View Full Version : Character TD Reel

08 August 2005, 09:28 AM
I finished this a while back but I just never got around to posting it here in the finished animation section. Feel free to hit me up with crits or whatever.

edit: my site found its way back up, but i dont have enough bandwidth to host up the reel for the masses.

for any interested, my resume and all contact info can be found on my site.
aim: bpsmurf84
yahoo: gustave84


For the Mid Size Version (about 10 megs)
type in malcolmtg if a password thing pops up.

much thanks to the following for the use of webspace
Eric Schall of
Ron Harvey of
Jeff Smith of
Wade Ammon of
Trevor Dorsey of
Ed Hardison 4th of

edit: When I posted this I didnt think I would get this much attention, but im very proud of my work and the work of everyone that helped me to create my reel and am glad that others appreciate that work to.

sidenote: im currently looking for my next project to work on, so any information to that end would be most appreciated.

08 August 2005, 01:14 PM
way to knock me on my ass 8O

08 August 2005, 01:31 PM
Great Focus. Excelent work.

08 August 2005, 01:32 PM
really great stuff here:thumbsup::wavey:

08 August 2005, 01:32 PM
Good job Malcom! Are you still in Orlando?

As far as the reel goes, I would say hold the credits of your animators and modelers a bit longer in the end. Since you don't have descriptive text throughout the reel saying who animated what, people reviewing the reel are going to want a clear picture of exactly what you did on it. The credits page is important for that reason. At any rate, very nice. You have progressed tremendously since I have seen you last! :)

08 August 2005, 01:38 PM
Great stuff, love the work!

08 August 2005, 01:42 PM
That is very impressive, and beautiful.
The one who can animate your rig are very lucky people.

I will certainly come back to your site.

08 August 2005, 01:43 PM
That was a hell of a rig!!! Great job!!

08 August 2005, 01:45 PM
You must have studied anatomy and movements very well. They're very natural and beleivable!

08 August 2005, 01:46 PM
The rigging on those tenticals were extremely impressive. um the beginning was bit strange becasuse there was this long pause of darknesss and then the music just kicked in it didnt feel intentional. The facial animation were great and the rigging was sweet how ever others involving character run and walk cycles felt kinda stiff and weightless. But i also know your focus was rigging and not animation soo good job!

08 August 2005, 01:47 PM
Great job Malcolm. Excellent work. I am particularly impressed with your facial setup. That looks sweet.


Mysterious X
08 August 2005, 01:51 PM
superb rigging..and I enjoyed the Trigun music :thumbsup:

08 August 2005, 01:55 PM
Very Impressive work, Malcolm!

08 August 2005, 02:05 PM
Wow way to go Malcolm, how long have you been doing this animation lark? I have always wanted to do this sort of thing but no one will tech me :( I want to do this with cartoon characters like this one I did a couple of years ago (see attached file) I am blown away by your talent, well done and keep use posted to all your new stuff, all the best from Keith n Kay at (

Once again well done.

Keith (falconian)

08 August 2005, 02:26 PM
The work is very good - but I wanted to add that the reel is well developed also. Very thourough, well paced, a good length and on point. Very well done.

08 August 2005, 02:30 PM
hey nice rigging reel. you helped me over the phone last month when I ran into blendshape issues and I just wanted to say thanks for that. I mixed your solution with my own and came up with a work around. Thanks again and don't be surprized if I call you again in the near future. I am starting another character, but this time I am doing the facial rig first.


08 August 2005, 02:45 PM
that is so impressive... i wish i knew more on the subject so i had more to say.. dn even know what td stands for:hmm:...

obvously ur rigs are fantastic.. u take creative aproaches to each specific task with immaculate detail... man o man i got work 2 do

08 August 2005, 02:54 PM
Very nice! Rigging is an artform, and you're quite the artist.

I really liked the tentacle hair on the creature in the beginning. It looks like it would be fun to animate with your rigs. Well done!

08 August 2005, 03:04 PM
Hey Malcom good to see your stuff on CGTalk. Reel looks really good. I think it would have been really nice to see some kind of flight cycle with the dragon.

Anyway keep rockin and good stuff.

