the young eagle, except the eagle lands on the top of the wall, pauses, then crouches again before jumping down on the other side.
    8. The trial of the sleep-deprived eagle.Have the cube move up to the wall, jump, but jump into the face of the wall flattening itself, then sliding down.
    9. The trial of the bowling ball. Have a simple setup with the cube and 3 other cubes stacked together in a pyramid. Have the cube hit the center of the pyramid, toppling each of the pins in its own direction.

    Hand in your assignment folder (with your name!), containing:
    9 'trial' blender files with completed animations (you DON'T need to render them out to video files!)

    Watch this Video for finished examples of all 9 animated 'trials': 9 Trials of DOOM!

    Video Tutorial: Intro to Animation

    Watch Linking Objects (Creating Parent-Child Links)

    In 3D animation, parent-child relationships exist to allow you to animate multiple objects moving together, simply by animating just one of the objects. "Parenting" (making one object a 'child' of another object) forces the child object to match the animation of the parent.

    Parent / Child Relationships:
    • The Parent is free to move wherever they want, as normal.
    • The child always matches the location/rotation/scale animation changes of the parent...
    • BUT, the child is free to do their own movements while they are being 'pulled' by their Parent.
    • There can be Grandparent-Parent-Child Relationships in more complex hierarchies like on the snowman (pictured right).
    • **In the example of the snowman (pictured right):
      • Each finger would be a 'child' of their parent arm.
      • Each arm would be a child to the middle-body sphere
      • The Hat and Face-Pieces would all be children to the head sphere
      • The head sphere would be a child of the middle-body sphere.
      • The middle-body sphere would be a child of the large, lower-body sphere.
    • **With this parent-child hierarchy, you would animate the entire snowman moving around simply my selecting/animating the large-bottom-body sphere.

    This skill will be useful in future assignments to move the ball in the Lamp and Ball Animation and to fly your ships in Blow up the Death Star.

  • Follow Path Tutorial
  • Watch

    In the above topic (Parent/Child Relationships), you learned how to join objects together so that you could create an animatable "action figure"-style-character.

    Bones, however, allow you to animate a character that is one solid mesh. Bones, as a part of an 'armature' (skeleton), allow you to animate / deform the mesh of a character.

    • A 'Character-Rigger' adds an amature inside a character, creating all the necessary bones in precisely the right locations so that when the bones are animated, the character appears to be moving.
    • Each bone controls specific vertexes in the mesh of the character. For instance, the UpperArm.L bone controls only the vertexes in the Character's upper-left Arm.
    • Some vertexes are controlled by two or more bones. For instance, in a character's neck or elbow, some vertexes' influence right around the joint will be split 50/50 or 70/30 between bones.
    • Often, painstaking detail goes into making sure that each bone controls precisely the right vertexes, so that, for instance, when a characeter bends their elbow, the deformation in that part of the mesh looks correct.

    This skill will be useful in getting the lamp to kick the ball in your next assignment.

  • Watch Simulating Physics and recreate the animations in the video.
  • Build Lamp
    1. Spin lamp head. Wathc Spin Tutorial, then start with 1/2 a circle and spin it to be the lamp shade.
    2. Spin lamp base. Add a face on the bottom.
    3. Add two cylinders for lamp body.
    4. Add 3 spheres as joints for lamp
    5. Add a metal texture to your lamp components. Watch Brushed Chrome in 2 minutes or Shiny Chrome in under 2 minutes.
    6. Add armature to lamp. 4 bones: 1 for the base, 1 for lower cylinder, 1 for upper cylinder, 1 for lamp shade.
    7. Parent each cylinder to the appropriate bone.
    8. To get body of the lamp to not deform, keep the two top spheres and cylinders as separate objects.
    9. Parent the the top two spheres to the nearest bone. To do this:
      1. In pose mode, select the bone.
      2. In object mode, select the ball then the armature, go back to pose mode. Ctrl+ P, and choose "make parent to bone".

