The Pixel Wasp


Here is a character from a scene we are working on.

The Wasp was modeled in mudbox then brought into Maya to be rigged, textured, animated and rendered.

Rigging is the process of giving a model  the ability to move. It is usually accomplished by building an internal skeleton for the model and the binding the model/skin to the skeleton.

Then it is time to paint skin weights. This is the process of telling Maya how much a part of a model should deform in relation to its corresponding skeletal joint when that joint is moved.


The difficult part of an insect is the 6 legged walk cycle. The fastest method for a shot like this was to have all the leg animation driven by expressions or  Procedural animation.

With procedural animation you only have to move the wasps main global controller and the expression sets drive the legs. This saves allot of time.

When we were happy with the initial motion we baked the animation into keyframes. This then gives you the chance to fine tune the animation on the legs. Trying to remove ‘foot slippage’ and ‘floating feet’ etc etc.


The scene is a simple one containing 2 planes – one for the sky and one for the ground.

All the fauna are Maya paint effects.

The scene consists of 3 directional lights with just 1 casting raytrace shadows.

Rendered out in mental ray.

this 12 second scene took 3 days to complete.

Day 1 : Model and rig the wasp, UV mapping, Paintshop map creation.

Day 2 : Create scene and animation. Initial low resolution renders to inspect animation.

Day 3:  Rendering and compositing.






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