08 August 2005, 03:18 PM
Glad to see the reel made it to the front page! Congrats! How is life in San Deigo these days? I haven't heard much from Reed or Ricardo, hopefully yall are all doin' well. This reel is often used in the Full Sail DRC class as an example :cool:.

Anyway man, like I was saying, congrats on your success. Keep it up :thumbsup:

08 August 2005, 03:23 PM
Hi There! :-)
this was fun to watch. cause of the "original" sound track you put in there,
i think the modells where great, especielly the last one when he has those angel wings put on him. the rigging is very cool to watch,think the face rigging was exelent,. i dont know if sombody have asked the question. but how long time did you work on this? from scratch to finnish? :buttrock: would be intresting to se those creatures textured too :-)

keep up the great style and work :-)


08 August 2005, 03:26 PM
COOL ! ! !:eek:

08 August 2005, 03:43 PM
Nice! That kick ass! Where do people learn to rig so well???? Are you gonna put some tuts on your website anytime soon?

Excellent work, i agree with the intro though, too long of a pause, but nothing can be said about the work. Good Job.


08 August 2005, 03:48 PM

yo homie, you already know what i think about your stuff. glad to see your getting lots of props for it. keep up the good work mate.

08 August 2005, 04:06 PM
Excellent showreel. Your rigs seem so well setup and designed! Welldone!
I was wondering if you can share the "concept" behind the rig and the animation controls of the tentacular hair? It's very impressive, I would love to know more about it!

08 August 2005, 04:24 PM
Really nice model and superb rigs

08 August 2005, 05:25 PM
I finished this a while back but I just never got around to posting it here in the finished animation section. Feel free to hit me up with crits or whatever.

nice stuff!

08 August 2005, 05:52 PM
realy well done, great work MalcomTG

Did you use some kind of muscel system on your rigs or is it just paint weights?

08 August 2005, 06:52 PM
great job on the creech man,that was a great comic,and a great character!

08 August 2005, 07:14 PM
Astonishing work! Congratulations!

A lot of work there :thumbsup:.

08 August 2005, 07:18 PM
Hey malcolm , i am currently a Student at fullsail . Ive seen your reel before and its awesome. I am an animator and in desperate need of a facial rig for Lipsinking , They wont let us use the Blue man anymore. I am in DRC atm , if you can help me out my email is Thanks and awesome reel :)

08 August 2005, 07:46 PM
inspring stuff. very impressive. makes me want to learn rigging and all that biz. where did i leave that spare year......

08 August 2005, 08:04 PM
I really didn't expect this much attention, but I completely appreciate it and it feels pretty good to have my work validated in such a way by my peers.

To anyone out there looking for a Setup Artist (or Rigger, Character TD, Technical Artist, or whatever you call what I do) for a project, feel more than free to contact me as I am currently between projects.

sidenote: feel free to ask or email me any questions, and I'll be more than happy to answer to the best of my ability, and now for my responses

Kwago, Ephesus, picolo, tyrinid, mackabie moss, The_Show, Masnado, Viktor Karisson, bentllama, NOOB!, and jtico thank you very much for your extremely kind words.

Wes Brown - Actually, i was out in San Diego for a while working, but now I'm back home in Kentucky taking a little bit of a break and looking for my next position. Yea, there are definitely some edit changes I would like to make to it, but i've just been to busy over the last 6 months. What are you doing nowadays? and thank you for the kind words.

Polar - The people who animate my work are just really good at what they do, which makes my decent work look all the better.

chikos - I've tried my best to study as much anatomy as I can with free time to just try and better understand the way something should look so I can know how much farther I can push it

decipleofx - Yea, some of the animations for this were done by friends a couple days before I put the reel together. Hopefully the next one will be more polished and have animations that all maintain the same skill level. I'm just glad I didnt have to do all of the animations myself.

Slurry - Thank you, I thought long and hard about how I wanted to setup the face and that ended up working out pretty well. If I were to redo it, I would probably throw in some more blendshapes, but you live and you learn.

Mysterious X - Thank you, I spent like 3 straight days trying to find several songs that I would like and then realized that this one song was exactly what i wanted.

falconian - Ive been doing this for a couple years now, went to school for it down in florida and have just been trying to further my skills along the way with something I really love.