    10. Parent the lamp base to the first bone.
    11. Parent the lamp shade to the little bone at the top.
    12. To make the lamp look like a lamp, create a light bulb that emits light. Basic tutorial you've already seen: Intro to Lighting & Rendering in Cycles. More advanced tutorial: How To Create A Realistic Glow Material In Blender.
    13. Now create a spot light.
    14. Parent the bulb and spot light to the little bone of the armature.
    15. Append the ball and material from the Luxo Jr assignment to lamp file and size it so it looks good.

      Open file to copy into and press Shift+F1 and import object.

    16. Make a copy of the lamp and scale it down.
    17. Get the ball to roll by the lamp. I suggest using the method outlined here starting at 6:40 Rigging a Wheel.

      Note: If your ball suddenly relocates when you add the constraint, try clearing the location and origin. Do this by selecting the ball in object mode, then go to the Object Menu > Clear/Apply.

    18. Get parent lamp to initially follow the ball as it rolls by (add "track to" constraint on lamp bone to ball)
      (To get the camera to track an object, add a "track to"" constraint on the camera to the object. If you find the camera is not pointing at the object, try changing the "Up" setting to Y and the "To:" to -Z.) (Watch Camera Targets which shows how to add a "Track To" constraint to a camera.)
    19. Then get parent lamp to turn around and look as child hops in (need to add influence key to "track to" constraint)
    20. To get the child to hop in:
      1. In pose mode, keyframe the baby crouching for a jump.
      2. 10 frames ahead, keyframe the baby at the top of a jump, streched out (only vertical motion, no horizontal motion!)
      3. Copy and paste these frames in the Dope Sheet Mode "Action Editor" to repeat the jumping motion.
      4. Get the armature to follow a path for the horizontal motion

    21. Make two lamps kick ball back and forth.
    22. Render your movie. Video Tutorial: Rendering a Movie File


    CategoryDescriptionOut of
    Criteriamother lamp watches ball pass, then baby lamp hops past, mom and baby pass ball back and forth /10
    Modellinglamps, ball, plane, light bulb/10
    Textures & Colourslamps, ball, plane, light bulb/10
    Lightinglightbulb emission, spotlight, ambient lighting/10
    Animation & Camerarealism, speed, composition/10
    Extraswhat was done beyond the basic criteriaUp to 5 Bonus

    You are going to recreate the blowing up of the Death Star from the original Star Wars movie. Watch it now: This is red five going in!.

