Hands-on Practice on Drawing… Hands

Hands — They change shape and form every living moment and cause me a good deal of headaches simply because I could not fully grasp (hur!) their logic. I got so fed up with my inability to get my basic hand shapes down that I decided to go on a drawing spree on hands, focusing on the component and shapes that make up the hand, and its logic — just how do hands work?

Using the Constructive Anatomy book by George B. Bridgman and my own hand as reference, I selected a number of hands from the book and began to draw them. I am very fond of the Bridgman anatomy books when it comes to learning how to draw the human anatomy as the book breaks down in detail the construction of the body part, in my case the hand, into simple forms and shapes that is easy to understand and rotate in my head and I highly recommend his books, its an interesting read too. In any case, I draw over the initial sketches with blue pencil crayon to refine the sketch a bit and correct major mistakes. Finally, I overlay a separate sheet of paper and draw on top of my corrections and refinement once more. By the end of the study, I find my familiarity with these grubby mitts and my confidence in drawing them have improved greatly. I still hit the snag drawing hands every now and then, especially at strange angles and weird hand poses, but at the very least my fear of them due to uncertainty have all by disappeared.

tl;dr I drew a bunch of hands cause I got pissed off, here they are!

BCIT Digital Animation 2012 Demo Reel

After 4 solid months of hard work, here is my 3D environment modeling reel. This is a end of year project for the BCIT Digital Animation program that I graduated from.

All assets in this reel are modeled, unwrapped and textured in Autodesk XSI Softimage. Color textures are done using a combination of photo reference and hand-painted highlights and details using Adobe Photoshop. Other applications used include Mudbox and CrazyBump. The final composition is done using Adobe After Effects.

Airship Station

Here is another look at the decorated arches that make the airship station wall. It is referenced off of the beautiful arches from St. Pancras Railway Station in London. I have never been there myself, it was from the initial design and research phase for this project that I stumbled upon this particular railway station and fell in love with its architecture and color. From there, I collected more than 100 pictures of the railway station, new and old, I also got my hands on some blueprints of the train shed portion of the station to help me deal with scale.

(Click to enlarge)

From the very beginning of the project I had plan on building modular walls, arches, and roof sections and package them into XSI models so that I can quickly import them and build my environment however I wanted. UVs are managed in another asset scene file that contains one instance of every asset in the environment. Updates simply mean replacing old XSI models in the master scene with newer versions. This process worked out fairly well for me through out. Combined with consistent naming, I can quickly select all the wall pieces for example and hide them to increase performance as I truck and and out of my environment when tweaking. Later in time as I begin to setup each shot per scene file, it also became easier to throw models that cannot be scene by the camera, into a non-renderable group.

These are the various other assets built to dress the environment more. Other than the clock and bulletin boards, most of the other assets exist in the mid-ground/background to build silhouettes or otherwise breakup the repeating elements of the environment. The platform floor is textured using a 5 smaller tileable ground textures mixed together using weight maps.


The concept for the airship is based on a number of concept arts from the board game, “Leviathans”. On top of the concept I added some elements like the giant turbine for propulsion and loading ports on each side of the ship where a loading ramp extends out. These elements were added for believability and I wanted a stronger center of interest for two of the shots. The turrets and smoke stack designs draw reference from real world German and British battleships. Around the ship deck I also added hatches, doors, vents, chocks, and capstans etc to add more detail to the deck.

1929 Bugatti Type 35

Fully rendered 1929 Bugatti Type 35. Actually, references were drawn from multiple vehicles from around the same year. So you maybe able to spot parts from the Type 35C as well as other models. The model is built in Maya 2012, using a MR_Physical Sun/Sky as the primary light source.

Bugatti Type 35C Front Quarter RenderBugatti Type 35C Back Quarter RenderBugatti Type 35C Front Quarter WireframeBugatti Type 35C Back Quarter Wireframe