Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal

I have chosen this song to accompany my animation for a couple reasons. Firstly because it’s a Michael Jackson song, which fits will with the ending moon walk and secondly the beating heart and breathing creates the tension at the start, acting as the voice of the moving character.


Cameras 1-6 rendered

Here are what the animation will look like from each different camera angle when rendered at about 50% quality in 720p, rendering takes a while due to the custom mental ray mia_surface_light and custom mia_textures on the animo rig. I had to replace them because the mia_light didn’t render properly on the standard lambert the original rig came with.

Lighting set up

Here is the lighting set up for the whole stage. There a red spotlights pointed from the front floor up to the back of the stage and blue spotlights pointed from the top back to the front, there also three white spotlights, one dynamic and two static. the two static are pointed inwards from the top front corners and there is one following the ball from a central point, as a spotlight would in a show. It is a hard to see but the are also a row of point lights at the back of the stage, they are here to brighten up the scene and to add some backdrop lighting on the under side of the character.

To improve the scene, I think I could create some models from the lights to sit in, make it look a little more realistic, instead of light just appear from no where.

First Render with textures, lighting and camera settings.

This is my first render of my ball with legs animation. I wanted to make a full render of this animation because, after I had cleaned up the animation of the walk cycle, I was pleased with the results. I’m still unsure about the movement of the feet and body in the spin section, I will have to revisit this.

I have been experimenting with different lighting set ups to familiarise myself with all the different settings, in this render I’m using an array of spot lights and point lights. I took reference from tutorials and images I found on the internet.

I have also been applying the camera skills we looked at in class last week and from the Lynda.com tutorials on cinematography in Maya, both of these I found extremely useful, not having much knowledge of this field before. I have used moving and static shots; long shots and close ups. I am also planning on adding in an extreme long shot in as well, possibly with a wide angle lens, so I can view the whole stage, with the full lighting array.

I have rendered this out on Adobe Premiere Pro, I haven’t used it before but it was very easy to navigate and pick up. I have used Michael Jacksons billy Jean as the music to go over the top, of course, it is a moon walk after all. I think could better synchronise the music with the dance because i did getting the timings and movement from a reference video of Michael Jacksons moon walk to Billy Jean.