    1. Make the death star
      1. Create a UV Sphere
      2. In Edit Mode, loop cut and edge just below and just above the equator.
      3. Select the equator, the edge loop above it and the edge loop below it.
      4. Extrude the region (E key), then scale (S key) and shrink the region inwards to create the indent around the middle of the Death Star
      5. Sharpen the four edges of the new trench by using a loop cut above and below each edge, and moving the edges very close to the edges that need to be sharp. Sharp Edges on Smooth Objects
      6. To create the dish in the Death Star: In Object mode, create a second UV sphere (radius 80% of original) and intersect it with the first (to create a difference effect)
      7. Select the big sphere and apply a boolean modifier. Change the Operation to Difference and choose the small sphere object. Click "Apply". Delete the smaller sphere. This is your Death Star.
      8. Sharpen the edge around the dish
      9. Go to Object mode and smooth the death star.
    2. Choose a texture: texture 1 or texture 2 and open it in the UV/Image Editor.
    3. Unwrap the sphere (best way to do this is look at the death star from "front", unwrap it as a "Spherical Projection", and scale the mesh significantly larger than the texture)
    4. In Cycles Render, add a material to the death star. Open the node editor and add a image texture node to that material. You should now see the texture in the rendered image.
    5. Add light to make the Death Star look good. (Note that in reality, the Death Star would look like the moon where one side would be totally black, but not in Star Wars!)
    Add Stars to the Background
    1. Stars in Cycles Render. Use these settings starrysky.png.
    2. If your objects disappear from your renders after applying the stars texture, go to the "World" tab and uncheck "Diffuse".
    Model Two Ships
    1. Model two ships on your own. Others may come from a repository
    Add Some Action
    1. Make a couple of simple space ships.
    2. One scene should show the ships flying in to attack
    3. Another scene has the main space ship flying in the trench and shooting the deathly missile. Enemy ships are chasing this ship.
    4. The last scene shows the main ship flying away from the death star
    Add Glowing Missile
    1. Laser Beam in Cycles
    Camera Work
    1. This is the main point of the assignment.
    2. Camera Targets (BorgCG)
    3. Camera Tips (BorgCG)
    4. Six Camera Techniques
    Blow it up!
    1. As the main ship flys away from the Death Star, the death star will blow up!
    2. Basics of Explosions: Explosion Modifier
    3. Basics of Particles: Particles
    4. Adding fire color to particles. Pick a tutorial to watch: Smoke and Fire in Cycles (13 min), Smoke and Fire in Cycles (14 minutes), Explosions in Cycles (25 min long), Explosions in Cycles (50 min long)
    1. Blender Beginners Tutorial: Create A Star Wars Title Crawl That Looks More Like The Original
    2. A student's perspective on this project
    3. Modelling an X-Wing Fighter
    Death Star Movie Editing
    1. Render all frames for: ships flying into Death Star, ships inside trench, ship flying away, explosion.
    2. Use Movie Maker to make title and credits. Save these as mp4 files.
    3. Import the title and credits into the Blender Video Sequence Editor to make your final movie. Save it with codec H264 in the mp4 wrapper.
    4. For more Post-Processing & Video Effects #b3d

    Due Monday April 30


    CategoryDescriptionOut of
    Milestone 1Fri April 6 - Death Star done, other stuff started /10
    Milestone 2Wed April 11 - Ships and trench done, Starry Sky done, Animation started /10
    Milestone 3Wednesday April 18 - Either trench scene is finished OR ships flying in, ships flying out with explosion done. /10
    Milestone 4Monday April 23 - The other animated scene is finished. /10
    Criteriaship flies in to death star, enemies follow in trench scene, missile shot, ship flies away, death star blows up /10
    Modellingdeath star with trench, 2 ships by you, trench, other/10
    Textures & ColoursDeath Star, stars, ship, colours of explosion/10
    Lightingambient lighting, nearby sun on ds, missile, other/10
    Animationrealism, speed, realistic physics, explosion/10
    Cameraangle, motion of, port clipping, composition, cinematography/10
    Multimediaquality of movie created, resolution, size, byte size, quality of sound, opening, credits /10
    Extraswhat was done beyond the basic criteriaUp to 10 Bonus

    For this assignment you will animate the provided, rigged (with bones) Minecraft character in a WALK CYCLE, walking across the main ground grid.

    You MUST use the file provided to you or use Minecraft Guy to create it yourself.

    Assignment Requirements:
    1. Create a realistic walk cycle (in place, like on a treadmill) animation for your Minecraft Character. A basic walk cycle is shown Simple Minecraft Walk Cycle.
    2. Duplicate the entire walk-cycle 20ish times using the Dopesheet, so that your character walks in place for 20ish full steps.
    3. Use either Location Keyframes on the Controller Bone, or a follow path, to make your character walk across a plane. It should look like he is walking on the ground, not sliding or having troubles travelling across.
    4. Save your animation.
    5. Render out your animation.