Spiffjackson - I'm glad that I could help you a little while back, and yea feel free to hit me up whenever for help.

AKDesigns - td is technical director. my job is called rigger, setup artist, or character technical director

Floyd Bishop - Yea, i really enjoy the way that hair ended up looking. Even though I dont really like animating, working with that hair was pretty fun.

eric_schall - next version of the reel should have more developed animations, and maybe i'll end up having time at some point to rig up one of your characters

Digital_Crystal - well right now I'm back home for a bit, cause I decided not to stay on in San Diego. As far as I know Reed and Ricardo are doing good and still working out there.

PauGfx - Well, I only did the rigging and some of the animation. All of the work on my reel was done over the course of like 2 or 3 months. Now I could recreate almost all of it in a week or two, but at that point I was still working out ideas and seeing what I wanted from the rigs and how I liked things to be controled and how animators liked them to be controlled.

iest_rob - well I went to school at full sail down in orlando, but most of the stuff I learned was from having animator friends and bouncing ideas off them and finding out what they liked and what they didnt like.

Erock0013 - well i completely blame you for how crappy all the models are. and in the event you ever finish the beast, it'll take over for the dragon thus making all the side project characters on my reel done by you. its a monopoly waiting for you to take over, hehe.

Segmoria - Pretty much the tentacles were a setup of spline iks controlling a joint for each peice of the tentacles, then using utility nodes some extra group nodes the tentacles are animated from about 1 or 2 positions for each tentacle and it creates a falloff that makes it flow behind. There are a couple of systems of other control that can be switched to that weren't shown yet.

Osaires - No muscle systems on any of my work on that reel. It was all painted weights, and I think only one blendshape in the whole reel. I've been looking into doing a full on muscle system but I havent yet.

akewt - always glad when I can inspire someone

08 August 2005, 08:20 PM
Very impressive im even more impressed to hear you didnt use much blendshapes, rigging is always something i dont spend enough time on. Can you tell me how long it took you to rig the creature (creech) i love how you did the hair , very organic motion in it.

08 August 2005, 08:28 PM
Heber - Well alot of the time I spent on the Creech, was dedicated to figuring out exactly what I wanted to do with him. Once I really got into it, i would say I probably did that character in around 20 to 30 hours or actual work. I might have spent a couple weeks on him, but alot of that time was doing R&D on how I wanted him to move and exactly what I wanted. Since I've already done it once, I dont think it would take this long now.

sidenote: Creech was actually the first character I rigged of all those on my reel.

08 August 2005, 08:59 PM
your bandwidth limit has exceeded, any chance of another host?

08 August 2005, 09:03 PM
o noes, bandwidth limit exceeded. how big is it? i could probably use my webspace for a mirror for ya :). drop me a pm

08 August 2005, 09:08 PM
Great reel. i enjoyed it alot/.

08 August 2005, 09:45 PM
OMG that was amazing. I simply love your rigs. I would really like to know how you made them using scripting. Im a real novice when it comes to scripting. This is a great reel, hope you can land a great job with this one. Also what program did you use? , I couldnt recognize the UI.

08 August 2005, 09:48 PM
Could someone mirror this?

08 August 2005, 10:25 PM
in no way did i think that my site would drop from the attention of my reel. i guess i should be proud of that. i have a couple friends that are willing to mirror for me and i should have the reel back up for people to check out here in the next little bit, sorry for the inconvenience but thanks for the attention.

08 August 2005, 10:25 PM
Could someone mirror this?

I'll second that.


08 August 2005, 10:30 PM
For the Mid Size Version (about 10 megs) (

For the high res version (about 30 megs)

08 August 2005, 10:35 PM
djkaneda - i would still appreciate a mirror if you wouldnt mind doing that for me.

oxyg3n - im glad you really liked my work.

cg219 - I used maya for all the stuff on the reel. the only real thing that focused on scripting was the creation of the rigs. pretty much, i figured out all the processes that i wanted to use and then scripted them out after the fact. i like to work that way, so that i really understand what the button i create will end up doing. so by the time i create a button for something ive used the process on several characters, and know enough about what im doing to be able to adapt it later if i need to.

