• Animation
  • Illustration
  • Design




"Jezz" Character Rig
3D Modeling, Character Design, Character Modeling, Prop Design, Lighting, Environment Design, Rendering

“Jezz” is a character rig for an upcoming animated short of mine.

As the culmination of all my education and practice thus far, the final mesh is extremely clean & refined. Despite being for animation, a game Dev workflow was employed for the actual modeling and design.

I used hard surface modeling for each part of the model, so the final meshes are much lower res than a typical animation rig. Every cut serves to shape the final look or to allow for nice smooth deformations.

Each part of the character is fully UV unwrapped & laid out for baking individual textures & PBR assets.

The final model mostly consists of basic Maya shaders. The glasses took some tweaking to get a realistic transparency. One of the few textures being used are in the watch for both the interior design, & to get some holes on the underside using Alphas instead of topology.

The face is of course one of the key designs that needs to be right for a character to be appealing. This took a great deal of experimentation & constant tweaking. These days I’d be more inclined to simply sculpt the face & retopologize it afterward, but at the time hard surface was my sole way of working.

The hair was in theory much simpler, big and crazy looking was my goal. Implementation of this design was a bit more complex in practice. Often in modern productions hair is simulated or sculpted, but I created this look by making a simple curl and constantly duplicating & twisting it until I got an interesting final look.

The main body rig is fully custom, as well as entirely weight painted by myself. It’s fairly standard for a human rig, nothing to extreme going on. A bit more detail in the shoulder controls and fingers. Ball roll for the feet. Custom controls for hair strands.

The real polish & extra care went into the facial rig. It was my second time ever doing one and I wanted to make it a bit more complex & useful. Eye controls, including custom pupils, a full set of phonemes, cheek, eyebrows, lips all get their own blend shapes and custom controls.

A lot of mapping behind the scenes to make sure all the different controls map to the correct blend shapes when the correct motion or transformation is applied.

I then did some vis dev work to try and set up a proof of concept render for what my short should look like. I’ll probably make some changes by the time I begin animating but I do like the claymation-esque aesthetic that comes from the basic shaders & lighting choices.

I threw the final model into Mixamo and picked some good Motion capture scenes to render.

I eventually decided to port the character into Blender. The facial rig is still a work in progress but mixamo allowed for a much quicker transition for the body rig. I used this new rig and some animations to create a short teaser for the short. Sound design and editing being done in after effects.

"Tony" Character Rig
3D Modeling, Character Design, Character Modeling, Prop Design, Lighting, Environment Design, Rendering

Tony here was my second ever character rig, and the first I created outside of an academic context. He is a character designed by a friend of mine and I had wanted to make something like this for a long time.

The final design is stylized, with a fairly low poly mesh. It uses basic shaders for all the textures, with only the eye requiring UV unwrapping. There are things that I would change nowadays, but I’m very happy with the results given my limited experience at the time.

​There was lots of reference images that had been acquired over the years, which in some ways was nice, but in other ways it made certain aspects like the head a bit inconsistent and requiring more experimentation. Eventually, my friend and I decided that the turnaround was the closest to the original design intention, & I focused on matching that design.


From there I modified my previous custom rig to fit these new proportions. Carefully weight painting & checking the deformations & looking for any errors.

By this point, I was back in college & taking a second Maya class. So I decided to be efficient and use my new model to make my first ever full facial rig. Some examples were given but ultimately It was my choice what blend shapes were made and what I wanted from it.

A very much appreciated lesson was on how to map blend shapes to controller motions using the node editor.

This allowed for a very intuitive custom rig design for all the phonemes and facial controls.

The end results make for a very enjoyable posing & animation experience

"Mira" Character Rig
3D Modeling, Character Design, Character Modeling, Prop Design, Lighting, Environment Design, Rendering

“Mira” was the first character model & rig I ever created, and served as the final project for my introduction to Maya class.

