View Full Version : urumba - monkeytoy - "out of the box"

10 October 2004, 09:45 AM
Some of the movie links may not be working, starting from page 4 the links should be fine.
Also you find the more recent animations and playblasts from posting #55.

hi peoplez,

I am happy to present you my work in progress on a monkey called Urumba.
He is a crossing between a plushmonkey and toyball. It took me a while to come to the idea of leaving the legs away and making him move like a bouncing toyball. I was allways sure that his movements are strongly based on his arms, meaning he is walking on his fists as gorillas do, and the body just follows.

He will be the "star" of a short called " out of the box" that I do for my architecture studies. I am trying to jump over the gap between architecture and character/toon-animation. so the story will tell how this toy wakes up in a box, how he starts to experience the space arround him, tries to break out and how he find his solution t get his kind of freedom ... I will perhaps add th detailed story later.

here are some concept and charcter drawings first:
thats where I started ... not bad, but too classic
this was the point when I left away the legs to make him more toy ... also thinking allready about a unique way to show his movements ...
this was my strongest charactersketch ... the point where I said "thats how he should look like" I oriented my modelling mainly on this drawing
concept on "his way out" ... the story is strongly influenced by the cartoons of moebius, specialy of some rare two pagers that tell a mysterious evolutions of its characters without words ... arzach &Co

Frank Dodd
10 October 2004, 12:13 PM
That looks great, lots of character and humor in all of these characters, I think any of them will make a 3D character.

10 October 2004, 01:08 PM
here are some renderings of the modell I got so far

here is also a link to a thread I started over at the maya character forum, playing with a little robo called Mumbo.
he was a bit of a dummy to check out a custom rig for a character that walks with his arms:

and the direct link to a funny tstmovie I created with this dummy _ 1.8MB (

10 October 2004, 02:51 PM
started to paint his textures ... as I cannot afford real fur (I dont like animals getting killed for 3D work) I am working with more gamelike textures and a velvet shader with some bump to create the fuzzyness ... I am heading for something looking more like plush than fur.

still I want to keep it rather simple, more on the cartoony side.
main point is that when you see the whole character you can see that he is a puppet/toy.

11 November 2004, 02:38 PM
I like the last concept sketch (with the exagerated perspective)

The texture is nice. With a velvet shader + some bump on the lips and the teeths it will be really nice. Nonetheless the white fur under his ear is strange.

This idea of combinating architecture and characther animation is really cool.


11 November 2004, 01:29 PM
first of all a sketch for a poster - a bit 70style with the color offset.

then another concept sketch. the moment when he first leans out of the box he is trapped in, looking into the dark:

and last but not least a rendering playing with the "out of the box" title.
although in the movie it is not a cartonbox, I like to play with the differnent way you can see or think abbout the word box ... at least thats my connection to the thing called architecture
rendered mit maya mental ray (yes by the way I am working with maya6 : ) GI and FG, and some dirtmap. textures all handpainted. displacement on the packing peanuts and the upside corners of the box.

I am not 100% sure abbout that, it could be a bit more hfocused, more dynamit and readable ... but I allready spent one day working it out and there is still so much animationwork to do, so I will keep it like that.
nevertheless critics that could help me imorving it are very welcome.

11 November 2004, 01:38 PM
here are two little walkcycles.
the firstone is more of a lazy hop _ 556kb (
the timing is not to precise enough and the bellyjiggle is a bit too slow.

second is a more cartoony walk ... trucking down the road.
worked it out with richard williams great book "the animators survival kit"
this one is loopabel _ 204kb (

11 November 2004, 02:05 PM
Great stuff... keep it up :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 02:26 PM
thnx maxx, old problemsolver :thumbsup:

I just saw that cgtalk changed their system of the wip areas.
so this is in the 3D stills area ... but as the 3D anim area seems not to be so much frequented anyhow, I better stay :D

11 November 2004, 05:47 PM
I really dig the character. Great work on the textures! I did notice a few pops in his arms in the first animation you did. Smooth those tangents out and you are golden.

12 December 2004, 09:31 AM _ 2.7MB (

the linked movie shows you a first animation test ...besides drawing the storyboard (I will put it online later, still having to finish and scan it) I will block out each scene.
This helps me a lot finding out more about the timing and the focus of each scene.
Also it is not lost work, cause the good parts I will can keep, just having to finetune them for the final animation.

