Welcome to our remote studio! We’re creating a 3D sequence called Mklali’s Mission. Click through the different stations to discover more about each step of the process.

Start the Mission

ABOUT THIS PROJECT

Oh, hi there! Welcome to our small remote studio.
 

We’re producing an epic 3D sequence called Mkali's Mission using each of the tools in the Media & Entertainment Collection – Maya, 3ds Max, Arnold, Bifrost for Maya, and Mudbox – as well as ShotGrid for production tracking and reviews.

Mkali's Mission follows a fearless warrior Mkali and her sidekick Suluwo on a quest to destroy the headquarters of The Loyalist Brigade - an evil government imparting distress and horror across the nation. Read more about the story in our recent 

blog post.
Join us behind the scenes on this journey from creating the initial concept to the final render.

PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT

Ken LaRue
Production Manager

Crystal Lake, USA

Ken wears a lot of hats in this production - from finances to making sure everything is running on schedule. With the help of ShotGrid, Ken monitors and gives feedback on artists’ work to make sure production is running smoothly and on time.

Read about Ken’s journey of setting up the remote studioTake a look at the process for developing the story behind Mkali’s Mission
Meeting with contractors.
Review and feedback for bunker in ShotGrid.
Feedback in ShotGrid.
Feedback for Mkali's crossbow in ShotGrid.
Meeting virtually with contractors worldwide.
Project management and reviews in ShotGrid.

CONCEPT ART

Calum Alexander Watt
Concept artist

Eastbourne, UK

This is where our story begins to take shape.  
Cal had the vital task of visually defining the look and feel of our story from the composition of key shots to our heroine’s clothing. Once finalized, the art will be used as a reference guide for modelers, riggers, animators, and FX artists. 

Read this blog post for more details.

Final concept art for Mkali and Suluwo.
Original four concepts for characters.
Storyboard creation in Sketchbook Pro.
Mkali final concept art created in Sketchbook Pro.
Watch Calum create the storyboard in Sketchbook Pro.
Watch Calum create Mkali's final concept art in Sketchbook Pro.

COLOR KEY

Hanping Zhao
Color key artist

Vancouver, CA

Photoshop

Building on the concept art, Hanping was responsible for creating the overall mood and emotion through color. Once Hanping sets the mood, our lighting and rendering artists can use the color key as a guide for their work.

Images
Videos
Final color key for Mkali.
Final color key for the environment.
Second version of color key.
Initial version of color key.

MODELING

With concept art and color key in hand, our modelers can now embark on the creation of our 3D models. 

Environment
Andres Saarnak
Snowmobile
Adrian Wise
Weapons
Steve Talkowski
Character Modeling
Jacques Dell
Grooming
Vini Tokue
Character Modeling (Refinement)
Alexandra Papouchina
Andres Saarnak
Adrian Wise
Steve Talkowski
Jacques Dell
Vini Tokue
Alexandra Papouchina

MODELING

Andres Saarnak
3D Modeler

Hiiumaa, Estonia

Andres worked in 3ds Max to create the snow-covered scene and the Loyalist Brigade bunker.

Modeling the environment in 3ds Max using the concept art as a reference.
Refining the environment in 3ds Max.
Final render of the environment.
Final render of the environment.
Watch Andres create the environment for Mkali's Mission in 3ds Max.
Andres Saarnak
Adrian Wise
Steve Talkowski
Jacques Dell
Vini Tokue
Alexandra Papouchina

MODELING

Adrian Wise
3D Modeler

Happisburgh, UK

What’s a champion without her steed? Adrian worked on modeling Mkali’s ultra-sleek (and fast!) snowmobile.

Four views of the snowmobile in 3ds Max.
Modeling and matching the concept art of the snowmobile in 3ds Max.
Refining the suspension of the snowmobile in 3ds Max.
Final render of the snowmobile in 3ds Max.
Watch Adrian model the snowmobile in 3ds Max.
Andres Saarnak
Adrian Wise
Steve Talkowski
Jacques Dell
Vini Tokue
Alexandra Papouchina

MODELING

Steve Talkowski
3D Modeler

Los Angeles, USA

Steve worked on our heroine’s weapons, including her mighty crossbow.

Modeling Mkali's crossbow in Maya.
Modeling Mkali's crossbow in Maya.
Modeling Mkali's crossbow in Maya.
Modeling Mkali's crossbow in Maya.
Watch Steve model Mkali's crossbow in Maya.
Andres Saarnak
Adrian Wise
Steve Talkowski
Jacques Dell
Vini Tokue
Alexandra Papouchina

MODELING

Jacques Dell
3D Modeler

Melbourne, AU

Beauty is in the details. Jacques worked on modeling and texturing our champion, Mkali and her props.

Sculpting fine details of Mkali's face in Mudbox.
Modeling Mkali's body in Maya.
Refining details of Mkali's uniform in Maya.
Final render of Mkali in Maya.
Watch Jacques create the model of Mkali's uniform in Maya.
Watch Jacques sculpt the details of Mkali in Mudbox.
Andres Saarnak
Adrian Wise
Steve Talkowski
Jacques Dell
Vini Tokue
Alexandra Papouchina

MODELING

Vini Tokue
3D Modeler

São Paulo, Brazil

Creating realistic hair is artistically and technically one of the biggest challenges in CG. Vini works his magic on Mkali’s haircut with the help of Maya and X-Gen tools. 

