Studio Guided Project – 2 Week Project


So we where given the brief about what would entail in the upcoming months.

Fiona and Tom told us that we would initially start with a simple project based on their own in house side project system they called “Random Weekly Challenge”.

This is where they can test things, have fun and flex their muscles, whilst also keeping the creative juices flowing. It is comprised of simple loop animations that where a few seconds long.

Below are the Taunt teams animations.

Aime KP:

A simple drawing showcasing their first prompt “LOUD”.

Tom Getty’s:

Tom said that he wanted to experiment with fur/ hair and this allowed him to do so.

Fiona McLaughlin’s:

Similar to Aimee’s, (or the other way around) this time showcasing 3D and 2D animation.

Fiona mentioned how simple it actually was. The 2D part was just wiggled.

Initial Ideas

During the meeting with Fiona, Tom and Aimee, I thought about the reasoning they have when creating the weekly challenge. That is to challenge yourself and it gives an oppourtunity to try something new or something you are interested.

It gave them focus on certain topics.

I said last semester that I wanted to focus on light and texturing seeing some of the work in Taunt’s showreel, makes me want to work on it even more.

So when given word “Division”, I immediately went with cells and how they divide. Although, I was interested in it when I was researching for the small mash project that I was working toward. I wanted to create an underwater coral scene with Mash, similar, but not the same as the video below.

So with this already in mind, I decided I wanted to do just this. Although, I wanted to try different avenues first.

The Balloon Conundrum….

This idea was the second, as I feared that the first idea might be too difficult to do on time. Therefore, I decided to sketch out my second idea, Balloons.

The balloon would be tied down with the other balloons coming past him being all different colours. However this never made it based the concept stage as I did not find it interesting nor challenging enough.



Therefore, I decided to go for the idea of having two cells mid divide. Initially I wanted them to have faces, however, feedback from others suggested this to be a wrong move some saying it would be off putting.

Therefore, I just decided that I would that I would have them split.

I then decided that I should research to get an idea on the look and colour palette.


I started where I always start… Pinterest, Google and McVids….. So here we go.

The things that I am trying to keep an eye out for is;

  • Texture
  • What dividing cells look like
  • Colour


Moodboard – Textures of Cells

Lighting and Framing:

Moodboard – Lighting and Framing

Colour Scheme:

This is open to how the cells appear and the background colours.

Moodboard – Cell and Background Colour

Things to keep in mind when designing and lighting is:

  • Rim Light
  • Light within the cell
  • Different shapes and colours for the nucleus within the Cells
  • Texture – Maybe use bump map, or find another way

To get a feel for the animation and cinematography/ framing of the shot within my own work I studied some medical/ scientific educational animations.

Studying these will also allow me to see how lighting is explored as well as how particles are used.

Time Stamp 0:38

I would like to implement this background but instead of dark and gloomy, maybe make it a little more vibrant and poppy, adding to the cuteness, or maybe have it go from cute to dark as it goes on.

Time stamp 0:24.

What I noticed about the medical documentaries, especially the one above, is that the cells in the background have basic lights within them. Maybe with the concept of light linking, I can keep the one light on them to keep some sort of rim light, allowing them to be seen without taking away from the main cell in the foreground.

Something, that I thought might come in useful is creating comps for this. I mean, creating backdrops or adding in effects in After Effects, just to flesh it out a bit really.

I wanted to know if there was a way to create the Cell, seeing as there are plethora of cell 3D educational animations.

The tutorial below demonstrated a way that I could create the noise on the cells surface, as seen in the educational videos above.

The tutorial above REALLY helped me out with this certain dividing cell fiasco I am having with the model itself.

Within this tutorial, Emily shows us how to create a Meta Ball, typically found in Cinema4D using cluster deformer and NParticles.

Emily then proceeds to lay down Nparticles. Once done, she right clicks on them and clicks particle, she then goes to Deform – Cluster.

She converts NParticles to Polygons found in Modify – Convert – NParticles to Polygons (MAKE SURE YOU SELECT NPARTICLES IN THE OUTLINER BEFOREHAND)

Arribute Editor – NParticleShape1Deformed – OutPut Mesh

She then played around with blobby radius and other settings.

What I liked about this video is that is that Emily shows us in depth how to create this cell like NParticle effect where other people really haven’t, maybe no one knows.

But I like that she not only shows you how to make it but shows you how it works, when it works and animated and textures them as well. A really helpful tutorial over all.

I had to look on the autodesk website for help.

Displacement Mapping by connecting a texture as a displacement map. This was another way I heard of adding textures, but I ran out of time to learn the hypergraph.

Adding in noise for the Cell outer structure. I had problems with finding how to add noise, again in the Hyper Graph.

Feedback from Michael:

Michael, the new tutor, not only showed me a way to create better animations. But he also told me about a few things that might help me out when creating the light on the model.

Henry talked about Fresnel lighting and Light linking.

Fresnel makes it so that no matter where your camera is, it will always give it a rim light.

Light-Linking is found in the relationship editor and you can choose which objects that are lit by certain

This would be useful, if there was a problem with doing fresnel lighting, as it seems a little bit more complicated.


I had one vision in mind when creating these concepts.

My other designs consisted of changing the HUE and experimenting with the different.

Final Renders:

Following the feedback I had from taunt, there was less junk, as Tom said “Less is more”. I took away the extra cells that where in the background and just kept blood cells at varying degrees of rotation.

I lit the cell inside and out. I could not get fresnel to work, however, I was able to get the effect I wanted using Arnold lights, mainly area lights to achieve this.

Original Still Image (AA = 6)

The differences between the final rendered image and the below animations is the 3D Container is not in the same place.
Things that are different:

  • 3D Container – Not emitting in the same place as the final render. I also do not like the look of the particle effects coming into frame. This was actually missed on my last render, however, given the time frame I had, I chose not to put another on render.
  • The background models are displayed differently. I wanted not only the flow of the blood cells coming in, but I also wanted it to look natural and appealing. So I stuck to the final test render that Tom talked about.



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