It also brings in the camerawork into the process at an early stage.
when you think abbout your story and you just try to tell it with your character you tend to forgett the big role of the camera and cuts for the storytelling.
Often it really seems that a good camera does a lot of work that you thought the character has to do acting the scene all by its own.

12 December 2004, 10:31 AM
nice to hear from you
greets from Vienna


12 December 2004, 08:03 PM
played with the "trucking down the road" walkcycle in after effects.
perhaps I overdid the DOF a bit. it was more to test mayas dof shader in composition. - 2.7MB (

12 December 2004, 08:22 PM
Love your stile!

Keep on trucking B) :applause:

12 December 2004, 09:03 PM
This is coming together very well mimo8
Keep it up man:thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 09:41 PM
If you say: "Fat monkey with no legs?"... ill reply "i love it! :D"

keep up the good work!

Lazy Animatz
12 December 2004, 12:27 AM
Hey there Mimo8,
first of all, deep bows to you and your skills, especialy yr sense for detail (the stitches on the shoulder, the eye that opens just right)
then some more respect for the walk cycles (walkin without the legs-thats true cartoon world) truckin' down the road is... truely nice. the other walk cycle reminds me of a real-life guy with no legs, and that's about the way he moves - with the help of a skateboard and two ancient euh [the thing you use for ironing]-s
can you consider a 'crib-walk' you know, rough hiphop gangsta style kind o limb? or would that take you to far off ?
about the block-out then/since you mentioned camerawork, the rough cut you make after we descovered the opening off the eye, well the next shot is 'over the axle' in my opinion.. we get to see the character from a whole different side, though we approached him from the other side.. you make the viewer lose his orientation, no? you could continue yr initial move, go round the head (over the axle, but on screen) and let him open that eye. and cut to a wider shot, same angle..
and what great effects on the keep on truckin cycle! maybe some parts don't need to go out off focus again but hey you're amazing and so is that work of yours!

beware of the Lazyness
Green Cloud

12 December 2004, 12:55 AM
thnx for all those nice coments and the friendly stars.
cause friendly stars make the monkey happy
... and the mimo work some more

12 December 2004, 10:05 AM
Massive work Mimo, glad to see it evolving.

You've got a hell of a character there and I'm impressed by your animation skills (and camera work). And last but not the least, a great script. Can't wait to see the final result.

Keep up the good work

And 5 stars for me

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 10:21 AM
about the block-out then/since you mentioned camerawork, the rough cut you make after we descovered the opening off the eye, well the next shot is 'over the axle' in my opinion.. we get to see the character from a whole different side, though we approached him from the other side.. you make the viewer lose his orientation, no? you could continue yr initial move, go round the head (over the axle, but on screen) and let him open that eye. and cut to a wider shot, same angle..

hello green cloud,
thnx for your comment on the testscene.
I apprechiate it a lot, cause the cinematography is my weakest spot, and helping eyes like yours do some good to smooth the story out.
I will take your coment into account and try to avoid this "over the axle" shot at this point.
flipping the camera 180degree from one shot to the other seems to be a "donīt" in camerawork. Still there are cases when it is used to show a "both sides" of a scene ... westernshowdown ... its points like this where I am not perfectly sure what brings some tension and what can be too much ... and as the director and creator of the scene you tend to forgett what the audience doesnt know yet.

that is the point where I decided to change the whole story at that point and also why I am not going to use this scene. As I said I will link the story and the storyboard later, but just in short the story is abbout this monkey finding himslef in a box. just this kind of stage and the character. actually both parts are like characters, the box and the monkey.
Its a bit like in Francois Shuitens comics, where architecture takes a major role in the plot.

the animation will show different stages, different emotions and relations of the character, telling how he wakes up, explores, gets bored, hates, wants to get rid and overcomes the box. the first little scen I we are talking abbout here is the very beginning, where he just wakes up. He should seem sleepy & dizzy and not make bigger moves at this stage.
also the room is not showen yet. we will discover it later when he discovers it.

