Commercial Segment - "Muletto Multi Function Garden Cart"

Hello everybody! I’m super excited to have had my first paying 3d animation job, for which I had %100 control over the production. Meaning I got to use Blender!

The animation is a product demonstration of a ‘multi funciton garden cart’. Which is essentially a wheelbarrow with some additional attachments and functionality. The product is called “The Muletto” which means “little mule”.

The models were made entirely in Blender (with credit to Tim Edwards for his dumbcane plant from BlendSwap).

The models were then all rigged and animated within Blender as well. For most of the falling objects and collisions, the game physics engine was used, then baked out for animation. The Muletto was rigged with an armature and several constraints to mimic the mechanical actions. Wheels were painfully animated by hand since I couldn’t get drivers for them to work properly with the speed and motions they needed to take. I’ve got ideas as to how I might get something like that to work better in the future, but the hand method worked fine for this animation.

The rock carrying mesh that falls from the sky and lifts the rock was the most technically challenging aspect since it need to simulate falling, and cloth deformation, as well get picked up and appear to lift the rock. I ended up using a combination of a simple armature system, with a cloth modifier simulation, and using the rock as a collision object. Then it was just a matter of tweaking settings till it looked right.

The plants sway was another cloth modifier.

Lastly, once the animation was complete and approved, it was rendered out at 1080p 30fps in LuxRender. There were a total of 2800 frames I think, and it took about 20 days of rendering time using about 6 computers I managed to scavenge and borrow. Render times varied wildly from each machine due to different specs. On my main computer it was ~10min per frame, on the other machines it was about ~45-60 minutes per frame. The luxrender settings were made so that frames stopped rendering at a specific sample per pixel count for consistency. Each frame was rendered out as a single png image. There was no need for any fancy depth or alpha passes, but frames were post-processes in Photoshop to remove some of the more noticeable grain.

The scene and lighting were kept simple to speed render times and to follow the look the client wanted. The lighting is only one LuxRender sun lamp, and the backdrop is just a plane that curves upwards at the back.

The sound and music was done separately by someone else, then passed to me to edit together.

Anyway, - here it is! Comments and critiques welcome, but this project is finished so I will only be able to apply anything you say to future projects. There are even things I wish I could go back and fix, but alas, there is no time.

Very nice job! I like the nice little story line as well. I’d like to order one, no, make that two for my wife. Just so she’d leave me the heck alone for this year’s gardening season. She’ll need two, as she’ll wear one of them out in just two months. Trust me, I know.

I guess I forgot to include the website for the product itself.

As far as I know, they will be selling it in the States and Canada. Right now in their FAQ section it says to contact them by e-mail to find out where to buy one.

I had a demo model to work with while making the animation, and they do seem quite sturdy, but unfortunately I live in a high-rise and didn’t get a chance to do any actual gardening work with it. haha