    **Blender 2.79 has improved (less) noise when rendering in Cycles as compared to 2.77
    Camera Tab (properties window):
    • Seeding section:
      1. click the clock icon next to 'seed' so it becomes dark. This will randomize grain in each frame = better for video.
      2. Render samples: set to 50. (less = faster)
    • Light Paths Section:
      1. Turn off reflective caustics and refractive caustics
      2. turn 'filter glossy' up to 1
      3. Set 'Max Bounces' to 4.
      4. Transparency: Set max bounces to 4 and min bounces to 3.
    • Performance Section:
      1. Change 'Tile Order' from Hilbert Spiral to: Top to Bottom
      2. For a render size of 1920 x 1080, set tile sizes to:
        • x: 30
        • y:30
        • **both of these numbers are factors of 1920 and 1080, so no half-tiles will need to be rendered
    Scene (3rd) Tab (Properties Window):
    • Simplify Section:
      1. Enable simplify section with checkbox
    • Change both viewport and render subdivision to 2
    If rendering on faster (than room 203) computers, enable de-noising (new feature in 2.79):
    • Under the Render Layers Tab (2nd tab in properties window) > Denoising Section
      1. enable Denoising
      2. turn strength down to 0.25
      3. turn feature strength up to 0.7

    The Assignment

    Create a 1 minute (or longer) 3D movie that tells a story, using Blender

    In order to be successful, my project will need to perform functionally in the following ways:

      Needs to hold the audiences attention and keep them interested for the entire 
      1 minutes. 
      *Should not be tedious or monotonous. 
      *Needs to create a strong impression on the viewer. 
      *Needs to be entertaining 
       Aesthetics : 
      In order to be successful, my project will need to perform aesthetically in the following 
      *It will need to appeal to the viewers senses and create a good visual 
      *It should contain some good 3D and special effects. 
      *It shouldn’t be harsh on the eyes, and should be easy to watch. 
      *It should have an effective set out of graphics. 
       Methods to Determine the Success of the Project :
      *Display to a range of people and survey them for feedback and evaluation (ie. 
      Friends, family, school students / classmates, teachers, general public, etc). 

      Marking Criteria (/160)

      1. Meet Milestones * 6 (10 marks each)
      2. Length: At least 60 seconds long (/10)
      3. Plot and Story: It has a purpose and a story. (/10)
      4. Modelling: You may use models from other sources, credit must be given at the end of the movie. Only models done by you will count towards the modelling portion of the mark. (/10)
      5. Textures and Colours: It should look really, really good. (/10)
      6. Scenes: complexity and number of scenes (/10)
      7. Lighting: Appropriate use of lighting and lighting effects. (/10)
      8. Camera: Use of different camera angles, lenses, camera motion. (/10)
      9. Animation: realistic character animation, speed of motion
      10. Rendered Movie Quality: opening and credits, music (/10)
      11. Overall Complexity and Quality of Project (/10)


      1. (Apr 23) Hand in a printed storyline
      2. (/5) Milestone 1a Monday April 24 - Get storyboard approved AND hand in a printed list of:
        • models you need to create,
        • models you need to find at a repository
        • models you need to add an armature to
        • a list of each different scene and how you plan to do it
        • a list of effects like explode, cloth, fluid, physics you are going to use and how you are going to use them
        • a list of skills you need to learn to accomplish your goals.
      3. (/5) Milestone 1b: Monday May 7 - ONE of the following must be complete: All your models from your list complete with textures OR all your scenes built with textures and lighting.
      4. (/10) Milestone 2: Monday May 14 - Both of these must be complete: All your models from your list complete with textures OR all your scenes built with textures and lighting.
      5. (/10) Milestone 3 Monday May 21 - ONE of the following must be complete: 10 seconds (240 frames) of the final movie rendered OR 30 seconds animated (not rendered)
      6. (/10) Milestone 4 Monday May 28 - ONE of the following must be complete: 20 seconds (480 frames) of the final movie rendered OR 60 seconds animated (not rendered)
      7. (/10) Milestone 5 Monday June 4 - Show me 30 seconds of the movie rendered.
      8. (/10) Milestone 6 Monday June 11 - Show me 45 seconds of the movie animated movie rendered.
      9. Friday June 15: Hand in final movie with opening, credits and sound effects
      1. Reducing Render Noise in Cycles

    Please fill out the evaluation to help improve this course in the future:

    ICTX Course Evaluation