the neonlight on the sceiling will blay a big role in the animation. this flickering lightsource will set the rythm of the movie. by going on and off it cuts the scenes, takes part in the action. darkness starts and closes the scenes ... (mystic, heh)
I think I was to unpatient and allready wanted to show how the box looks from outside, with a camera moving closer and the light flickering. Its good that I tested it out but I should save this for later, starting with total shots on the character and parts of the box. closeups.

thnx for reading, helping, and hope fully also enjoying this progress ... better stop typing and start animating aggain ... cgtalk is the best friend and the worst enemie for a digiartist :D

12 December 2004, 02:27 PM

here are the textures of urumba ... as you can see the model is split into head and belly. this method turned out to work really fine. you dont even have to cover the joint with a scarf ;D (as I thought or heard) you just have to be sure that all the weights at the cut have exactly the same weight for the overlaping verteces.

nevertheless I got some crits from a friend about the texture.
his comment was, that it looks a bit gamelike. not 100% realo but also not really cartoon.
I really see what he means and actually when I started the character I also thought of something more simple, more toonlike. but the whole process of texturepainting got me deeper and deeper into imitating a kind of furry look, which I finished with a velvet shader that gives a irregular shimmer on top.

what I did is handing him over the 3D mesh and the photoshop files and ask him to give it a toony try (go menno go ... fame and glory are waiting for you ... or whatever the reason my be to create CGart :D ) so I am really curious what comes out of this "remake" of the skin.

I just was happy not to get a major crit on the modelling, cause there I couldnt alter the mesh so easy anymore. skinning and blendshapes are allready done, they would not make it too easy to go back ... also you have to leave things as they are sometimes. perfectionism can kill a project.

12 December 2004, 02:30 PM

there it show that I still will have to work some more on the deformations of the arms.

12 December 2004, 08:30 PM
Hey mimo8 You're absolutely rokkin along with this man!
Thanks for sharing

12 December 2004, 10:24 PM

i the art rox, very nice shading & texturing job !!!
keep it up

12 December 2004, 10:05 PM
awesome! love it! :thumbsup:
im curious for the next step!!

12 December 2004, 04:01 PM _ 5.8MB (

this is an update of the animatrix ... it shows the second scene where the monkey starts to get moving, tapping and feeling the ground and the walls. still he should seem a bit sleepy and dizzy. for me the task was to show his slowness without boring the audience ... thats why I chose to fast forward some steps ... tell me if you got ot right.

12 December 2004, 06:17 PM
This is a very unique character and I think you've done a great job bringing him to life. Good luck on finishing up the animation.

12 December 2004, 09:52 AM
nice / different I LIKE

Lazy Animatz
12 December 2004, 11:52 AM
Hao mimo8!
i read your post after viewing the blockout2 scene, i did this not to be biased by anything. here are my remarks: i didn't destill lazyness or sleepiness out of it's moves, no that's not true, G this his hard to explain. i didn't really grasp the speeding up, the ffw as you call it , i more thought of it as a style element, a way of editing. and don't worry to much about boring the viewer, u take him by the hand and show him around, sometimes the viewer has to be patient, this builds up a certain tension. but don't drag the viewer around (look here! and here! now there! nono, eas up..)
the blurry vision in the subjective shots (what urumba sees) work well, to state that he's not on 'full capacity' yet, but the first one is a bit short in time (the hand). in my opinion (humble -by the way) a strong image would be if urumba would rub his eyes with his left hand, to clean out his eyes, to make the blur go away.
the way he puts his finger in that hole in the wall, is sweet. you just want him to feel in there!

just viewed it a couple of times more (together with bai lingkang :twisted: )
in the first blurry shot (subjective) maybe it's a good idea to have no camera-movement there, the movement is a bit odd for a point of view..
as he moves forward to the corner there is another -i think- to short objective shot where you can just feel the hole in the box.. but it's to easy to miss.. when urumba pauses in the midlle of the box, why not let him look up there at the hole? that would add to the reason he's moving in that direction..

that's it for now.. keep up the great work brother!!:thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 01:07 PM
Good luck on finishing up the animation.

still a long way to go ... but I keep on tight.
just spent some hours bringing a systematic in all this scenes and cameras ... if I want to reuse the animatrix for the final version, this would have ended in one big mess.

so in the credits of the movie I will have to mention maya, photoshop and excel :D

12 December 2004, 10:12 PM
now I will try to bring this kind of cartoony look over to 3D. the textures will be drawn in illustrator, not to be tempted by photoshop dirtbrushes and such ... as I always say
"2D or not 2D..."

