Lego exo suit animation

Three months ago, I was learning how to move an object along a path. Then I was offered a commission to make a short promo video for a certain well-known toy company. It’s been a busy three months learning how to do all those other things that you have to do for character animation.

The full three minute video will be going live on Friday. I’ll post a link here as soon as I have one. In the meantime, here’s the cryptic “teaser”.

Can anyone explain how you’re supposed to use the NLA? I found it incredibly frustrating and ended up animating everything from scratch in the Dope Sheet.

Edit: Here’s the full video

nice work!
you used animall to animate the face textures?

I animated the face textures using this technique. I don’t doubt there are better ways. I did things on this video that would probably have Blender experts shaking their heads sadly in despair.

nice one, i never tried this before… ^^
the last time i did face animated textures was on a hardest way with animall, that was like on your link tutorial metod 2.

I cheated a little by animating the lip synch in After Effects (which I know a little better), then rendering out frames from that to still images that I used as an image sequence on the texture. I had all the exact frame numbers from AE so I then just had to go to each frame in Blender and key the sequence offset.

This is very impressive! The texture switching method is very natural, very similar to the Lego Movie in terms of fluidity. The walk cycle in the back is very good, can’t wait to see the full promo when it’s done!

And here’s the full video, animated over eight weeks of evenings and weekends.


Dude – very well done!

totally blown away! unbelievable!

AAA quality, very nice job!

Amazing work mate!

I just saw this at IO9 I had no idea it came out of Blender! Great feel too. Infact I was watching Portal with my kids and it has a very similar feel.

is it a cycles render or blender internal?

Thanks everyone. It was all done in BI for speed. Even so, it still took around two weeks to render everything.

My son is very impressed, any chance of some wireframes?

The exo suit is imported from an FBX version of the model from Lego’s internal CAD system and the geometry’s kind of nasty, even after a few days of cleaning up the worst of it. It’s still mostly tris. I just tried the wireframe modifier on it and it crashed Blender.

Here’s a couple of nicer models though.

Johnny Spaceguy

An early version of the corridor from the first shot. Lots of edge loops because the bricks are usually subsurfed to get smooth corners.

Haha, funny you should mention the mesh import. I noticed some funky looking artifacts on the background animals mouth and the exo suite struts around the top.

Most impressed with the renders. I wonder if the room would have improved with a Cycles baked texture?

Yeah, there’s a lot of things I would have done differently if I’d had time and/or knowledge. I just had to dive in and use what I knew, especially after they brought the deadline forward by 2 weeks. I was still rendering at 5am on the day it was delivered.

I’ll be taking a few weeks now to learn how to do all this stuff the right way.

Wow! Deadlines are amazing beasts. They focus the mind. Excellent work.

Very impressive. Amazing. Wonderful!