"Hermit Crab Birthday" - 2016
Presented with a brief from Blue-Zoo Productions of creating a short 16" piece of animation themed around birthdays for their 16th Anniversary, I decided to make this short story about a hermit crab getting a new shell.
With other projects on the go, I set myself a week to make this piece. I was on holiday at the time of reading the brief and started thinking of ideas that would push my 3D skills a bit and hopefully make people chuckle. Once I settled on the idea of a hermit crab getting a new shell, I immediately got to work sculpting the character.
Being new to 3D sculpting, I tried my hand at using Sculptris, a free program from the developers of Zbrush. I found it incredibly intuitive and enabled me to sculpt the character, then take it into Maya for retopologizing, then back again to Sculptris for painting, then finally back to Maya for rigging.
Once I had built the environment, which was a relatively simple set, I animated the character, then explored a few ways to dent the sand as the crab walked around, finally settling on a plugin called iDeform to get the right look.
The lighting and rendering was done using Redshit and Mental Ray for the caustics, then comped together using After Effects.