12 December 2004, 10:24 PM
This is a funny looking little character. I like the shader that you are using. I would have to agree that it looks like a plush animal...just one question...why no legs?

keep it up man.

12 December 2004, 11:17 PM
This is a funny looking little character. I like the shader that you are using. I would have to agree that it looks like a plush animal...just one question...why no legs?

keep it up man.

Why no legs? - good question.
I will have to go a bit into the creation process to get there.
in the concept phase of the character I thought abbout how he should move, what he should be able to do. It was allways sure that the character would be a monkey, cause the story is refering to a passage out of a book by michel houellebecq - "les particules elementaires" (I will post the passage later).

So I was sure that it will be a monkey, and I thought abbout different monkeys.
funny flexible monkeys that can bend their arms like rubber, massive gorillas that move by walking on their fists ... I liked the later ones a lot. that was the point where I built the mumbo ( character to study this kind of movements and also to see how to rig and animate them.
With the mumbo I saw that the legs only where some addons that had to be dragged behind. so why not leave them away at all.

Like it is often with ideas, that seem fit good for a process, this solution also was an answere to other still open questions, like the one if the monkey should be a real animal or some kind of toy.
Making a real animal without legs would be too cruel ... I never was too much attracted by creepy things - sometimes I even wonder if this personage I created here seems a bit sinister and if it should not be even lighter, more funny.

another point is the animatability (this is definitely no english but you know what I mean: )
When you have a straight forward biped figur you will easily be confronted with the images of real peopleīs movent that everyone knows the best. nothing is harder to create than a realistic walkcycle. There it is way easier to work out a exagerated cartoony walk, cause as long as it loops without any heavy jiggles, it will be funny, or at least bizarre.
So I wanted to lift this weight from my shoulders and come up with a figure that will never easily be confused with human movements ... during the animations I did the job so far. Seemed to have been a good joice ... most cycles I built till now where rather quickly done, and easy to tune (its just two arms - no extra feet :D )

puh ... long answere to a short question ... made me remember the whole creation process

thnx for your encouraging comments
cu arround

12 December 2004, 10:04 AM
just rendered this one out to use it as a christmas card ... I also submitted it to the finished work forum

12 December 2004, 04:56 AM
interesting project.. love ur character ! ;)

12 December 2004, 09:43 AM
Cool, mimo. This is looking great.
I wonder where this will go with the forum shuffling?

12 December 2004, 10:19 AM
Cool, mimo. This is looking great.
I wonder where this will go with the forum shuffling?

thnx for your nice comments

still not sure if and to wich of the two new animation related forums I should switch.

Lazy Animatz
12 December 2004, 11:38 PM
hao mimo8

still not sure if and to wich of the two new animation related forums I should switch.

i was kind of wondering about that too, just here and now :D

the post was in -what was i thinking?- it's n°29..
so the points were:
- the speeding up
- the subjective shots (camera movement and duration)
- hand
- discovery of the hole
- add an extra action to destill a connotation (urumba is dizzy)
(combined with him seeing the hole?)

that was it, no?
you're sure doing a great joaarb here :thumbsup:

he mang where did da 5th star go? rrr

my cloud so green now...

12 December 2004, 12:03 AM
Nice work.:thumbsup: So how long do you think this whole project will take you?

12 December 2004, 05:50 AM
ok ... just getting ready here, not with the project but making everything ready to leave for christmas and hopefully some snow in good old austria.

here is the latest update of the animation dummy,
didnt get as far as I hoped to get, but tried to care bout some critics I got so far (thnx Lazy Animatz : ) _ 16.4MB (

the file got a bit big this time - 16.4MB and also the size of the movie varies, there is a black border at some parts, nevermind. Its just for reference.

my biggest concern with this first scene now is, if it is not going too slow and getting boring. also if the spectator ( you ; ) can read the plot out of the movements, so feedback is highly appreciated.
best whishes

