Brow ridges

Brow ridges

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Tree with joints

Tree with joints

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Drawn without foliage, for reference purposes.

Character Model

Character Model

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I modeled the bird, and laid out the UVs for the nest and grass.

Updated props

Updated props

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Man, it feels good to finally be getting into modeling this stuff.

Nest and Grass

Nest and Grass

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Images from Google Images.

Overcast Tree

Tree in overcast conditions

Clear Sky Tree

The same tree under a clear sky

Overcast Lighting

Overcast Lighting

Stratus Clouds

Cloud samples

Lighting and Environment

Overcast Lighting and Distance Environment

Cloud Samples

Cloud Samples

Lighting and Environment

Overcast Lighting and Distance Environment

Cloud Samples

Cloud Samples

Tree Color/Texture Sample

Tree Color/Texture Sample

Tree Color Sample

Tree Color Sample

Bird Sample

Bird Sample

Nest Sample

Nest Sample


Comments 46 Comments »

Bird Concept

Bird Concept

Nest Concept

Nest Concept

Foliage Concepts

Foliage Concepts

Tree with hanging foliage

Tree with hanging foliage


Comments 3 Comments »

Character Animation Animatic from Myles Garlick on Vimeo.

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Here are the storyboards for my animation, after a revision.

First set

First set

Second set

Second set

Third set

Third set

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This is a class exercise where we drew unconnected storyboard-like panels for a movie we thought had good cinematography. And when I think of good classic cinematography, I think Highlander.

First set of panels

First set

Second set of panels

Second set

Third set of panels

Third set

Fourth set of panels

Fourth set

Fifth set of panels

Fifth set

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I’d been having trouble coloring the mood board, so I ended up just mocking up a quick and dirty concept.

Mood Board

Mood Board

I then gathered images to see how the environment would change during the short.

Cleared Sky

Cleared Sky

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Here are the earliest designs of the tree. Note, the design has progressed as will be seen in posts to come.

Tree Posing

Tree Posing

Other Poses

Other Poses

Comments 89 Comments »

While my animatic uploads to vimeo, I’m going to take this time to post the character analysis for the Tree character.


Age:  About 80. Not that old, for a tree, but in adulthood.

Evolution/Life Cycle (relative to human?): The life cycle of a tree.

Ethnicity: Shrubbish.

Height: 12ft

Weight: More than a duck.

Gender: Male

Culture: Tree

Profession: Birdwatcher

Dreams: About flying

Beliefs: Believes that birds are so lucky to be birds.

Food: water and nutrients from roots.

Weaknesses: Loneliness

Goals/Ambition: To have friends

Obstacles: He’s stuck to the ground in the middle of nowhere.

Stereotype/Archetype: Frustrated dreamer

Sense of Humor: Decent

Health: Good

Family: None within sight.


Environment (Env they feel uncomfortable in?): He’s a tree. There’s only one environment he’ll ever be in. Forever.

Intelligence: Above average.

Education: Self educated.

Sex Life: Incidental.

Idiosyncrasies: He knows he needs his roots to live but they frustrate him.

Need/Purpose: Companionship

Nocturnal habits: He does what trees do at night.

Body Structure: He’s a tree.

Fears: Being alone

Talent: Photosynthesis

Self View: He’s got some self-pity issues.

Addictions: Daydreaming.

Flaws: He thinks he can’t find friendship the way he is.

Comments 3 Comments »

Yep, I’ve been slacking on this blog, so look forward to a bunch of stuff in the backlog.

But first, the latest assignment, a production plan.

The props, I can model in a week, and basic texture in a few days, so a week and a half is reasonable for the props, including the foliage for the main character.  They should easily be done by the 11th.

The main character should take about another week and a half to model and texture, add a bit of time for polishing and that puts us around the 30th.

I don’t have much experience with rigging or blendshapes, so I’ll allow two weeks for that. The set my story needs is fairly simple, and by necessity pretty sparse to give the sense of the tree’s loneliness, so I can also get it done in this timeframe. So that’s about Nov. 12th.

