Maya - generalist

modeling / texturing / animation / rendering

Paul Harrison - 3d graphics
Aug 2005 - Aug 2006

Paul spent a year working closely with photographer Douglas Fisher producing high quality CG images for advertising. Many images were produced combining photography with 3d graphics and a high level of realism was required. In this role Paul was required not only to model, texture, animate and render - but also to take responsibility for all aspects of the CG side of things and making sure the projects ran smoothly to conclusion. This required Paul at times also to act as Technical Director and Project Manager.

Paul is currently teaching Maya Core and Animation at Escape Studios to animation and VFX students.
RECENT WORK:

Paul had been working for the past year at Mainframe as Senior 3D Generalist and Lead Animator.

Prior to that Paul had been working freelance as a maya generalist mainly in animation for advertising and television broadcast.

He works mainly with Smoke and Mirrors, the BBC, Disney Channel, Th1ng and various other production companies.

Recent broadcast work for the BBC includes the Beijing Olympics, Ski Sunday and the a range of stings and graphics for the Superbowl.

Other recent projects include animations for the Disney Channel. An opening sting for Movies at Five and a short animation for Phineas and Ferb.

Also working with Th1ng Studios Paul has produced advertisements for Felix Catfood, Sony and Dairy Lea Lunchables amongst others.

Being a small production company, the full range of skills are required for these projects. From defining the initial look to controlling the pipeline to final animation and rendering. Each project brings a new range of challenges.

For Felix Paul was solely responsible for all CG work in the advert - which consisted of everything apart from the cat and the one or two characters. This involved modeling, animating and rendering - determining the look of the environments and integrating the 2d animation into the 3d environments.

Apr 2005 - Jul 2005

Worked on Tycoon New York - a PC game for Deep Red / Atari.

Work involved modeling and texturing buildings and environments for the city of New York.

prior to Apr 2005

Worked with Atlantean Pictures to produce animated visualisations of blood vessels and viruses for the Discovery Channel, amongst other projects.

A more complete work history can be viewed here - (a previous cvcv)

Advertising/Broadcast
Disney Channel

For the Disney XD channel I produced a few short Christmas stings. Here are two: Scalextric and Sleigh.

The XD Channel is geared towards teenage boys, so an appropriate dynamic look was needed.

For the Scalextric sting I came up with the concept and took the idea right through to completion. This involved defining the look, choosing the various shots and working on the timing of the animation.

For both the Scalextric sting and the Sleigh sting keeping within the XD brand but using it creatively was paramount. For both stings i found creative ways of using the logo to good effect.

Disney

Also for the Disney Channel I produced an intro for their Movies at Five slot, and also a short animation for Phineas and Ferb.

The Phineas and Ferb animation features two handmade versions of the characters made from household items fashioned into a Jack-in-the-box. It was used for a special 3d edition of the show to be viewed though 3d glasses.

The challenge was to model characters which were faithful to the 2d cartoon characters, but looking as if made from household items.

Smoke & Mirrors
Fosters

This Fosters advert appeared throughout the tube network. The idea is the beer is bursting out of the can in the manner of the hulk.

I was responsible for all aspects of this project - modelling, texturing, rigging, animation and rendering.

An original image for print had to be closely matched which presented several challenges, as much about the original image had been fudged for effect.

Apparently these 'Scuba' cans do actually tend to explode, so the client was very anxious to have the can open 'evenly' while still appearing 'dynamic'. This was quite a challenge and the cause of much frustration along the way but a good result was finally achieved.

BBC Sport Graphics
olympics_beijing

I produced a series if stings and links for the BBC coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. About 40 in all.

The biggest challenge of this project was constructing a version of the 'Bird's Nest' stadium which could be used as a graphic element. This meant repeating patterns so animation could be looped.

I also produced the graphics representing four different times of day, to give a sense of local time during the coverage.

Graphics I produced were so well received that i was asked to produce versions for other programs too, such as Blue Peter.

I was asked to do a series of about 20 stings for the 2008 superbowl by the BBC.

I was given free rein with the design and concept, except for the stipulation that it must be in keeping with American NFL graphics, with a metallic look.

The stings went down very well and print versions of my artwork was also used to decorate the studio for the interview shots.

superbowl
alps

Again for the BBC I produced a series of journey maps for the programme 'Ski Sunday'.

Satellite data was used to generate accurate topography for the mountains, and this was combined with a more simple graphic style.

This project produced many technical challenges and I was brought in at a late stage to rescue the project which had gone somewhat pear-shaped. The main achievement was simply completing on time, though also the final look did exceed everyone's expectations.

Th1ng Studios
felix

On this Felix Catfood advert, there was a combination of hand drawn animation and computer generated environments. A talented team or 6-8 animators worked on the cat, and the people in the ad. I created everything else, from gardens to remote controlled cars and flapping washing.

One of the biggest challenges was integrating the 2d with the 3d convincingly - particularly where felix plays with the remote controlled car.