Lazy Animatz
12 December 2004, 01:46 PM
Dear dear mimo8...
what a bummer! eager to find out about the next scene and the changes made to the previous scenes, i had to go to 404 land first... so i cleaned my glasses and took another look.
I hope you don't mind me helping the visitors to find what they came for? is the only spot to be!

i've viewed it a couple o times and am preparing my comments... but here's already one thing you can think about: why do you use what kind of transition when?

let me know when you're back, aight?

merry everything to you and yours,

Lazy Animatz

12 December 2004, 01:59 PM
I like your style the mixing 2D and 3D, and the graphic details, well done.
Heder real

01 January 2005, 04:50 AM
I absoultely love the character, and I love the style. The animation just isnt clicking for me.
By clicking I mean where you go *click* "yeah!", not as in clicking on the url.
But I damn love the character and style. And those beauty renders you did, Goldeneye (haha!) and the meditating one, very cool.

02 February 2005, 04:04 PM
... that I have not edited this thread ... but that doesnt mean that I have been sleeping.
god knows - and my girlfriend - I have been way too much in front of the computer.

After taking some days rest from this bussines I came back and took a look at my last output, the animation of the first scene - and I didnt like it at all.
It seemed so confusing, much to strange camera angels and the movements and poses where not storytelling. first I tried to improve the files I allready had, but every animator amongst us will know, this doesnt work. better take a new scene and start those moves and grooves all over aggain.

thatīs what I did ... preparing the shot all over aggain, setting keyposes, thinking abbout the essentials and reading "the illusion of life" (I can tell you, in times of troubles this book can be a bible - I mean animation troubles ; )

what I also did is working out a really little animation job. its just an intro and I did it in one weekend. from sketchdrawing, over riggin to the sound and clip editing.
look it up here: 1.8MB (

working on this little funny dog with its few simple moves felt so refreshing and clear.
when I cam back to my urumba scenes I missed this clear aim of the actions.
so now I am working the whole thing over aggain. it will take some more days till I have something to show, but it allready feels much better.

what I can and want to present here at the moment is first a concept sketch.
it shows the moment where the monkey tips a stone out into the dark and through that realises his situation in this one side open box ... its dark and empty out there

02 February 2005, 04:46 PM
what also made some progress is the enviroment, the box where the whole story is set.
here are some testrenderings ... they are far too expensive to you them fo the animation.
I rendered them using mrayīs global illumination and final gathering and as a second pass a dirtmap shader. this is more like a light study to help me paint the textures giving it a nice soft Gi feeling ... hope that works ;)
beauty pass

02 February 2005, 05:37 PM
and here the link to a testanimation of the box _ 3.8MB (

I am not totaly sure abbout the lamp. itīs a bit too industrial ... I mean the rest is also straight forward industrial, but for the lamp I could imagine something more bizare, something like a organic plant or a glass full of fireflys. I like it when the lightsource is moving and changing intensity .... bzzzzt ..... bzzzzt .... bzzzzt

sorry for the anim is very short ... it allready took long enouh to render out those 40frames.

02 February 2005, 06:30 PM
still alive, alive and kickin ... or even falling.

:arteest: :
animating is sooo timeintensive. there is no satisfying output when you dont have a plan of you want to get out of a scene before you open your file.

here a little testanimation; showing the moment when the monkey is leaning out of the box a bit too far, slipping and falling ... will he be able to get back in. SUSPENSE _ 380k (

so dont lean out too far :D
more to come

02 February 2005, 01:14 AM
In the fall test animation he doesn't quite look like he could be holding all his weight like that. I reckon if he put the weight on his elbows, then when/if he pulls himself back up he'll have to transfer his weight to his hands, streching his arms straighter, and leadining further back. At the moment he looks a bit off balance, know what I mean?

My crit for the day, hope it was helpful.

02 February 2005, 02:14 PM
good crit - thnx - will try to consider it

02 February 2005, 04:43 PM
like this thread a lot of good sketches in the beginning !!

02 February 2005, 03:05 PM
thnx johanflood.
hope the final renders will come close to the sketches quality.

at the moment I am texturing the box and playing with rendertimes.
as the movie will be arround 5 minutes this gives 7500 frames (25fps).
so I really should keep the rendertime for one frame arround 1 minute.