A week or so for the 3D animatic plus any polishing needed clocks us in at Nov. 19.

Another week and a half for sound, and environment refinement, puts the project at Nov. 28th.

Another week for wrapping things up brings it in at around Dec. 5.

Comments 235 Comments »

Since fluid dynamics are a little beyond my technical capabilities right now, I’m taking the story in a new, more technically feasible direction.


Concept: You don’t have to change to find friends.


  • A tree on a hill is the only tree around, and he is lonely.
  • Birds fly overhead, and he wants to be with them.
  • He dreams he can fly with them, but wakes up still rooted to the spot.
  • He struggles against his roots, trying desperately to free himself.
  • He gives up and slumps, depressed.
  • A bird lands on his branch, and after time passes we see it has built a nest and had baby birds.
We open on a wide shot of the tree on a hilly landscape under an overcast sky. He is the only tree we can see anywhere. A small group of birds fly overhead. He turns to follow them and reaches up to them as they pass. We zoom in and fade to a colorful dream sequence where he is flying with the birds, flapping his limbs like wings. We then cut to him trying to fly in the same way, but failing, he is stuck by his roots to the ground. Montage of him pulling at his roots, trying to crawl along the ground to pull them out, twisting, struggling, etc. He then takes a depressed posture until a bird lands on one of his branches.  We close up on the bird, transition to it now with a nest and babies. Pull back and show the tree with a nest on each branch, a bird flies up from one. We follow it into the overcast sky and see rays of sunshine coming through the clouds, that pull apart to reveal a patch of blue sky between them.

Comments 718 Comments »

Concept: Change isn’t always a bad thing.


  • An ice cube in a glass pitcher near a window doesn’t want to melt.
  • The sunlight through the window is shifting closer and closer to the pitcher.
  • The ice cube tries to escape the pitcher, but the walls are too difficult to climb.
  • The sunlight has now occupied so much of the space in the pitcher that he can’t avoid it any more.
  • He resigns himself to his fate with dignity.
  • After melting, he finds that he can zoom around the curved bottom of the pitcher acrobatically.
We begin with a short live-action scene. A person, visible only from waist to neck,  goes to put ice in a pitcher, but only one cube falls in before the person is distracted by the phone ringing. The person puts the pitcher on a counter by a window. Then we zoom in and also fade into our 3d main action. The ice cube stands and looks around, then acts as if he is getting hot. He looks for the heat source and notices the sun beam near the pitcher. He panics and runs around, then slips on the water forming under his feet. After he gets back up, he tries to climb the wall of the pitcher but it is too steep. All this time, the sun beam has been moving across the pitcher, and soon the ice cube has nowhere to retreat to. He musters his courage and faces the sun beam, and melts. Now a puddle of water, he moves experimentally, finding he can spread wide and stretch tall, and he zooms easily around the pitcher. After a bit, he notices steam rising from him, he’s evaporating. Fro a second it looks like he might panic, but he shrugs and lies back against the side of the pitcher.

Comments 231 Comments »

The Banana

Age: Ripe

Evolution/Life Cycle: He grew on a tree, and left the bunch to see the world

Ethnicity: Cavendish

Height: 7 inches

Weight: 125 grams

Gender: Male

Culture: Mediterranean

Profession: Unemployed

Dreams: He wants to be a wizard.

Beliefs: He thinks magic is the way to make life better for everyone.

Food: Water

Weaknesses: An ignorance of his limitations

Goals/Ambition: To be a wizard

Obstacles: He is too small to wear a real wizard hat and has no hands to pick up a wand.

Stereotype/Archetype: The bumbler

Sense of humor: Excessive and lowbrow

Health: Perfectly ripe

Family: His bunch

Values: Perseverance and determination

Environment: He’s gone to a magic school.

Intelligence: Slow, but he gets there eventually.

