“Dynamic Machines” Render Challenge – Wallace & Gromit

I undertook a render challenge to create a fun Aardman Animations' homage animation

This challenge involved creating an animation within a supplied box area whereby a metal ball would fall in through the top at a certain time, then drop through the bottom at another time.

The general idea, from the creator of this render challenge, was to create a continuous series of works where each artists’ animation would flow together, so the ball appears to travel through all the creations. Essentially, it would result in a giant Rude Goldburg machine.

I decided to build a homage to Aardman Animations’ “Wallace & Gromit” making a three levelled version of their house, With an attic at the top, then a bedroom, then a lounge.

I first set about working out the physics, how and what the ball would interact with. Blocking out a rough plan using temporary geometry informed how the scene would progress. I used rigid body physics to get the ball doing the right things. This part of the process took a fair bit of time to get right, but it was essential before moving on to modelling.

I then modelled over 300 individual objects and textured them accordingly. This was a great chance to add some cool little easter eggs from the Aardman films, such as; ‘Prestons Dog Meat’ tins, the ‘Meatabix’ cardboard box (along with eye holes!), a few wall paintings, Wallaces’ slippers, a boxing glove with its spring, a block of cheese, familiar furnishings, and last but not least (and my favourite character) Feathers McGraw still stuck in a milk bottle as he was at the end of “The Wrong Trousers”. Look out for him following the proceedings towards the end!

I recently switched to using Octane Blender and this was the first large scale project I’ve made using this fantastic render engine.

The project took almost 3 weeks from start to finish.

Edit: The whole 1900 artists montage is now available. This link goes to where my render is, around the 1hr mark. View the montage