I opened up a little thread over at mayas rendering section ( to ask people to help me tuning the rendertime. take a look at it.

perhaps YOU have a renderfarm at home and feel like supporting my project with some CPU hours :thumbsup:

here are some images ... still a lot to do on the textures and with the light

04 April 2005, 06:23 PM
VERY FUNNY! great style!
maybe have a thought on those working lamps that you lay on the floor, could improove the atm#osphere, if you dont see the whole room at once... philip

pic (

04 April 2005, 10:21 PM
nice work here :) i really like your style, expessially that dog animation on pg1, lol, i can see an entire childrens tv show with the dog already :)

04 April 2005, 06:42 AM
Hey mimo, hows this going?
Are you still having rendering woes?

04 April 2005, 03:20 PM
hi people ... has been a long time since I havent posted in here.
one reason was, that I had to make up my mind, if I am going to show my progress in here or if I should finish the movie or at least a trailler and then listen to the feedback.

I chose the first way, also because I am a one man show and I really need your feedback. specially for the animation and the storrytelling.

so I will not hold back any stuff I produce and I am very much looking forward to your honest critique. also this is my first update after I had this thread move over from the still section to here. happy that we now have this animation playground in cgtalk.

so here is a little playblast. dont think abbout the storry at this point, hope you get the picture when I post more of the previous anims. _ sorenson 3 - 625KB (

04 April 2005, 02:14 PM
looks like this is going to be an interesting short....would like to see some more animation though

04 April 2005, 04:38 PM
idigm, thnx, trying my best. more animations to come very soon. also some rendered parts. - sorenson3 - 797kb (

here is allready one update of scene 3.1.3
to tell you bout the context:
in the previous scene he nearly fell out of the box, because a piece of the edge broke away under his massive weight. now he is scared of the dark outside, but at the same time he realises that his prison is not as closed as it seemed. one side of the box is open and he gets curiouse what is out there.
so the part shown in this playblast, is the moment where he is actually back at the edge aggain, testing the broken piece and then takin a look outside.
perhaps I shouldnt tell all this and wait for your feedback. but although telling it beforhand, iīm sure you have the one or the other helpfull hint or critique for me, concerning the animation.

thnx allready ... more to come

04 April 2005, 06:19 PM
this is looking pretty decent right now, the last shot feels long.

I like how he tests the ledge, nice detail.

04 April 2005, 06:28 PM
Hey mimo!

sketches look good!
would like to know more about the story, surrounding the concept.. its pretty hard to identify with so far, i would say some facial animation would help give him some more emotional personality. like makeing the eyes bulge when he looks over the cliff and maybe some mouth movements also.. and he need some kind of legs, i feel kind of sorry for him jumping around on his apehood, :)

04 April 2005, 10:40 AM
thnx for your comments,


the concept is simple. Its a monkey (without legs) waking up in a box. supprised by this surrounding he first explores this room till he finds out abbout its boarder: the edge facing the empty space outside the box.
the storry will be abbout his struggle and emotions, showing his stadiums of imprisonment. but we like happy ends. so he finds his way out at last ....but how.

this is my thesis / diploma for an architecture studies. so i try to explore the definition of space with the media of characteranimation.

for the faceanimation:
I really should take the time to go back in the productionpipeline and give him some more facecontrollers. he allready has some but not enough to make strong, readable mimiks.

for the legs:
i left them away cause i liked the idea to animate a ball that moves like a monkey using his arms to walk. thought this wwould give funny moves and very cartoonlike animation. what i didnt expect that much is that the cripled appearance causes a lot of compassion for the poor thing.
so it dindt want to go for a creepy look. that is the last thing i am attracted by.
still i am going to keep is handicap, perhaps also here a less can be more.

04 April 2005, 01:13 PM
update ...
added the scenes that go before.
should tell the story or rather this part of the story now.

i added numbers into the mov, to help discussing bout it. - sor3 - 6.4MB (

perhaps the strong cameramove in part 3 when the camera jumps back with his frightened look is a bit too much.

in part 4 the camerashake when he jumps in dirrectin edge energeticaly, as well ?
at this part i think abbout replacing the enrgetic jump (this should show that he took courage and dares to go back to the edge aggain) with a more shy, sneaking approach. he carefully and still verry frightened moves closer to the room, allway looking to the right and to the left, like wild animals do.
only thing its difficult to sneak if you just can hop.