08 August 2005, 12:49 AM
This is freakin' nuts! The facial rig is fantastic. Love the level of control you've set up. You make it look so easy!:D

08 August 2005, 01:33 AM
That was awesome! Thanks.

08 August 2005, 01:40 AM
Very impressive reel :thumbsup: I hope you land a good gig soon where you can continue to put your skills to work! I am sure you'd be a great asset to any studio.

08 August 2005, 01:53 AM
For the Mid Size Version (about 10 megs) (

For the high res version (about 30 megs)

Another hosted file bites the dust..........

Oh well.

08 August 2005, 03:57 AM
outstanding work!!

08 August 2005, 05:54 AM
cant see...
one is bandwidth exceeded, another is page cant find... :sad:

any mirrors pls? thanks

08 August 2005, 05:56 AM
Can someone please mirror this? :)

08 August 2005, 06:09 AM
erilaz, pixeltroll2005, and luima thank you very much for your overly gracious words.

Leigh - I hope to be a great asset to a company in the very near future, that company just hasn't felt the need to contact me yet.

thanks to everyone that has viewed my reel so far, im still looking for more mirrors. if anyone has the bandwidth and wants to host this up i would much appreciate it, feel free to throw up a link to wherever you put it.


08 August 2005, 06:40 AM
For the Mid Size Version (about 10 megs)
type in malcolmtg if a password thing pops up.

08 August 2005, 08:29 AM
Nice work. I really liked it

awesome muscle movement, especially upper torso and the second leg set...

five stars from me

maybe u should send ur reel directly to a company or a number of companies, when studios are looking for people they go through a lot of bull****, so even if ur work is outstanding, they might miss it... the best way is to send it directly to them (that way it isn't just a file they downloaded).. i know it's nice when they contact u, but why wait, it doesn't make u bad at what u do

08 August 2005, 08:34 AM
kotsos - thanks for checking out my reel. ive definitely been shooting the reel out to whoever I thought would check it out. I totally believe in being proactive for this type of thing, but if someone wants to come to me I'm not gonna stop em.

08 August 2005, 09:35 AM
Beautiful rigs.

Can't wait for you to put some tutorials on your site :)

I'd like to know more about how you rigged the back muscles!

08 August 2005, 09:54 AM
kotsos - thanks for checking out my reel. ive definitely been shooting the reel out to whoever I thought would check it out. I totally believe in being proactive for this type of thing, but if someone wants to come to me I'm not gonna stop em.

Well at least now with the plug, over 10,000 peeps know you exist ;) best of luck!


08 August 2005, 01:47 PM
Awesome reel, very inspirational :thumbsup: Looks like alot of hard work went into that brain of yours.

08 August 2005, 02:01 PM
Ur truely inspiring man......

was disappointed to see the TUTORIALS and DOWNLOADS pages of your website to be blank.. it'll be great if ya share some amount of your experince. Lookin forward to it :)

08 August 2005, 02:27 PM
Leigh - I hope to be a great asset to a company in the very near future, that company just hasn't felt the need to contact me yet.

I know that feeling well, but I think you'll be having many more job oppurtunites than me. Nice deformations, nice rigs, nice overlays. well done.


08 August 2005, 02:32 PM
Malcolm the great, whats good. How are things? Even though I've already seen your reel before it is still one of the best TD Reels I've seen. Well be safe and take care.

08 August 2005, 03:17 PM
Hey nice td reel there, may I ask how you did the rolling shoulders, I've been rigging characters recently and wondered how you did them ?

Is your facial UI utility nodes based or is it expression connected to blendshapes ?
THX great work.

08 August 2005, 04:02 PM
Wow.. great stuff.. excellent focus! I really liked the winged creationsof yours. Very nice. Oh.. I'm a Mac guy myself, any recommendations on screen capture software? Looks like you had nice resolution for the screen captures.

