3D Project How-To



Pastel Sketch of Eye/Iris


Like the previous project, I began this project with drawing pastel eyes towards the beginning. I drew an iris later on, as I realized it would need to be moving separately.


Pastel Sketch of Flesh


I drew a surface that matched somewhat the outside of the pastel eye. Later on, I would feather the edges of the eye to allow it to seamlessly blend with this “flesh” image.


Pastel Sketch of Background


Though I decided on a background much later in the project, the sketch should have occurred much sooner. This sketch would serve as a texture for the background of my 3D clip.




Like my previous attempts, I tried to keep the angle of the lens perpendicular to the surface I was photographing and tried to reduce interference with lighting. I uploaded all images to Photoshop for further manipulation.


Liberation Through Photoshop


Using Masking, I liberated the eye and the iris by painting out feathered edges. For the flesh, I used the “color range” option under Select and picked a few color swatches to eliminate. I masked out the sections that were paper-colored and feathered the edges. Now, all my assets were liberated.


Creation of Mesh


Starting from a plane texture, I used the Split Polygon Tool in Maya to create a mesh of my 3D model. This required me to count edges and faces (the sections that make up a mesh) in order to get an eye that looked realistic. To create the eye, I created a separate spherical mesh. To create the background, I created a larger cylindrical mesh.


Texturing of Mesh with PhotoShop Assets


After mapping the mesh section by section, I exported the UV map to Photoshop, where I began placing textures over the appropriate areas. Once the textures were placed, I imported the final map back into Maya and placed it over the models.






I created keyframes on every frame to give the eyes a twitching motion. Using the Graph Editor, I set the looping to “post-infinity” to ensure that the motion would repeat.




I made several copies of the model and gave them each their own individual animation to create some variety. I also sized some up and down to increase variety.



Camera Animation


Using the Create Camera function in Maya, I now had a tool that would record only what I wanted the viewer to see. I keyframed points that I wanted the viewer to focus on. Larger intervals between keyframes would allow for long pans while shorter ones allowing for quicker transitions between models.




Because Maya was unable to export this video as a Quicktime Movie, I exported all of the frames of the animation as JPEG files. These were later uploaded into After Effects and compiled as a final movie.


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