04 April 2005, 11:06 PM
update: - 3.3MB (

reanimated the part where he is nearly falling down. think it has a lot more tension now.
I made not only him nearly fall out but also a big stone drop down, giving a nice view on something droping out of the box dissapearing in the dark.

This change came out of the understanding that it would be important to transport the feeling of the open space outside of this box. Where does the open space show? At the edge. the edge is the border between inside and outside. It is not just enough showing him nearly falling out, waving with his hands and looking scared. the cause of his fear has to be put in perspective. The edge.

As allways the essential things sound so obvious when they are spoken out, but it is not allways clear from the beginning what this essentials are :lightbulb

another HIGHLIGHT of this update.
first time I show some of the rendered parts here.

as allways happy bout crit and more to come

04 April 2005, 03:54 PM
update: - 2.1MB (

animated the next scene roughly ... boredom is the theme.
for the musik - yeah itīs gorillaz - will not stay. i was just listening to it and felt like puting it over it.

PLEAZE, donīt respond soo much to this thread. I also have to spend some time working on this animation and cannot answere questions all the day :D

04 April 2005, 04:12 PM
looking really good mimo! looks alot more lively now, good job on his boredom antics, very expressive,i like it when he's dangling of the edge:thumbsup:
good tune BTW, :D

04 April 2005, 04:46 PM
this reverse psychology is really working well dude... It made me respond.
The praised fall over the edge actually looks kinda weird to me... He falls very slowly then he pulls him self up even faster. Seems just a little off to me. Well, anyway I love what your doing with this movie, its gonna be great!

04 April 2005, 10:12 PM
thnx for your response.

poisen: i must confess i also like the boredom scenes the best so far. little effort but very clear in the meaning. if it would just allways be so easy to find the right expression.

droidoz: the falling down the edge part is has to be redone for sure. I also got critiques that it looks like breaking his arms, cause he goes in such a extreme position. but the main thing is the timing that has to be faster when he goes down.

through the poll ( i started, asking how much of an animation you should show befor finishing i am a bit hesitating to to come out with more stuff. i would not have posted the conlusion of the story anyhow, but i also will continue posting some updates, because i really enjoy the feedback and the hints i get in here ... so keep on posting, i also will :D

05 May 2005, 01:35 PM
Hi mimo,
nice little short. I like your idea behind it all. It is a bit hard to give a consistent crit on things at the moment. As I am late in the game and quite overwhelmed with all the different tests.

I think you should ask yourself why you are posting here. Is it to get good crits on the animation in regards to the story, or just the animation?
I lack a storyboard to give you a better crit. It is hard to get an overall picture of it at the moment, (that seems to be intentional though). Do hold off with the ending if you want to surprise people, but showing a couple of minutes in I think would help you and us greatly.

As stated in the other thread, showing the full short on the web before you submit it to festivals is a bad idea, as they will not let you enter then. Or, that is atleast what I've gathered from people talking about it in the past.

I agree on the previous mentioning on lack of facial expressions. Very hard to show fear or anxiety without them.

A thought regarding your boredom piece. Has he always lived in this box? Is he caged? That should show in the way he treats his surroundings, think of restless tigers in their cages. If he's always been living there he should have adopted his movements accordingly. He moves way to fast now (in my eyes) when he jumps around.

I see that you are aiming for cartoon animation, I think that should be more evident throughout. Not just when he is about to fall.
The IK arms when he is pulling himself forward is a bit to harsh. Maybe add some slight sliding there.

This is meant as constructive criticism, you have a great piece here. If you want a more detailed crit do tell.

I can't help but think of house of leaves (the book) when I see your room out in this empty space.


05 May 2005, 01:50 PM
thnx mikael for your (unexpected) reply.
unexpected because I dindt post in here for some time. suppose you clicked my signature to it out.

I am in the final phase of animation right now. polishing the moves and finishing some missing scenes. I intend to cut a trailer soon and also find some time to make a little homepage for the short, befor I enter the festivals with it.

nevertheless I am still very interested in feedback, but as mentioned above, dont want to show the movie (or bigger parts) befor it entered the festivals.

so here is a special offer
this is meant for people who seriosely want to help me in this final phase of the movie, people who want to see the rough cut and are willing take their time to give me feedback via email or even audiochat (skype or ichat).
if you dont have this time you better wait a little while longer and look at the final movie.(I will put it online, promissed)
also people helping me now will see the ending still in a rough way, spoiling their first time seeing of the final version.

if you feel like helping me in this way, write me a PrivateMessage or an email to and I send you the link to the rough cut.

