Year 1 contents section

This post is a contents section linking back to previous key submission posts from my first year of the Nextgen course.

Room project

Inside the Box: Final renders submission post

ImAwesome Ident

Original ident: ImAwesome Ident project: Ident submission post

Improved ident: ImAwesome Ident project: Improved animation submission post

Break the Cycle – Walk cycle

Break the cycle: Walk cycle submission post



First blog post

Hi, this is my introductory post to this blog. I am Rachael Wingate, a NextGen student who is studying animation, 3D modelling, games design, programming, concept art and VFX. My main areas of interest are animation and 3D modelling, because it is my dream to become an animator, and my ultimate career goal would be to become a professional 3D animator. I expect that this course is really going to challenge me, I am completely new to all of the software and I know that the standards are really high and industry driven, however I am excited to take on this challenge and learn along the way. I love to be challenged, and I can’t wait to learn more about all of the above subjects.

Week 14: MVP Deadline!

Today is the day of our minimum viable product deadline! We were evaluated by some of our lecturers on our group work so far! Unfortunately we didn’t have as much animated as we should have, which is entirely my fault for struggling to keep productive, however never the less the feedback we recieved was good!

The first part of our feedback was about the texturing, which is mainly down to Ebonny! We were told that our world will look more interesting when the textures are applied to the environment and characters, and that the texturing so far is looking really good, so that part of the feedback was super good.

The second part of the feedback was that we need to look more into and work on the digetic and non-digetic sounds within our world. This is another task that is mainly Ebonny’s, and so far she has been greatly focused on making the textures look awesome, so she will probably handle this in the next week or so, in time for the actual compiling and editing.

The third part of our feedback is all about the animation, which is my main task in this project! The lecturers pointed out that it is a good start, but only blocked animation isn’t where the project should be. They said that in order to catch up, the best course of action would be to do some animation every day until the deadline. This sounds like a grueling task, but I definitely owe it to our group to catch up and get us back on schedule, because it’s entirely my fault that we are behind on the animation side of things.

Overall, the teamwork side of our project is still good! We communicate frequently, and Ebonny has been a super efficient and supportive team member. I feel like I’ve let our team down with terrible time management, and this is something that I really want to turn around because it would suck for our team to get so far, then be totally let down by my bad time management. I’m optimistic that we can get the animation at least moving nicely by the presentation, it probably won’t be perfect, but hopefully it will at least look nice!

Imagined Worlds Project: Life imitates art!

Over the past couple of days, I have been continuing to rig the models for our animation! With Lilith complete two days ago, I set off with my newfound rigging skills to attempt to speedily and efficiently rig Zach.

To be honest, I didn’t use any new techniques on this. I duplicated the skeleton that I made for Lilith, because when modelling the characters, I used the same body with the intention of making rigging easier to save as much time as possible. With the duplicated rig, I then skinned Zach’s character model to it. I attempted to use the interactive skin bind with capsuling like I did for Lilith, but for some reason it didn’t want to work, so I manually painted the skin weights for all of the muscles myseslf. This took quite a while, but turned out rewarding, because I’m happy with how he moves! I then decided to pose the models and get some renders of them in a pose inspired by some concept art created by Ebonny.




Overall, I am over the moon with the progress that I have made in this project. This experience has been invaluable, because rigging is really difficult, and now I can rig two models in the space of a week! Now that the models are rigged, I can start animating! There isn’t much content in this post, but it felt worth blogging about because it’s progress!

Imagined Worlds Project: Lilith rig

After a week of slow progress, Lilith finally has a rig! *Final Fantasy victory theme ensues*

It took a considerable amount of work, but boy has this been a learning experience! Rigging is a completely new thing for me, so rigging Lilith has had it’s tribulations. The first thing that I did was to ask Matt for help. He showed me the character rigging tool which generates a human skeleton, and then scaled it down to Lilith’s size. We moved the joints to where they should be on Lilith, then used the mirror function to make it symmetrical.

Lilith skelebob

I then used the interactive bind skin to capsule the areas of the model to the skeleton. This is where I got confused, because I couldn’t really work out what was happening, and everything just felt like it wasn’t working. I didn’t understand that areas that aren’t capsuled go crazy unless you cover them with a different capsule, so I thought that all of the parts that the capsules automatically cover would have to contain what they do as they first appear. This sounds confusing to read, but to give an example, when I loaded the interactive skin bind, the left arm capsule covered the entire head, ears, and torso of the model. When I tried to move it, the ears went crazy, so for about 6 days I thought that the left arm capsule would have to contain the ears to stop them from trailing along the ground. Only yesterday did I figure out that the head capsule could contain the ears, and that this would stop them from going crazy. After capsuling the model as good as possible, things still didn’t move right, so I had to ask for Matt’s help again.

