View Full Version : Griffon animation

12 December 2004, 08:12 AM
Hi all,

here is something i have just finalized, i thought i might give you abit of a 'making of' as well, just so you could see what went into this 30sec of animation!

there is no real story to this just abit of animation for a creature i had set up a while back!

software used

3ds max 5.1
simcloth 2.53(for hair dyanamics)
photshop 6 (textures)
combustion 3 for compositing

all are Divx avi's in rar format!

NOW with SOUND! just redownload the move if you have seen it before

the final animation!

Griffon movie ( Now with sound and higher rez - 11.4meg

making of a creature!

Making of griffon movie ( no sound on this - 7.1meg

here are some hi rez stills of the original movie!

any comment or questions would be appreciated
anyway enjoy!


John Van der Zalm

12 December 2004, 08:36 AM
Ive seen the labour and love that has gone intot his work, great to see you made it so fine in the end well done


12 December 2004, 08:48 AM
heres the links again (



12 December 2004, 09:08 AM
thanks sam!!

for more images

check out my griffon webpage

12 December 2004, 12:12 PM
looks awesome :) well worth the effort you've put into it :)

12 December 2004, 12:54 PM
Holy ****ing crap.

That's amazingly beautiful...

Any tips on how you went about compositing the final 3D render with the sun and all of that??? I noticed a lot of overlapping of the sun's rays and that affecting your character... Any tips on how that was achieved???

12 December 2004, 05:34 PM
thanks man

it was pritty simple, i ended up using a standard combustion lensflare without all the lens flare parts, just the sun burst, so it did not look to much like a lens flare as they can look cheezy sometimes. I did use a seperate hand painted layer and set it to effect the saturation of the underlying layer for some of the layers! the reson i put them on differnt layers was so i could control the saturation of them on the diferent parts!

here is the composite as an animated giff!

hope this isn't to confusing

by the way i forgot to tell every one the files sizes

its 6,7meg for the movie

and 7.1meg for the making of!



12 December 2004, 10:01 PM
Geat job, nailed the amosphere perfectly... and that hair :buttrock:

Thanks a bunch for the animated gif sequence, really breaks the scene down.

kick ass work!

12 December 2004, 10:43 PM
Really awesome! Love the feathers and hair.....must have taken ages!

Very cool!

How long did the hair simulation take?

12 December 2004, 08:22 PM
Excellent job. I think the piece works very well on the whole. The hair animation looks great, and the lighting and compositing are just brilliant. One suggestion I have is that the creature's legs should be tucked in closer to it's body as it flies, rather than dangling below it. Birds do this to streamline thier bodies and reduce drag, making them more aerodynamic during flight. I think it would definitely help make the motion all the more believeable. Great job! Are you planning on adding sounds?

Tom W.
12 December 2004, 06:43 PM
I really like it very nice no crits, out of curiosity how long did this take to render :)

12 December 2004, 11:46 PM
Hey John, great to see it finnished love the environment and the matte painting the texturing, animation, and fur on the Griffin looks fantastic too, looking forward to seeing the final result of your Minotour even more now, keep the great work coming man it rocks!!!

12 December 2004, 03:40 AM
hi everyone thanks for the comments and feedback!

the hair simulation took about about 2.5 days to calulate so i sat there hope for no powercuts! hehe

however i had done alot of smaller pretests for the hair dynamics to makes sure i had everything working nicely it still took me afew goes to get the sim down right!

greg! yeah i agree with your coment! i the leags should be feather back mayself, however unfortunaltle i had already done my hair sim before i thought about it to much! if i had more time thats somthing i would have improved on!

the rendering times where pritty good in the the end! i was able to get my render time down to under 3 miuntes per frame! the only real problem i had was hitting the windows ram cap of 1.4gig and max would crash after 2 frames! but using max's network rendering got round this problem!

