2020-2021::DATT 2501: Introduction to 3D Animation

Course Director: Joe Hambleton

TA: Ilze Briede

Provides a foundation in 3D animation using state of the art render time 3D modelling and animation software such as Maya, Blender, and 3DS Max. The course will provide a survey of various animation techniques and approaches with an emphasis on render time animation as it is used in 3D art, 3D animation, data visualization and games. Topics include, scene building, character animation, timeline based animation techniques, and the use of 3D graphics in simulation and visualization.

Reflections of a Corrupt System

Linda Tieu

Reflections of a Corrupt System is a 3D animation that represents the relationship between an individual and a corrupted society. The theme “complexity” is used in this artwork to represent that relationship within a social system. Within a corrupted social system, there are people who exploit power through coercive methods. This threatens social balance. As a result of social balance being threatened, the character in this animation suffers from the negative effects of the system. Mirrors are commonly used to represent an aspect of someone such as their personality. The mirrors in this artwork are a reflection of the indifference and cruelty of people who are part of the social system who take no responsibilities for their actions and do not listen to those who voice their desire for change. Pillars that stretch and topple over give a sense of power and authority and high ranking status. When the mirrors fall, this shows a result of this imbalance. People who disapprove of this social imbalance try to fight against it by spreading awareness and desire changes to be made to the system. In doing so, their voices can be heard by people publicly and they could join in fighting for a better society.


Xinyang Wang

This project aims to recreate a photography series (which was an artwork created by me for my previous DATT course assignment) in an immersive 3D world. It was primarily modelled & animated & rendered in Maya and video-edited in After Effects. The title Day’DREAm refers to both daydream and to dread (represented in uppercase letters). The Day’DREAm original was a collection of dark horror fantasies that depicted the character (me) got trapped in a terrifyingly virtual environment and could not escape from it. The work reflected the theme of resistance as well as my real-life experience —— the photos were taken during Covid-19 Pandemic while I was taking a one-month quarantine as a returnee. During the quarantine, I felt stuck in unprecedentedly negative emotions involving stress, anxiety, and fear while staying in a very narrow and small hotel room. I hoped to use these pictures to offer a truthful take on the world of my mind as well as convey abstraction through editing the photos. In brief, this project illustrates a story that the character got off the bed, walked to the washroom, met some terrifying thing, and finally woke up in the bed. I believed the most innovative points in 3D animation Day’DREAm were camerawork, storytelling, length of shots, and lighting. Firstly, Day’DREAm was first-person-view which meant the camera always followed the character’s head. It looked extremely unique because Maya didn’t literally feature the first-person perspective working with rigged models —— all of the camerawork was filmed by hand. The keyframes were inserted in almost every single frame in some scenes in which the character frequently rotated his head. Secondly, Day’DREAm’s plot was designed as circular which ended with the character returning to the situation similar to the one at the beginning of the story. It intended to convey an underlying message that the character actually never woke up from the nightmare. Thirdly, I made the camera cut increasingly fast to convey the emotion of nervousness and creepiness to the audience while the final scene’s shot (waking up in the bed) was very long to make a contrast to the early scenes. Lastly, lighting was another key element in this project. I utilized the brightness of the light in order to create a scary atmosphere that was woven into every scene. For instance, in the beginning, the lamp in the bedroom only gave off weak light, then the character turned on the bathroom’s light which led to the whole screen becoming very bright, and finally the light from above went off while the tube light on the wall started flickering. I’d like to use the brightness contrast to make the audience feel they were experiencing a real life whereas creepy things happened suddenly in the next second.