And casting shadows on the grass was also an achievement - but you barely notice that...

dairylea
This one was for Dairy Lea Lunchables. For this i was part of a team of about 8 of us. My role was mainly modeling and character design and well as some trouble shooting and problem solving. There was quite a lot of trouble to be shot on this one.
sony
Although i worked on the modeling and texturing for the street in this Sony ad, my main contribution was the light trails. This posed quite a technical problem as they needed to weave in and out of the filmed footage of the product in the store also.
Character Modeling and Animation
These characters were created for a pitch for an advert for contact lenses. They are optical nerves. The brief stipulated as gruesome as possible. We won the pitch but the concept was canned - unsurprisingly.
This is just a walk cycle I did. All modeling, rigging and animation was done by me...

Advertising / publishing

All of these images were produced for advertising or print, many of which for billboards. As a result they were required to be produced at very high resolutions.

This gives rise to huge challenges not only in rendering large images but also with levels of detail and image quality. Always the demand is for an extremely high level of finish.

In all of these images Maya produced images are combined with photographic images.

Top Gear Magazine

This is from a series of images produced for an article about the new Citroen C6.

The futuristic house and the bollards were produced in Maya and rendered with Renderpipe hardware.

The car and the landscape were photographed and later combined with the image.

Nike / Man Utd

We produced a series of images for Nike for the launch of this season's Manchester Utd team strip.

Being 50yrs after the fateful plane crash and the era Sir Matt Busby, it was decided to produce a series of images depicting the entire Man Utd family tree with the present day players at the tips of the branches.

An entire oak tree was built to match the complex family tree diagram, complete with leaves and acorns. And 6 images of the players at the tips of the branches were also produced.

The level of detail required was minute, making this a mammoth task full of challenges.

Shell - Audi Le Mans

An advertising campaign for Shell which tied in with the La Mans 24hr race.

In this image everything but the car is CG.

The CG environment was first produced to scale in order to fix the camera angle. The measurements taken within the CG environment were then used to set up the camera on the shoot in Germany. This produced significant time and money savings on this project.

Renault Espace GPS

This image was for billboards across Europe advertising the New Renault Espace with GPS tracking.

The concept was a view of Paris with glass buildings offering a clear view to the Opera House.

Everything in this image but the figures and the sky was built in Maya and rendered with Renderpipe.

Rendering hi-res images of glass produced immense technical challenges and in the end demanded some very creative solutions.

Textures for the streets and Opera House were taken from photographic reference taken on site specially for this project to increase the realism.


Car images

The car images were all produced with a view to creating advertising images of cars without the need of photography. They were made in order to win agencies over to the possibility of images of cars which look beautiful photographically but are 100% produced with CGI.

This of course could save the car industry immense amounts of money and seems the natural progression for advertising images.

The biggest challenge is to make the paint textures and rubber and plastic details seem absolutely real even at high resolutions, and to make the car sit convincingly in it's environment.

Also a lot of very high-poly modeling was required for the fine detail of the cars, such as badges, indicators, lights and tyres.

This is an animated flyaround of a Land Rover Freelander.

(takes a few mins to load)

The landscape was constructed from photographs taken around Dartmoor.


Mainframe

This is one of four stings produced for Magic TV.

I was responsible for producing two of these from start to finish in just four weeks. The characters and look was designed by a colleague, but I built the scenes, provided rigging and animated all characters in this.

The biggest challenge in this job was creating the world in curved space in a way which could work with a camera move, and splitting the world into three regions to work with the pacing and timing of the animation. This actually made all else in the animation quite secondary, but we were all pleased with the results.

This was a piece commissioned by the Welsh Rugby Union to be played in the Millennium Stadium, and also for television adverts.

This was a huge job with many big challenges. Motion capture was combined with a complex particle systems to create the characters and collisions.

My role in this job was to animate the opening scene to solve some of the issues with particle systems, to put together the motion capture into a dynamic animatic and to get the camera angles working with it, and to pull together the elements and get the lighting and rendering working.

I believe the work I did on the animatic really paid off. This piece works on account of the timing and energy of the shots.

 

 

This character was designed and rigged for a job which eventually didn't make it to air, so this animation was done for a prime spot in the Mainframe showreel.

The character was changed ever so slightly to make him resemble Adam Jenns the Mainman at Mainframe.

This Advert was produced for Google to promote their Adwords Training program.

Although i didn't design the character or animate the walk, every other aspect of this animation is mine. Having been given the voiceover, it was my job to find a way to convey the lengthy script visually with a number of different representations.

This advert was also produced in a number of different languages, so one of the challenges was to time the animation to allow for some flexibility, so the timing could be sped up or slowed in post to fit.

 

 

These are a series of animated in-store displays done for Harrods in Knightsbridge.

I was chiefly responsible for the animation of the butterflies.

Paul has been working In 3D animation for eight years now.

This showreel is a selection of mostly recent work.