Light Steed Created for Academy College

Light Steed
Still frame from running horse animation

Light Steed

Form

CLASSIFICATION //

3D, digital, vector, NURBS

Format:

3D render, touched up with Photoshop

Medium:

NURBS

Function

CLASSIFICATION //

animation, minimalist, horse, animal

Subject:

Steel horse traveling at light speed

Theme:

Futuristic mechanical idealism

Mechanics:

Smoothness and solidity of forms convey elegance and strength. Black background focuses attention on foreground. Diagonal angle suggests motion.

Creation

CLASSIFICATION //

assignment, study, modeling, concepting, drafting, sketching

Completion Date:

2002-11

Duration:

About 15 hours

Influences:

Greek and Egyptian depictions of horses served as inspiration and guided many of the original sketches. I initially planned to use a flat shader with some Egyptian patterning and tie the pattern into some kind of exaggerated physical attribute. After some experimentation with different options, I decided to go the metallic route. It seemed to work with my model and excuse some of my model's shortcomings.

Clients:

3D Character Animation class final project

Process:

In Maya, using NURBS, I modeled a horse in its binding pose and created its rigging system from scratch. I attached an elongated sphere beneath the horse and applied a glowing shader with motion-blur effect. The 20-second animation this is from had overlapping polygons that proved too difficult for me to accurately weight to the rig. I'd never animated a quadrupedal figure. I was at least able to capture some attractive still frames.

In Photoshop, I corrected the color of the eyes and smoothed out some of the geometry.

Tools:

Alias Maya 6, Adobe Photoshop CS

Challenges:

Animating a quadruped was more challenging than I expected, largely due to the polygons around the upper thighs, which needed to be weighted to move in several directions without distorting surrounding geometry.

Research:

NURBS, Maya, quadrupedal walk cycles