afew things i did to acheve this was!
- point caching all may meshes and i even managed to point caching my hair simulation witch ment max didn't have to transform any vert's at render time.
- the second thing i did was make sure max was not using Ram to render the textures but rather using a swap file! this actualy increased render time! but i was happy with 3 min per frame!

also i used the good old scanline render to render out everything i had about 8 lights, only 5 where casting shadows!

my machine specs are

amd 64 53fx chip
2gig ram (if your planing on doing hair this is a minimum requirment really)
sk8v MB
my graphics is 9800xt!

only one machine at this stage! i'm sure we could all do with 2-3 machines! hehe

anyway keep the comments and critscoming



12 December 2004, 01:37 AM
WOW are a legend!! even in your own lunchbox there are rumors of you being a legend too!! so how did you make this amazing flying beast or did you take a photograph cos it looks too real to be CG? i saw a griffin once, i was on absenth at the time and mushrooms too but i did see it...i swears it!!, it was when i was playing quddich for griffindor!

good effort mate, i know how much time you spent away from your wife and friends to make this, not eating for days and never were a mess, a classic artist!


12 December 2004, 03:49 AM
Really good work. :applause:

12 December 2004, 04:25 AM
thanks Mr cooper yes its a real photo of a griffon i just painted the background! i got a fairy to take the shot! with my handycam althought now you have uncoverd my secrets to the world!

the funny thing is i am actualy reading Harry potter at the moment!



thanks for the posts!

12 December 2004, 11:43 PM
Very good work in the character, the composition, the fur and feathers, the only thing that looks strange to me was the animation at the begining and at the end of the movie, some -i think- unnecesary thumbling. Perhaps it's only a subjective apreciation. i love the rest

12 December 2004, 05:54 PM
did you mean when it goes into the dive? or just the amount of movement of the body tumbling around in genral?

12 December 2004, 06:25 PM
Yes but when it looks more unnecessary to me is at the very beginning when the griffon makes it's appearence over the clouds...
of course it could be caused by a gust of wind, but the clouds are so quiet and it seems there is no strong changes in the scene wind, only the friction with the air caused by the velocity of the fly.
Maybe i'm just being a little (or a lot) peevish :wise: , but in this kind of work it's a stipulation to be so. :)

12 December 2004, 08:09 PM
Love this piece man! I sort of got that "blizzard cinematic feeling" with the painted background and epic animal - looks and feels quite real in my eyes! :thumbsup:

With crits I have to agree with some of the things that have been said about tumbling, it would seem that the griffon is such a large animal that it would take a lot of wind to make it tumble so much.

A very important aspect of animation is that unless something in your scene defines the scale, like say a human, it is difficult to see how big things are - griffons are animals that people really don't have a sense of scale about, and the only way to define it is though animation. In this scene I see the griffon tumbling in the air a bit too much, which makes him seem more like a small bird, than a medium sized beast. :)

Look at the end of Lord of the Rings - Return of the King, where the eagles pick up Frodo and Sam, they move strongly and gracefully, and even though their feathers tumble with the wind, their bodies are quite unaffacted as they are so big it would really take a storm to take them off course. If for example your griffon would tumble less, and the body and wings a bit more stiff, I think it could make a difference. If you understand my drift? :p

Also the last dive out of frame is maybe, in my eyes, maybe a bit unnecessery, and again I think it moves to fast for the size of the animal..

But, this is just my opinion, all in all I really like this animation, just some small tweaks and you'll get a 5 star from me! (and by the way, I could never have made this myself, I'm just another crit-**hole hehe) :thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 08:43 PM
freakin amazing. that's a great character you got there. my only crit is i feel like the legs should move a little more. I can remember footage of eagles where they are flying around with their legs just dangling like that, but here it looks a little bit like you just forgot to animate them. i like the tumbling though, lookes like a nice touch to me.

