View Full Version : DEMO REEL: Tre Zieman - Facial animation, game art, and more

Toxic Frog
01 January 2006, 07:44 PM
It's been almost 2 years since I made my last demo reel, so my New Year's resolution was to get a new one ready. I'm happily employed, but I make a point to update my reel at least once every two years.

It's mostly made up of real-time environments from various game projects I've worked on. It also includes a few real-time characters, and the latest addition of The Joker lipsynching to an audio clip from the Batman Animated Series. The Joker was set up according to the super cool 'Stop Staring' method, which I recommend highly.

So here it is, my 2005 demo reel (I called it 2005 instead of 2006 because it is made up of work I'd done up till the end of 05).

Quicktime format, approx. 36 MB:

And here is a preview of some of the content:

My next task is to update my poor, neglected web page.

I appreciate comments and crits - thanks for looking!

01 January 2006, 08:59 PM
Wow awesome reel!
I love the facial animation!
Great work an that.

The environments are also
great. Really impressive

Keep it up:bounce:

01 January 2006, 03:57 AM
love the real i would love to know how you did your face rig if you would be so kind. could you please let me know. thanks

01 January 2006, 02:40 AM
I suspect he didn't make the rig- It comes with the book. He used the demo model that comes with the book and altered it a little. Quite efficient for an animator actually!

01 January 2006, 07:01 AM
hi there...

yeah..the facial rig is impresive but infact I liked the in-game art more than anything.
it is amazing wot details you have got with so much low poly models...and the mood you have created in the scenes.
great work man :)
Sachin S. Suryawanshi

01 January 2006, 11:26 AM
Face rig is very impressive and looks like fun to animate. All the trees in your environments were textured very well. I espacially liked the shot of the busted up lighthouse type building and the old trees. My only critique would be the stone hallway. It just has to much repeating textures. It looks like the walls and the floor have the same map but stretched. But everything else looked very good, Keep up the work.

Toxic Frog
01 January 2006, 04:09 PM
Wow - thanks for the comments, folks!

-Framestorm- - I appreciate the kind words.

Humfleet15122 - I'll share a little about the rig below

Sachin S. Suryawanshi - Thanks much! I did the facial piece for fun and exercise. The environmental stuff is all made up of content I'd done for work over the last several years, so it makes sense that it's more polished. Thanks for the compliment

inline243 - thanks for the thumbs up. I think I agree with you about the stone hallway. I will probably retire that scene from my next demo reel. *sniff* :)

nshcreative - That's a fair assumption, but it is in fact incorrect. I made the model from scratch.

Regarding the face rig, it was all done in Max 7.5. Obviously, the Stop Staring book was written for Maya users, so there were many things that had to be 'translated' into Max for the rig to work.

The most valuable aspect of the book is the core technique. It's universal and applies no matter what software is used. If you are comfortable with modeling and understand proper face topology, you can quickly skim or completely skip the modeling sections. Also, all the scripting and setup applies only to Maya, so they can be skipped as well. The real value is in the philosophy behind the technique..

So, if you were to create this rig in Maya, the book should be all you need. If you do it in Max, there are some extra steps to take.

Read the book (Stop Staring: Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right by Jason Osipa, available on Amazon) and get familiar with the core philosophy.

Then visit this site:
It covers setting up the Stop Staring controllers in Max.

I also got some great info from the CGTalk forums when I ran into problems with reactions being controlled by multiple masters (the answer was float list controllers).

Thanks again for the comments, everyone!

01 January 2006, 05:29 PM
Hey Toxic,

Very nice stuff on your show reel. I really liked the environments but my favorite shot and looks like yours too is when the joker opens his mouth and stares at the camera like an idiot. Seems like he's just asking for someone to hit him over the head with a...ummm...bat (heh).
Everyone's covered most of the crits. One minor thing I wanted to add was about the sound. (Great soundtrack by the way -what's it called?) ..anyway when the movie starts there's a different sound that comes in on the title that's louder than the soundtrack and voices that follow. I'm just mentioning that cause when I played it the opening music was way too loud on my machine so I turned it down and then when the joker started speaking I had to go back in and turn it back up again. Might want to check the levels on the audio to make sure they're on the same level. -like I said minor crit.
Hey you also mentioned a problem about reactions being controlled by multiple masters and the answer was float list controllers - I think I had a similar problem like that in Maya a while back. Do you still have a link to the discussion thread about that? I know it's probably the Max way but I'm curious about the technique so I can try to mirror that in Maya.

Again, cool stuff man. Hope to see more from you.

- Riash Shahnawaz.

Toxic Frog
01 January 2006, 09:12 PM
Heya Riash

Thanks for the comments and input. The audio levels problem you mentioned used to be a lot greater - I tried to adjust them but apparently didn't turn the intro sound down enough (d'oh!)

The music is a song called 'Mis Dos Pequenas' by Orlando Cachaito Lopez. Glad you like it - it was recommended to me by a friend that works at a record store while I was searching specifically for demo reel music.

Regarding the float list controllers, here's the thread where I was pointed in the right direction:

Hope that helps!

Joel Hooks
02 February 2006, 04:06 PM
I don't believe I missed this! The Joker is one of my all time favorites, and I love to see him animated in 3d. Great job on the representation.

02 February 2006, 03:40 PM
I really like your Demo Reel there are some really good low poly scenes in there that awesome. I think The facial animation was very limited and I would love to see more of it.

Toxic Frog
02 February 2006, 03:42 PM
Joel - thanks for the comments. The Joker is my all-time favorite character, and I've got big plans for him (better hair, better skin, proper cloth). Hopefully I'll have time to work on him more and post an update soon.

MikeYork - Thanks for the feedback. I'd like to do more facial work with the Joker as well. At this point, I felt like I had enough to add it to my reel and call it done for the time being. But like I said above, I've got plans to really trick him out in the future.

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