Eric Dyer hired me on to initially model, rig and animate a four legged mite to be 3D printed and cast for a cycle of animation that would then be duplicated and hand placed around the Zoetropic Tunnel. After dialogue and creative problem solving back and forth, the project evolved to an eight legged mite that walks in and out of a bio-like floor. This would greatly help with affixing the mites to the tunnel and keep everything registers perfectly when syncing the tunnel’s rotation cycle. The mites also are designed to have registration points on the model to hold up two fuzzy-poms to represent the mass of the body.
To solve the complexity of rigging and animating an eight legged mite, I created a single, rigged leg and then replicated it around the body. Part of the rig also included a walk cycle that was highly customizable to easy of animating multiple mites. In the end, there were three strips of animations setup to be 3D Printed. Each strip was printed in a nylon-plastic material which allowed for fine details, great strength and flexibility. The mandibles of the mites needed to also have a registration point to hold weight as there will be acrylic objects to be held within them. Overall, the mite was printed at it’s tiniest, physical limitations of about 1.5″ x 1″ x 1″.
To create the strips of animation, I first worked on three, 320 frame cycles, and then wrote a MEL script to create the strips of 25 frames a piece. I facilitated the submission and production of the strips of animation by working with the printing services provider when problems arose during the printing process. All strips were successfully printed and are currently being painted and setup by Eric’s team of students to then be fitted to the rotating tunnel.
- Autodesk Maya
- nettfab Studio Basic