12 December 2004, 08:56 PM
thanks Armocelu and Thakandar for the crits keep em coming!

yeah i think i agree with you both now that i look at it! originaly i wanted the griffon to speed in and slow down suddenly as if he was making a decent! i think you right Thakandar when you say that the body should stay pritty stable. i did however have a look at some eagle video clips which bounced around abit but hay! a regular eagle is alot lighter than a griffon thats probly the same wieght as a horse! hehe. i guess this shows the importants of getting as meny people to view you WIP. when i did the animation once i locked it down and started doing the hair simulation you realy don't want to go back after such large simulation times!!! hehe

i'll definatly be doing a WIP for my next project coming up which is going to be a Minotaur with a Muscle rigg using ACT! and hopfully some more hair! so stay tuned i might post some character designs and initilal rigg stuff up in the next few days!

also i'll have some sound for the giffon clip soon so hofully that'll give it another layer!!

anyway keep the crits coming! i'm not easily offended so be honest and post what you think even if your a newbe don't be shy!



12 December 2004, 03:19 AM
ACT and HairFX?... I smell long calculation times ahead ;)

You should throw some SSS in there just for good measure ;)

No really, looking forward to it :D

12 December 2004, 05:33 PM
Looks like i chicken to me

12 December 2004, 05:53 PM
Looks like i chicken to me

How very constructive critique Brum, I'm sure that piece of information will help him a lot doing a better job next time :rolleyes:

12 December 2004, 11:14 PM
Looks like i chicken to me cmon surely more like turkey given the time of year


12 December 2004, 12:07 AM
Looks like i chicken to me
Wow, if that's what your chickens look like, remind me not to visit Sweden ;)

12 December 2004, 04:37 AM
turky! i'm sure as i cant see KFC deepfrying this one! well mybe for the family pack where your get a cheese cake thrown in!:eek:

01 January 2005, 01:47 AM
wow, very impressive, maybe make the fur dirtier? i liked it a lot tho

01 January 2005, 01:28 PM
the fur is awesome !!!
how do you do that??

01 January 2005, 08:57 AM
thanks JJolly amd tAI1061

making the fur dirtier would be nice! not sure how i'd go about that but i think i might try dsomthing like that for the next project!

as for how i did it it! like all 3d it takes lots of pacients and time!


02 February 2005, 05:27 AM
really bravo:thumbsup:
very good jop i enjoied every frame:)
keep it up

02 February 2005, 07:06 AM
WOW!!! :eek: no critics! :applause:

02 February 2005, 07:31 PM
so much detail! the sky, the griffon, the HAIR! awesome!!

02 February 2005, 08:08 PM
Perfect :thumbsup:

02 February 2005, 08:31 PM
hay thanks people i apreciate the comments. makes me want to do more

i'm working on somthing new this time. no feathers at the moment but plenty of hair and Muscles.

unlike this griffon project i didn't do a WIP so i'll be doing it for thisone so stay tuned.



03 March 2005, 01:44 AM
Hi all

its finaly here! I would like to that Raison Varner for generoisly donating his time to putting together some professional music and sound which definaly gives this work an other side to it.

anyway check it out for youself. this new cut is larger in size so you can see more 720x576.

NOW WITH SOUND CLIck me to download ( 11.4meg

here is Riasons details

Raison Varner

composer and sound designer (

if you are looking for profesional sound work please contact him.



03 March 2005, 03:15 AM
wow, the sound adds a heck of a lot to it doesn't it, I've put so little thought into sound for my stuff, and now you've got me thinking :) very nice ;) someone plug this :P

03 March 2005, 02:49 AM
Ohhh yeah well done man, with sound just sets it right off, awesome, but is the sound of the flapping on the wings slightly out?? dont know, doesn't matter, I'm just getting picky 'cause I'm jealous, its wicked dude, now thats outta the way, onto the minotaur.....

03 March 2005, 06:04 AM
hay you where right D_S! it was out of sink. thanks for that.:thumbsup: also i compressed the sound accidently so if ya download again its alot better now.


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