Vini working on Mkali’s hair length with XGen in Maya. 
Vini grooming the final look for Mkali’s hair with XGen in Maya. 
Watch Vini work on the grooming and refinement of Mkali’s cool hairstyle with XGen in Maya. 
Andres Saarnak
Adrian Wise
Steve Talkowski
Jacques Dell
Vini Tokue
Alexandra Papouchina

MODELING

Alexandra Papouchina
3D Modeler

Toronto, Canada

Alexandra uses her superpowers to get our heroine looking as true-to-life as possible, refining Mkali’s face based on a 3D scan imported into Maya. 

Alexandra working on Mkali’s face while using a photo for her reference. 
Alexandra refining Mkali’s face details based on a 3D scan as a reference imported into Maya. 
Watch Alexandra refine the geometry of Mkali’s face, using a 3D scan as a reference. 

RIGGING

Charles Wardlaw
Rigger

Toronto, Canada

Now that our 3D models have taken shape, Charles can give our models their skeleton, or a network of movements, that imitate their real-life counterparts. From these rigs, our animators can breathe life into the models.

Rigging the snowmobile in Maya with custom scripts.
Rigging the snowmobile's handlebars in Maya.
Rigging the snowmobile in Maya.
Rigging the snowmobile in Maya.
Charles Wardlaw using Maya’s rigging tools and custom scripts to create the animation rig for Mkali. 

Charles Wardlaw adjusting the weight of the influencers that will help control the rig in Maya.

Watch Charles use Maya’s rigging tools and custom scripts to create the animation rig for Mkali. 
Watch Charles use Maya’s rigging tools and custom scripts to create the animation rig for Mkali’s snowmobile. 

ANIMATION

With the rigs in place, our animators can now give our characters and props movement and put our story into action.

Animation Blocking
Benoit Prevost
Creature Animation
Konstantinos Zacharakis
Character Animation
Melanie Cordan
Benoit Prevost
Konstantinos Zacharakis
Melanie Cordan

ANIMATION

Benoit Prevost
Animation blocking

Montreal, Canada

Benoit is working on the animation blocking - establishing key timing and placements of our characters and props before we animate the 3D models.

Creating the camera rig for the animation in Maya.
Creating the camera rig for the animation in Maya.
Creating the animation blocking for previz in Maya.
Creating the animation blocking for previz in Maya.
Watch Benoit create the animation blocking for previz in Maya.
Watch Benoit create the camera rig for animation in Maya.
Benoit Prevost
Konstantinos Zacharakis
Melanie Cordan

CHARACTER ANIMATION

Melanie Cordan
3D Animator

California, US

Melanie springs our hero into action with the help of Maya’s animation tools.

Melanie working on the Mkali’s run cycle. 
Melanie working on the finer details and polish on the animation for Mkali. 
Watch Melanie work on the animation for Mkali, including her run cycle and gaze towards the camera. 
Watch Melanie work on the animation of the close-up shot for Mkali running past the camera. 
Benoit Prevost
Konstantinos Zacharakis
Melanie Cordan

CREATURE ANIMATION

Konstantinos Zacharakis
3D Animator

Kotka, Finland

Konstantinos brings our beloved side-kick, Suluwo, to life by creating the blocking animation and polishing the animation with subtle details.

Konstantinos working on the animation blocking for the wolf’s run cycle using reference videos. 
Konstantinos refining and polishing the animation of the wolf in Maya. 
Watch Konstantinos work on the animation blocking for the wolf’s run cycle using reference videos. 
See Konstantinos refine and polish the wolf animation in Maya. 

FX

This is where the magic happens. Our FX team is hard at work creating snowy witchcraft and explosions.  

FX (Bunker Destruction)
Eloi Andaluz Fullà
FX (Explosion)
Phil Radford
Eloi Andaluz Fullà
Phil Radford

FX (BUNKER DESTRUCTION)

Eloi Andaluz Fullà
 3D VFX Specialist

Montreal, Canada

If you want to make an explosion look good, Eloi’s your guy. Eloi is the mastermind behind the destruction of the bunker.

Eloi working on the destruction of the bunker’s debris and fragments. 
Eloi preparing the bunker’s destruction in 3ds Max using plug ins such as “thinkingParticles” 
Eloi working on the bunker’s destruction in 3ds Max using plug ins such as “thinkingParticles” 
Eloi Andaluz Fullà
Phil Radford

FX (EXPLOSION)

Phil Radford
3D VFX Specialist

St. Ives, England

Creating explosions and avalanches are no easy feat. Luckily, we have skilled FX artist Phil Radford on board, carefully orchestrating the destruction.  

Phil creating the snow that will become part of the avalanche using Bifrost in Maya. 
Phil working on the bunker’s multiple explosions using Bifrost in Maya. 
Watch Phil work on the avalanche and bunker explosion in Maya with Bifrost. 

LOOKDEV

Arvid Schneider
Lighting TD 

Vancouver, Canada 

What’s a hero without her gear? Arvid is creating and fine-tuning the lookdev for the Mkali’s gear using Arnold and Maya

Arvid working on the look of Mkali’s binoculars with Maya and Arnold. 
Arivd focusing on the finest details for the lookdev.  
Watch Arvid use Arnold in Maya to create the lookdev of Mkali’s binoculars. 

COMPOSITING (Coming soon)

This is where our 3D elements all come together. 
Our compositor will take all the 3D elements and combine them to create one beautiful, cohesive masterpiece. 

Come back soon for updates or follow our progress on 

AREA.

LIGHTING & RENDERING (Coming soon)

The final phase. 
Lighting and rendering is where all the team’s hard work comes into fruition.

Come back soon for updates or follow our progress on the 

blog.

Production Manager

Concept

Color Key

Modeling

Rigging

Look Dev

Compositing

(Coming Soon)

Animation

FX

Lighting & Rendering

(Coming Soon)