I knew from the start that I wanted to go cartoonish style instead of a more grounded or realistic approach. This style has always appealed to me more in animated films and it seemed like a reasonable goal for a first attempt.

I took some of my many character doodles and made a full turnaround. In the end this mostly served as a style reference and wasn’t as useful as I had hoped for the actual modeling.

My initial plan was to use Ncloth simulations for the clothing, so i modeled the underlying limbs & torso first. I followed tutorials to get the base shapes and then continually experimented and tweaked them until I was happy with the shape.

I intended to do the face next, but quickly realized different features like eye size & teeth shape would effect different proportions in the face, so I modeled those first.

The head was where a large amount of total project time went. I had never attempted anything humanoid in 3D before, & even with the stylized aesthetic, it is very easy to enter the uncanny valley. Ultimately constant tweaking & iteration led to the final result. The eyebrows added a bit of humanity as well.

The crocs took equally long. With how organic & flowing the shapes are it would have been more suited to NURBS than hard surface modeling. I am very happy with the end results thought. They look how I imagined & deform well in animation.

The original plan for simulating the clothing with nCloth didn’t end up panning out. Too much trouble for mediocre results. Just properly weight painting the mesh ended up looking great when deforming.

The differences between iterations on the sweater are less pronounced, but a lot of tweaking during this phase was on overall proportions for all clothing.

At the same time I began working on the hair. I decided to make my first venture into Maya’s sculpting tools. They are fairly basic, and I had no digital sculpting experience, but I was able to make a shape that I felt matched the quirky shape of my drawing. The diagonal patterns add some interesting depth & perspective effects when viewing it.

With all the mesh finished I moved onto my first every character rig. We had barely begun diving into bones & weight painting at this point in the class, so the majority simply came together by combining different tutorials together to create something useful.

We were informed on the importance of a clean bone hierarchy, so I took it to heart and kept everything logically named & well kept. A last lesson was given on Drivers and I used this newfound knowledge to create some maya inputs for the fingers to curl, without needing to manipulate handles.

I decided to go with IK legs and FK for the arms & hands. Weight painting wasn’t too bad in the end, with the mesh still being fairly low poly. The body & limbs all deform very well & move in a natural way.

The final experiment was switching the shaders & textures from basic lamberts to full on Maya Toon Shaders. I did feel it added a great deal to the final product & made it seem more cartoony, but i could tell that for actual production it would take a lot more tweaking. I’ve learned a lot since this project & may revisit it again or do an updated version.




"Ona" Character Sculpt
3D Modeling, Digital Sculpting, Texturing, 3D Printing


This is one of my first major projects in Blender. I have done plenty of character models before but wanted to do something more aesthetic-focused, such as a figurine, rather than a rig.


The main goal was to make it physical via 3D printing, so I started out with simple meshes and the overall shapes.

I would then take these basic shapes and hard-surface model some detail into them, still trying to retain the form.

I moved onto the tail next, using an extruded bezier curve to allow manipulating non-destructively later on.

It was now time for the head, where I wanted a chibi-like proportion and equally simple shape language. So I formed it using only basic primitives, only really deforming them slightly.

I worked on the facial features a bit and got the arm proportions figured out. These aren’t actually used in the final model but they were useful for where to model other parts of the character.

Using the same curve technique from the tail, I began modeling hair strands and the rim of the hoodie.

I continued messing with hair strands and used the torso mesh to create the main body of the hoodie.

I then made some sleeves by sculpting the main part of the hoodie to the correct size and shape.

And the final part of the model was the hands. Another use of the curve technique for the fingers, and a simple form for the palm.

This is the final character model used for all digital usage of the character, but to turn it into a figurine some more work was needed.

I combined the entire model into a singular mesh, did some light sculpting to clean up the union intersections.

I threw the model into Cura to begin the slicing process.

Set up all the scaffolding/support and began the very long print.

I’m very happy with the output thus far, it’s not perfect but with a few more iterations I think it will be comparable to the model completely and ready to begin sanding & painting to the final look.