Touching Base

Adrian Fearman

Exploring the themes of invisibility and intentionality I wanted to convey the new relationships we are developing with digital communication during the pandemic. In a world where we no longer have the option to be physically connected, I wanted to explore the idea that being forced to rely on digital communication can sometimes feel isolating or overwhelming. Ultimately, however, it can be a tool to bring us closer. Referencing my own experience during this pandemic, I felt as though something that I once thought of as extremely familiar, like messaging friends, suddenly became a frustrating reminder of our distance. My natural response was to withdraw completely. It wasn’t until my friends reached out to me that I realized how badly I had been neglecting them. Their support and willingness to check in on me renewed my desire to search for new ways that we could connect, without dwelling on the limitations we have no control over. In this animation, I wanted to showcase what it would be like if all of those feelings were personified; the isolation of the characters behind a physical barrier, the reluctance to engage, and ultimately the renewed desire to connect. The concept is abstract but I wanted to convey these feelings through a short story between two humanoid figures. In a similar way that we are represented online visually as avatars, the figures are differentiated by their colours. I chose a blue and green palette because of its presence in the UI of many common messaging apps, representing sender and receiver. The figures communicate in the form of bubbles, floating against an endless white background, representing the vastness of online space where the messages we send seem to magically traverse from one device to another. Overall, I wanted the message to be presented in a way that was light and joyful, and showcase the positivity of reaching out to someone who might be going through a rough time or to simply renew the invisible connections in a time which otherwise can feel very disconnected and lonely.


Maykel Shehata

Invisibility, a concept that many of us are all too familiar with due to the global COVID19 pandemic. From the “invisible” disease itself to humanity becoming invisible to each other, we seem to be very poorly affected by things not within our sight. Amidst all the chaos that is caused by this disease, many of us are getting beaten down and eaten up by something that, although invisible, causes very negative repercussions on our mental health – our thoughts. Trapped tells the story of a person getting lost within their mind/thoughts. Whether you are for or against government-mandated lockdowns, we can all agree that they can have a considerable negative effect on our mental wellbeing. Although the goal is to reduce the spread of the disease, the isolation we must endure causes another deadly disease to spread – a disease that affects people of all age groups, backgrounds and medical records. One that gives something that is completely invisible (your thoughts) the ability to cause you to suffocate, and gets you lost without stepping outside of familiarity. This animation depicts the struggles that I have faced within the past year. I have been isolated at home with more leisure than I know what to do with; resulting in me getting lost within my mind as I overthink just about everything. At times, I become so caught up within my own head that it feels like I am enslaved to my own thoughts; the longer that this goes on, the more and more it seems like there is no way of escape. Trapped tells this story by following a character through a maze. We see an individual navigating through this confusing space with no direction. Finally, as the camera zooms out, it is revealed that the maze is in the shape of a brain – the brain of the character itself.


Julianna Da Silva

The animation starts in a zoomed-out room full of people, then one by one they all start disappearing. The man in the center is looking around at everyone disappearing reaching out to them, and by the end he is all alone crouching on the ground. This represents the invisibility theme portraying how the virus has crated a sense of invisibility and isolation by keeping everyone separated. The virus has affected us in all different ways, but I think the most obvious and common one is the sense of isolation. Due to the nature of covid it has prevented us from socializing as humans normally would. I am one of the lucky people who still lives with their family. I cannot imagine how hard this time must be for people living on their own. This is what my animation represents, it portrays the feeling of isolation and invisibility as every other person disappears and the center character is left completely alone. One framing choice I made was for at the end the camera to be zoomed up close over the shoulder of the main character to create a sense of empathy. I also made the choice to make it so the lighting got darker as it went back to create the sense of loneliness.

Isolation Blues

Arian Quader

We continue to live in isolation, going on with days melting together, resisting the urge to just give up in this endless lockdown. I sometimes forget what it’s like to be outside with people around. I sometimes think that things will never go back to the way it was. I sometimes shut down and wonder if it’s all worth it. Resisting the urge to give up on following your passions is a very tough task. Near the beginning, we all kept up with the things we drive to do, but now with a whole year passing, those things just seem harder and harder to pull off. “Isolation Blues” is a project showing off the outcomes of resisting isolation and why resisting the urge to give up is more important.The man plays his guitar for an audience, filling the room with his passionate melody, but he looks up to see no one is there. No one has been there in a long time. Filled with rage he begins to quickly destroy the empty audience, destroy what he has built. He is fighting against this isolation. Then there is a pause as he looks at his guitar and the color of rage changes to sadness. Contemplating his actions as he tries to grab his guitar, he suddenly sees it rise up. He looks up to see everything follows suit and moves away, showing him what his resistance wreaked and the destruction it caused. A price of passion was paid for a room filled with broken ambition.Some things should be fought for, but others just aren’t worth it. Stay strong this quarantine, resist the urge to give up, not the urge to be unsafe. Music: Ferdinando Carulli Rondo op. 241 no. 34 (performed by Arjun Posarajah)

Return to the Digital Media END OF YEAR EXHIBITION 2020 • 2021