character design prevent tipping

Character design 2: Will it tip over?

This post is the second in a series on applying the physics concept of center of gravity to character design. In the previous post in this series, we looked at finding a character’s center of gravity, which is usually just below its belly button. When creating a model sheet, you probably have an idea of […]

lightning pattern

Lightning burn reference

If a character or environment object in your scene is struck by lightning, you’ll need some reference for the jagged burn pattern that will visibly emerge after the strike. The burns from a lightning strike aren’t just random lines—they follow a specific type of pattern. Lichtenburg figures, besides providing a great lightning burn reference, are […]

Huge man with huge muscles

The Physics of Human Scale

How much can a human body be scaled before the physics break down? This was the question a VFX artist asked me last night at the New Orleans VFX & 3D Animation Meetup. A quick answer comes from looking at the tallest and shortest people that have ever survived into adulthood. The world’s shortest living person is about two feet tall, […]

Cats on every continent

Cat species can be found on every continent with a moderate climate. However, cats differ greatly from one continent to another–cougars are found only in North America, while leopards are only in Asia. How did these different strains of cats evolve so differently, yet similarly enough to be definitely recognizable as cats? The answer lies in the geography […]