08 August 2005, 05:40 PM
awesome dude!

rigs are just great

nice work

08 August 2005, 06:42 PM
kcfang - yea, i need to finally get those tutorials and whatnot up on my site. I just never know exactly what people want to know about so its hard to make a tutorial.

lildragon - now over 12,000 people know i exist, and so far no one has admitted to hating my work, so thats a plus atleast

Kid Mesh - yes, alot of work went into the old noggin, and i tried to throw it right back out at the computer

w0lverine - thank you for the comments. i am disappointed that i dont have any tutorials up either to be honest.

westiemad - thank you

xenfive - thanks man

Pickman - half of the rolling shoulders is the fact that the model is really well defined and the other half was just spending the time painting weights and working with it for a while. i had started on weighting before that animation was done but after it was I went in a tweaked little areas.

My facial systems were all pretty basic actually. they all relied on a joint setup and the controls were build to using some utility nodes to control the joints and different groups for area control. their was only one blendshape and that was went the grandma goes from old to young, but other than that everything is weighting and a couple of sculpt deformers made their way in for danny's cheek puffing thing.

if i were to redo the facial setup now, i would probably use what i did in the past as a base and then add on blendshapes for specific things that are harder to achieve with just joints. but you live and you learn.

silent_soul - im usually a pc guy, but i actually did all that screen capture on a mac. i dont remember what the program was, but ill find out and send you a pm aobut it.

syndrome - thanks.

08 August 2005, 07:20 PM
<wheeze><kohhh> master....<wheeze><kohhh>

Nice work man, very nice. I know you spent an assload of time and effort on it! You definitely earned your front-paging!

Keep up the good work!


08 August 2005, 07:27 PM
ObsidianPC - thanks man, i really appreciate it. so how is my old assistant kyle working out over at EA?

08 August 2005, 07:38 PM
Ok homie, here ya go.

Please right click and save target as

mid size (10 megs)

large size (30 megs)

congrats again.

08 August 2005, 07:48 PM
thanks ed.

08 August 2005, 08:13 PM
:eek: Nothing to add...
amazing !

08 August 2005, 09:37 PM
superb bone systems, good rigging and animations...congratulations

08 August 2005, 09:40 PM
hi man. glad to see things are going well with this posting! you definately deserve the props, and im dyin to know what youve been up to since you finished this reel. whens the next version coming out? anyways, uh. thats it.

no wait, i thought of something. i have a certain vehicle that may benifit from a re-rigging... i did apreciate your help with distance dimension nodes for my suspension when i was trying to have a hand in everything on my reel, but come on, what was i thinking. after all, as alex said, you ARE the master now....

hit me up, and well talk jeep...


08 August 2005, 01:58 AM
Very very good. Great job Malcolm.

08 August 2005, 04:13 AM
wow...that reel still amazes me.
this goes for both you and ed, they constantly show your reels in class and i must say i never get tired of seeing them both.

08 August 2005, 06:32 AM
Ludal - i really appreciate the response, even if it was a couple words. thank you. its definitely motivating to have someone like your work.

<GarfieLd> - thank you, i can only take animation credit for some of the def tests. the really good animation is care of kiel figgins , matt smith and delano athias.

kndrewa - yea, i remember helping you out with that. i hope to get another reel together before the end of the year, or atleast that is the goal but im not sure if its gonna happen. whenever i get another comp that i can work on i will be more than happy to rerig that up for you.

since finishing up my reel, i did some freelance out in san diego for a while. i decided to take a break for a little while after that so im back in KY chillin til i get an offer for something better.

Ozger - thank you very much. sidenote: same ozger that used to be my teacher, or just a coincidence?

nubian - im glad that i helped to make something with some entertainment value. yea i really dig ed's reel. everytime i watch it, i get bored with the music about a second before creech comes in and then there is that great changeover of beat and the music grabs me again. oh yea, and hes a pretty good modeler, but the real focus there is that music change. hehe.

08 August 2005, 02:37 AM
kcfang - yea, i need to finally get those tutorials and whatnot up on my site. I just never know exactly what people want to know about so its hard to make a tutorial.

Pickman - half of the rolling shoulders is the fact that the model is really well defined and the other half was just spending the time painting weights and working with it for a while. i had started on weighting before that animation was done but after it was I went in a tweaked little areas.