I cannot take any use of fanboy comments, nor sloppy twoliners like "looking good - just the first scene is a bit too slow". the hardest part in animation is not to know what you want to show, but how you want to show it.
So an usefull comment should describe the improvement as detailed as possibel.

Chances are also there to give a try animating your version of a scene . But you can understand that I will share the (maya) scene files, just with people who gave me serious feedback and are not total fresh to animation.

thank you once aggain to mikael for your critical question on why I have launched this thread in here. It for sure gave me a lot of motivation in the beginning to get some friendly feedback as I progressed, but with the restriction of not beeing able to show too much of the animation without telling the story, I decided to stop.

Still cgtalk has more potential than just getting friendly(or critical) comments.
through this thread I got contacted by a great sounddesigner from athens, Yiannis is his name, who is now working on the soundtrack. :wavey:

So perhaps this (like michael said) unfinished thread can be a teaser for interested people to contact me and jump in at this final stage, as crashtestdummy(watching the rough) or even as animator.

hope I found the right words to express this proposal (used a lot of them),
and I also hope it is an attractive offer to some talented people out there.
as you can imagine there is no money involved (no money but monkey ), but I will quote each one helping in the credits (endless fame) and if you really want to work with the character (big trust) you can for sure use the scene for your reel, or use the character for own scenes (as long as you mention me)

curious bout your reaciton

05 May 2005, 08:09 AM
thnx to mikael and matthijs,
the replies and critiques from both of you helped a lot

still if anyone feels like giving me feedback on my rough version, dont hessitate to send me a mail

06 June 2005, 06:10 PM
I like the round monkey, No legs is good. I like how he's fuzzy like a peach.

Mind the Gap
06 June 2005, 07:32 PM
Hi mimo8
It is very impresive work i have seen
I like this simplicity
also i like this animation with marks(helpers)
it is very good idea i like your style.
You should check this site it is inspiration for me
and you should chose eksperimental work and comserv

sorry my english is not very vell i come from Poland
just live in london:scream:
I hope so you know what i mean :bounce:

06 June 2005, 09:39 PM
thnx everybody for your friendly feedback.

I am very proud to announce that it is finished.
OUT OF THE BOX is out at last

only bummer is that I will not present the full version yet,
cause I want to enter some festivals with this movie, but I promisse that I will put it online as soon as I am through.

special thanks to my man in athens Yiannis Kranidiotis who did a great job doing the soundtrack. (
here is the link to the trailer ... please look up the page in two weeks aggain (now it is pretty basic). I will improve it and put some documentation up sonn.

thnx everybody in here for your great support,
it is not only the encouraging feedback that kept me going, but also the opportunity to get in contact and work together with great people all over the globe, that makes this community totaly indispensable.

06 June 2005, 03:01 AM
Hey Mimo, Nice work on the short! :thumbsup: Liked the overall setting.
My critic is the part where after the character (monkey) screams and looks at his hands before placing them down...i did not get that expression...What if u raise the hand little up (anticipation, well now i am learning what is animation:D) and then make them fall down with gravity nodding the head sumthing of that sort ((Like Damn its useless!!! ))...just a suggestion!:)

Yes.. also PM me the link to the rough cut!..will love to c that!


06 June 2005, 11:08 AM
good idea wit the anticipation / shrug befor dropping the arms

for the rough cut, this offer is over.
allready finished :D

06 June 2005, 01:34 PM
congrats i really like what you did... extremely impressed with the overall look and liked the ending of the trailer a lot, it makes me want to watch what's gonna happen, which is what a trailer should do, hope it does well in the festivals :thumbsup:

Mind the Gap
06 June 2005, 11:08 PM
For me it is deep movie!:twisted:
Like i say before i love idea and graphic

04 April 2006, 09:12 PM
long time no update in here
just wanted to announce that I put a simple homepage for the animation online (

also I reached in the movie at some festivals like

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