Monday, 17 November 2014

iAnimate Work - Push

Second project in the iAnimate class. The brief was to do a push/pull/lift so I eventually settled on animating a mime artist. I figured it would help me push the pantomime acting as mimes must be very expressive.

Monday, 3 November 2014

iAnimate Work - Sneak

This was the first project I did as part of iAnimate workshop 3, "andvanced body mechanics and pantomime acting".
Our task was to animate a walk or sneak, and seen as I'd animated 2 sneaks already, I decided to try and get it as polished as I could, while I had the help and tuition of Michael Kiely.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Rigging On The Fly

I got this character from Basim Ahmed who's working in Piranha bar at the moment, he had rigged it himself but I wanted to try my hand at creating an animator friendly rig with controls I thought would be helpful as an animator. The workflow I used with the biped was useful here to a point though I had to edit it quite a bit due to the different anatomy.

the wings where the biggest challenge in this rig, I wanted to have as much control as i cud over them, with some set driven keys to allow for easy posing and curving of the basic shape, while not cluttering it up with too many controls or a complex bone system that would make skinning extra difficult, I learned this part the hard way after a bit of time spent trying to fix what could not be fixed. I also wanted to have a control that made the wings and wing covers fold in so that you don't have to pose them in every time you want them closed.

All of this involved a lot of parenting, grouping and figuring out what combination of parenting, constraining and use of the connection editor as well as the node editor. I also employed some of the dorrito effect I had learned from the previous rig to get the controllers on the lower parts of the wing to move with the deformations. I found this part highly enjoyable, trying to figure out the best, or sometimes only, way that something will work with all the incoming and outgoing connections

Below is a quick test animation I did with the rig.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Fully Rigged

I pushed on from my rigged head to rig a full biped character using the skills and techniques I learned on the last piece and adding in a lot more. The character I rigged is XSI man exported from Softimage and brought into Maya

The extra bits I learned and implemented in the rig:

  • How to rig a biped character, including setting up the hierarchy and constraints for the controls and what bones to place where.
  • How to set up the reverse foot lock so that he can roll on the ball/toes/heel.
  • Creating a setup where the animator can switch between FK and IK allowing for greater control of the arms. Three sets of arm bones were created, one for FK, one for IK and one which blends between these two to hold the geometry.
  • Adding a twist system for the wrists and legs to avoid mesh pinching when the wrist/ankle are rotated.
  • Using extra bones in the knees and elbows to maintain volume when the arms and legs are bent. These extra bones find the average angle of the bones on either side of it to orient themselves in the correct direction.
  • Using clusters to control deformations on the face.
  • Facial controllers that will follow the deformations caused by the jaw while still allowing control over the shape of the mouth AKA the "dorrito effect".
  • A constraint system led by custom attributes on the controllers for knee/elbow/eye controllers to follow parts of the rig or be free in world space.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Let the rigs begin

My first attempt at rigging a human head.

It involved using bones and some controls for eyebrows and jaw. and creating blend shapes to achieve a few emotions. The model I rigged is "Samuel" by Leah Apanowicz, found on Creative Crash at

What I've learned:
Lots about skinning and weights due to the huge poly count on the model.
How to build a basic facial rig and model the blend shapes using the sculpt tools to enhance it.
How to link blend shapes to a GUI for ease of access.
How to link blend shapes to the jaw controller to create accurate skin stretching.

Next step is to find a lower res model and try again, this time rigging the entire body and a full range of emotions along with all the controllers I can think of.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Modo Ninja

We've been trying out some new software packages in work. I was asked to test out the animation abilities in Modo. Some great features in it, really nice coming from a classical animation background, the spacing chart allows you create key poses, in-betweens and breakdowns with ease before you have to look at the timing, similar to animating in stepped but a lot more intuitive.  The onion skinning, and motion path and arc tracking are great for sorting out your trajectories. Part of the aim of this task was to see how fast I could animate a basic scene in Modo so I limited the amount of time I had to complete it, took me roughly 8 hours, and I had spent a couple of hours getting used to the basics of Modo before i jumped into it.

If the video isn't playing properly try opening it in youtube, or a different browser if you have it

Monday, 16 June 2014


Decided to build on the wall climbing exercise I did last year, using a proper character rig, Malcolm, and creating a longer sequence with some extra moves. Collected reference from different parkour videos online and used these to build a course for Malcolm to take. I tried to really push the speed of the movement to get an extra bit of cartooning into it. Once i had the scene planned out it took roughly 2 weeks of animating

Parkour from Eoin Coakley on Vimeo.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Decks Setup

I made my mixer to go with my set of decks and created a night-club-esque lighting setup. So so many layers of texture on the mixer with all the labels. Looking forward to getting back to some animating now, as I revisit my free running exercise from a few months back

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


Some more practicing with modelling and lighting here. This one took a bit more time than any of the individual pieces in the previous post, getting the lighting, texturing and reflections to match my reference photos was quite tricky.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014


I've been practising some modelling and texturing in Softimage for the past few weeks. Started off with a model plane/spaceship hybrid, following a tutorial and then modifying it to add some extra detail and the textures.

I wanted to create a work area for the model, basing it off the desk in my room. I added in some other models, such as the toy robot, the lamp and the paint materials and then experimented with the light coming in through the gaps in the blinds.

To push this model further I decided to model my own bedroom, with the desk as above. I made some small modifications, such as changing the look of the box where the TV sits, to add some extra colour to the room.

I modelled up a pair of hands, rigged them using GEAR and then animated them clapping.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Favourite Adequachulance

I was given the task of doing a lipsync from the 11second club archives, I ended up doing 2 of them over the course of 6 to 8 weeks. Started off juggling between the 2 of them, but eventually decided I was better off focusing on one at a time, and getting it as finished as I could before moving on to the next one. Really tried to push the posing on these 2, and both required a complete restart after a couple of weeks on each. Well worth the extra bit of time put into them, and a huge amount learned about proper shot workflow, with thanks to the guys in work for all the helpful tips and feedback.

Adequately Final Splined from Eoin Coakley on Vimeo.

Favourite Final Splined from Eoin Coakley on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Last chicken in Superquin

Looks like he just made it out in time, thankfully, they can do wonderful things with wigs these days. Tried animating this chicken, was tricky enough, different mechanics to a bipedal run. Turned out to be quite similar to the back legs of the horse.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Merry New Year!

Back today after a not quite long enough Christmas break, never is though. I started animating this on the day of our Christmas party, a common enough sight all around the world at this time of year. Now that the hangover has subsided I've polished the animation off and done some basic lighting in the scene.