This is the part that I'm really interested in the moment, about the rolling shoulder. Perhaps you can write a section on this? Did u paint the weight before or after Smoothing? or doesnt it matter? And which part of the muscle does your shoulder joints control and how does it's behaviour work? XD Thanks

08 August 2005, 03:45 AM
Yes this is the same Ozger! :)

08 August 2005, 06:25 AM
kcfang - I always paint weights before smoothing, and then only look at that motion of them in smoothed mode or sub-ds or whatever. rigging or painting weights on a smoothed model is needless time, and it maya you cant really smooth and paint weights because it only assigns the ability to points in the skin cluster and leaves all the newly created verts black. it just makes it less intuitive to work in such a manor.

There were a couple shoulder joints in there, one main one, one in the front and one in the back. i start off by setting up areas for a specific joint and painting each joint to 1 for the area i want it to have the main control over. then i go through and lock weights on all the joints and then unlock on the area im working on, and keeping my focus to 2 or maybe 3 joints at a time. then i go through the entire character like that and refine the weighting again and again until everything looks the way i want it to.

after this point is when i would add in any blendshapes or whatnot to the character.

Ozger - sweet, are you still doing the teaching of young minds and all that?

08 August 2005, 10:41 AM
thats really amazing, very impressive work.

08 August 2005, 05:12 PM
malcolm, your reel friggin rocks!!! i was wondering- in those OS X screenshots on your reel: what is the utility you are using?? (it has a couple of sliders as well as a long panel of all the joints and their properties. i can't make it out but it looks like it says "winGUI something"). anyways, i'm always interested in any scripts like this that actually work on the mac. CHEERS!!! i hope you have the best of success!

08 August 2005, 12:15 AM
that was great
looks like so much fun to animate!

some things to fix up that reel:

-get rid of the big black pause at the beginning
-get a little bit more specular in the materials, i could hardly see any wrinkles in the old woman's face until the wireframe came on
-get rid of the black backgrounds! use 50% grey, or a midtone colour. black just doesn't do any justice, and bleeds into the shadows of your models, skewing their actual silhouette.

08 August 2005, 09:10 PM
midgetClown - thanks

thetatorment - that was an auto UI that i put together actually. it works on mac and pc, but the only screen capture software i had access to was on a mac.

feebsicle - yea, most of the animators that i've let work on my private stuff have only had a couple complaints but seem to like my work overall.

thank you for the first actual crit.

yea, i hate that pause at the beginning. i just havent had the time or equipment to drop it out. yea, if it was a bit shinier it would show through, i was just weary of it looking plasticy cause ive seen that fine line of ok and oh my god thats bad crossed alot. i used the solid black to go with the color scheme of my site. i may switch to like a 70%-80% for the next version.

08 August 2005, 09:17 PM
great job Malcolm :)

I haven't seen your reel in a while so it's nice to check it out again.

Hope life is treating you well,


08 August 2005, 04:31 PM
Heya malcolmTG, I don't get your rolling shoulders setup, would you be kind enough to explain how you did your joints in this area, I understand the scapula joint (very close to paul thuriot hyper real dvd) but the rolling shoulder is a mystery to me, will you be discussing it on your site ?
Again, nice stuff there, I really love it.

08 August 2005, 12:06 AM
other than the long pause at first and the abrupt stop in the end, MAN WOW! Great rigging. This is why I just want to model and animate, because I don't even know if I would even think about rigging characters in such a way. But then again, they may teach me to think about such things here at SFAAU.

Awesome work.

08 August 2005, 04:17 PM
sneezy - thanks monica, i appreciate that.

Pickman - Yea, the shoulders on creech ended up being setup similar to the ones on the thuriot DVD, but it was more of a coincidence then anything. the joint setup is one joint that would be the shoulder socket that goes. then there is a joint that starts at the top on the shoulder and goes down across the back to create a scapula. the weighting on it all is just really precise so that the skin along the spine and ribcage pulls and stretches as the shoulder is animated. It may just look more complex than it really is, but that's really all that i did for the shoulders. is there a specific part of the reel, like a couple of seconds that you're referring to that show what you're wanting to know about?

silentsamurai - thank you. yea i hate that black at the beginning, but it was something that had to be put in there for a version of it and i just didnt get around to ripping it out for my website.

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