Maya was the programme that I used to create my 3D stapler, using the techniques I had previously learnt such as shading, sculpting and animating. I was basing my 15 second animation off an ordinary stapler that I had documented in task 2 of the 3D animation task, however in the animation itself I would be altering the shape slightly in order to portray emotions and exaggerated movements. My stapler will express excitement in my animation by looking left and right and then jumping in the air several time, the excitement will be caused from a dozen staple boxes falling to each side of the stapler prior to it moving. I continuously referenced my ‘Colosseum Practice (Maya)’ blog for tips and tricks about modelling.
My first step was to create the piece of stationary, this was done by creating an Polygon Cube and stretching it out to a rectangle size, this would be the base of the stapler. From looking at the shape of the stapler I could see that the bottom was not completely straight, it had a grip underneath, in order to mould the shape to how I wanted it, I used the Insert Edge Loop tool found in the Mesh Tools tab. Once having an appropriate amount of divisions on my base I moved the edges to appear like they were curves on the grip. I used the same technique to make the arm, pivot and tooth of the stapler.
To add colour to each polygon I selected Windows> Rendering Editors> Hypershade, this was a tool I had previously worked with however I did find difficulty in how to use it. To create new colours/ textures in the Node Box, I held down right click selected Create and then Materials to select the correct shine for the material. The metal parts like the tooth, staples and crimp area would have more of a shine compared to the handle and and base as they were made from plastic. To add colour all I did was go to the Property Editor located on the right of the Hypershade tab and selected the colour I wanted in the Common Material Properties bar.
After designing the stapler, up next was designing the staple boxes, this was done in aa very similar way to my other blog ‘Shading (Maya)’, where I used tools such as the UV Editor and Hypershade to put a texture on to the box. When it came to the box design, I wanted it to be clear what the box contained, as well as it being bright for people to see. I took inspiration from the industrial design of Markwell and Bostitch staple boxes but I wanted to at the humour of a Cards Against Humanity box so I added a joke to the packaging. I designed the box using Photoshop 2017 and used the filter Smudge Stick located at Filter> Filter Gallery, I also added the Crystallie Pixalte filter by going to Filter> Pixelate> Crystallize. To get it on to the UV snapshot template I decreased the size down to a rectangular box size, placed it on to the UV snapshot file and then uploaded it to Maya.
Once I finished creating the stapler, I then had to animate in Maya. This was something I had done before however it was more challenging as there were many different components to control. I did have difficulty with this as I did have a few problems which resulted in me having to restart the animation, however I was able to recover from them. The idea of my animation was to have a pack of staples placed on either side of the stapler and for the stapler to look at them and then start jumping in joy, the handle would then open up with a set of staples going into the carrier and for it to close again. I would have the stapler jump in the air a couple times with each jump being higher than the previous. One problem that occurred was when I wanted to rotate the entire object, instead of it all turning as a group, they would all spin on their individual pivots so I had to frame them individually.
For animating the boxes that fly into frame, I used the ideas from my two blogs ‘Animating (Maya)’ and Bouncing Ball (Maya)’ as these had key points that were helpful to this task. What I did first was creating a Polygon Cube and then stretched it using the Scale Tool located on the left menu bar.
After adding my textures to each object, using Hypershade I pressed the button 6 to view the textures I had created, number 5 will view block colours and number 7 will show the lighting in my scene. The staple boxes I created were mainly animated between 35 frames, however to make them seem like the apply to Earth’s gravity I had a few fall over the others to appear like collisions and them being unbalanced. When making the large collection to duplicate the shapes quickly I clicked the button ‘G’, however if I wasn’t constantly duplicating then I wold use the short cut cmd+ d. I had some difficulty with creating the boxes as they kept colliding with one another so I had to add key frames with in the timelines. If i was unhappy with the speed in which an object would move then I would go to Windows> Animation Editors> Dope Sheet and adjust the distance by highlighting the ones I want and moving them by holding down the middle mouse button, like I did with the animation blog I had done before. Even though I created a template for the staple boxes and the staple that comes into frame, I decided to go with a stock wooden texture from Maya for the walls, this was found in the same area where I found the option to file fill for the staple boxes, because I found difficulty in finding a texture that worked by if I had time then I would create my own custom background, likewise with the floor.
After completing the animation and adding both a background and floor, I added lighting otherwise there wouldn’t be a good rendering result and I would get nothing other than a black screen. This step was easy as all I had to do was go to Create> Lights> Area Lights an then pointed it towards the stapler, I would know what direction the light was facing by looking at the point that sticks out of the created light tool. I decided to add two area lights as they would be able to make certain parts clearer compared to just having one; one was face down at an angle at the stapler and the other was angled down to the side of the stapler.
Once adding the light in Maya, I then rendered the animation by clicking Render> Batch Render and then waiting for all the frames to process. After having a total number of 500 iff file images of my animation, I then opened them all in After Effects where I would change them into a mov. file and launch in Premier Pro, where I would have additional lighting to boost what I already had, while still having the two spotlights on the stapler. Lighting is essential when it comes to animation as it can highlight a character’s emotions or physical motions to indicate where viewers should be looking, or even for shadow the rest of the story.
This would be a good promotion for the stationary company as it promotes happiness throughout the trailer so viewers will be drawn to it. The age group that this treatment is aimed at is between 15-30; having a 3D cartoon-like animation could remind children of movies such as Toy Story or Incredibles as well as getting them enthusiastic about stationary too. The use of humour in packaging and the stapler movement will draw more of a middle aged audience as they tend to have more of a dry sense of humour. I’ve decided to call this animation “Overload” as there is an ‘overload’ of staple boxes as well as the large movement that could appear over the top and dramatic. As my stapler has no gender as it is an inanimate object it will apply to both audience genders, this would be more clearer if i was to change the colour to more of a unisex colour like red or purple. If i was to create a more in depth animation then I would probably need a budget so then I could buy the programme Maya on PC and a stapler from the stationary company to base my work off.
As my first for a short animation with a lot of production I feel pretty pleased with the out come, if I did more research into modelling and having the option to stretch and morph the object then I would be able to portray happiness in my stapler easier, however I feel like I was able to with what I had animated. As it a show case of happiness and it is quite simple animation, I would base the audience for this video for children of both genders because it is child friendly (i.e no gore or sexual language). If I was told to do a similar task like this in the future I would be more comfortable to do so, especially after learning the skills I have in the previous Maya tasks, however I would need a little more practice on placing textures on to an object that it’s a cuboid as that is all I’ve been working with at the moment.