Today, Matt showed me the paint skin weights tool. It took me a small while to figure out how it works and how to use it properly (because for some reason it just perplexed me and I couldn’t make it paint?), but eventually it worked! To try and make parts work better, I used a combination of copy and pasting vertex weights and painting on weight to make the muscles bend as close to humanly as possible! After testing the movements individually, I decided to test a whole body movement…


Overall, I am so happy with this! I’m slightly annoyed at myself for taking so long to rig her now that I know where I went wrong, but it’s a learning curve, and it’s something that was previously entirely new to me, so I can forgive myself for taking a while. I’m happy with how it looks and moves, so I think for now she is done! My next steps will be to rig Zach, then hopefully Ebonny will have put together the environment by tomorrow so that we can start animating on Thursday or Friday!

Creative and Technical Model: Schedule week 2 – 2 weeks remaining!

Today brings the day of the second week of model production in our month until the deadline.

Lilith production schedule 21.11.17

As you can see from this pipeline schedule, I am still working on the high poly model. To be completely honest, nothing has changed in terms of high poly modelling for Lilith, because most of my active time has been spent making small amounts of progress rigging the model for animation for the Imagined Worlds project. I would love to show modelling progress, but sadly there just isn’t any to show.

To be honest, I’m annoyed at myself for making little progress, so I hope to spend as much of tomorrow as possible making the high poly model so that I can catch up with this schedule, because I can’t afford to rush everything at the last minute for all of the current deadlines. I plan to try my hand at Mudbox tomorrow to sculpt more detail for the high poly model, just so that she has nicer details, because at the moment she looks a bit flat and boring without textures. I shall write an update tomorrow and link it in this post as a continuation so that there can be at least some content linked to this post.

Week 11: Group assessment

A LOT has changed with our project since our last review!

After getting together and starting working on the animatic last week, we acted out the timings for our animation. It totalled about 45 seconds, which is 15 seconds over the limit, so we decided to cut some small parts out of the first of what we planned to be 3 parts to our animation. After trying to cut down any possible parts of that interaction, the first of our planned three parts totalled 26 seconds, and it would be absolutely impossible to fit the other two interactions in 4 seconds. We talked about our options, and we came to the group consensus to cut the animation so that it would only be the first part, Zach and Lilith bickering over whether they are lost or not. We felt that this interaction closing with Zach disappearing and Lilith storming off does come to a reasonable close, even though the previous ending had a better conclusion, it would be better to keep one good interaction than forcing 3 segments into a rushed 30 second interaction.

Our overall progress now looks quite different. With a third of our original asset list gone, our remaining tasks have been cut significantly, and our asset list now looks more manageable! The overall teamwork and communication is has been pretty good with this week. To be honest, my time management has been poor this week, and I didn’t get the rigging done as I had wanted to, which overall has delayed animating considerably, however I’m working on it, and it should be done by Wednesday at this point! Ebonny has kept up with her tasks very well, our burndown chart is now almost back on track!  Our only concerns at the moment are that we are both getting anxious because the deadline is quickly approaching, and that’s scary, but our progress as a team, when you look at it objectively, is looking good! We don’t have many tasks left, on paper, so everything will likely be okay!

Creative and Technical Model: Production scheduling

In today’s lesson, Matt told us to make a modelling pipeline schedule to follow for our remaining month of making this model.


Lilith production schedule

I decided to be realistic with my timetable. I know that it is going to take a while to make the high poly model, because I have a lot of other tasks to do for the Imagined Worlds project in the next two weeks, so realistically I am more likely to focus on that than making the model high poly. I am hoping to get ahead of schedule, because it looks like if I lose track, everything might accidentally become a last minute rush, but hopefully things will keep on track.

I spent the rest of this lesson trying to rig the Lilith model so that we can start animating as soon as possible! Unfortunately this means I have nothing else useful to show for this post, but hopefully there will be more to add in days to come!

Week 10: Group assessment

After looking at our group progress today, everything is definitely coming up Milhouse!

We added our completed tasks to our burndown chart, and it is getting closer to the expected progress! We took some time to work out how much progress we can make this week, and based on where we are now, we should be able to finish almost a third of our tasks by the end of this week!

So far, I feel like the teamwork element of our project is going well. Now that the UVs are unwrapped for most of the models, Ebonny will finally be able to get on with the texturing and check more things off the asset list. Overall, communication on my part hasn’t been great, which is mostly because I had to cut myself off a little to focus on making the character models, and this was mostly in sacrifice to time management because I didn’t want to let myself get distracted with social media instead of making important assets. Now that the character models are *near enough* done and ready for rigging, communication will have to be better on my part, because animating is going to require a huge amount of communication so that the feel of the shot isn’t lost and we are both on the same wavelength.

As long as we stick to our predicted schedule, we should be able to mow through the tasks and get most of our delayed tasks done by the end of this week. I’m feeling confident about our teamwork at the moment, now that one character is modeled and UV unwrapped, and the other just needs small modelling changes, I no longer feel like I am letting Ebonny down. Hopefully we can get the models rigged tomorrow so that we can get most of the animation blocking done by the end of the week!