Education: None

Sex Life: None

Idiosyncrasies: He has a tendency to topple over.

Need/Purpose: He wants to make the world a better place.

Nocturnal Habits: He sleeps well at night.

Body Structure: A banana. No face or limbs, just a banana. Moves by hopping.

Fears: He’s afraid of spoiling before his time.

Talent: Patience

Self-View: He thinks he’s a perfectly capable banana.

Addictions: Ge wants to be around wizards and try to do wizardly things.

Flaws: He’s just a banana.

Comments 20 Comments »

The Sand Grain

Age: Thousands of years.

Evolution/Life Cycle: He and his brothers were ground down from larger rocks.

Ethnicity: Silicate

Height: 0.3 mm

Weight: About 800 nanograms

Gender: Male

Culture: Quartz

Profession: Timekeeping.

Dreams: He wants a new job.

Beliefs: He thinks sand should live a sedentary life.

Food: Time.

Weaknesses: A fear of heights

Goals/Ambition: To be an idle philosopher

Obstacles: His job of manual labor

Stereotype/Archetype: The grump

Sense of humor: Easily annoyed

Health: Just fine

Family: His fellow hourglass grains

Values: He values thought over action.

Environment: An hourglass

Intelligence: Slightly above average

Education: What tomes he could read near the hourglass.

Sex Life: None

Idiosyncrasies: Not sure

Need/Purpose: To educate himself in a leisurely lifestyle

Nocturnal Habits: If he’s under the pile, he sleeps. If he’s able to climb on top, he studies what he can see from the glass.

Body Structure: Spheroid

Fears: He’s afraid of heights.

Talent: Philosophy, keeping time

Self-View: He’s prideful, he thinks himself worthy of more than his peers.

Addictions: He reads whatever he can see.

Flaws: Pride

Comments 6 Comments »

The Ice Cube

Age: It’s been a half-hour since he was taken out of the freezer.

Evolution/Life Cycle: As an ice cube, once taken from the freezer, he will inevitably melt.

Ethnicity: Frozen-American

Height: 1.5 inches

Weight: 18 grams

Gender: Male

Culture: American

Profession: Keeping things cold

Dreams: He wishes he could be a dancer.

Beliefs: He believes that an ice cube should be solid and cool as long as possible.

Food: He doesn’t eat.

Weaknesses: Heat

Goals/Ambition: To stay a good sturdy ice cube

Obstacles: His inevitable melting

Stereotype/Archetype: The everyman

Sense of humor: Subdued, but not deficient

Health: Good for now

Family: His fellow ice cubes are asleep in a tray in the freezer, as he once was.

Values: He thinks it’s good to be solid and dependable.

Environment: He is now in an empty pitcher.

Intelligence: Average

Education: None

Sex Life: None

Idiosyncrasies: He prides himself on his frozen solidity, but wishes he weren’t so stiff and awkward.

Need/Purpose: As an ice cube, his purpose is to keep things cold.

Nocturnal Habits: Ice cubes sleep in a tray in the freezer until needed.

Body Structure: Squat, blocky, with hands and feet but not much arm or leg to speak of.

Fears: He fears melting, he fears change, the unknown.

Talent: He’s good at making things cold.

Self-View: He sees himself as an average guy, not really exceptional in any way.

Addictions: He craves the cold.

Flaws: Self-esteem issues


Comments 50 Comments »

The Ice Cube

The Ice Cube

Here we have the ice cube. He is squat and blocky, his movement is stiff and awkward. He may slip in the water as he is slowly melting.


The Water

The Water


This is the melted ice-cube. The face should have continuity with the ice cube after melting. The water puddle is amorphous, blobby, and moves freely in contrast to the stiff movement of the ice cube.


A Sand Grain

A Sand Grain


This is a sand grain from the hourglass story. All the sand grains would be identical, slightly uneven spheres. Without limbs, they would move by rolling or hopping.

Comments 85 Comments »

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