Strange Behavior (Animation) Entry: Richard Thomas


Richard Thomas is entered in the “Strange Behavior Challenge” update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Modeling: second pass on model - adding detail


Here’s some first sketches of an idea for a spider flower.
It’s a spider that has evolved the ability to disguise itself as a flower, so as not to get squished.
The idea revolves around inserting this little creature into some live action footage.
The plot goes something like this,

-A guy is filming this strange flower he has found in his kitchen
-He realizes something isn’t quite right (perhaps we see the flower twitch)
-He reaches into shot to prod the thing
-Then suddenly the flower transforms into a spider
-Spider scampers out of shot.


sweet design and original concept


Holy cow! Im surprised there isnt a spider like this! What a great concept… perhaps it has some small legs around back to hold itself up? At any rate, looks like a very promising idea.



Very cool, and interesting idea. I like your sketches and attention to detail. A refreshing change from the cartoony stuff most of us are doing. Do you plan to animate it fully? Like the spider catching something?


thanks for the positive feedback guys!!

jasondesigns - yes i’m hoping to animate it fully. initial idea of the story is bullet pointed below the post.

slangford - nice idea… it would be real funny to see the spider as a flower kinda just drifting across the floor… v. spooky.
it’s going to be quite some rig to get all those limbs and flaps moving in a coordinated way… hopefully i’ll get time to post some details of the rig i come up with.
i’m going for a big push tomorrow!!! i’m hoping to use one base mesh and deform it appropriately to get all the various leg segments.

i might get the modeling completed tomorrow - fingers crossed!


still loads to do on this…
lots of topology changes and extra details plus i need to change the upper segments of the legs so they meet with the body better.
man… spiders are fiddly!


Alright! Lookin good man. Are you going to set the ‘petal flaps’ as morph targets? or try to rig them with bones? Bones could give you alot of control over how they open, but morph targets would be so much easier. Anyway, I cant wait to see it finished… k

ps… if your using mental ray to render your occlusions… set you material samples to 32 (or 64) and your rendering samples to 4 and 16. Should give you a lot cleaner render. :thumbsup:


thanks slangford

i’m planning to use bones. i think with cunning placement of the joint pivots and some carefully weight painting i should achieve the effect i’m looking with just one… its only a 90 degree movement after all. it shouldn’t be too painful considering i should only have to paint the weight for one leg and copy its weights to the others.

i thought about blend shapes but as i’ve changed the way the flaps open out (details will follow) and i’d need about 3 blend shapes to achieve the arch i’m looking for.

as for ambient samples… i take your point, but what can i say, modeling takes so much time i often succumb to being impatient with the odd preview render!

no doubt i could learn many a lesson from the way present your work, which is first rate.


-Added fangs and anatomical ridges.

Started to include some leafy/petally lines and segmentations. I’m hoping to push these a bit further.

Lots of improvements to the topology too, though I guess it’s only during skinning will I see if I pulled that off well enough!

Still have to take some of these new organic details across to the legs.

I’ll try to not to get too caught up in the detail. I’m planning to do a bit of z-brush detail after all the animation is done -that’s if I get time!

I’ve chosen to keep the legs as separate meshes. Hopefully this will speed the rigging and skinning process - I’ll just have to rig and skin one leg rather and copy it rather than eight! Hopefully the texture and displacement maps will add variance to each individual leg.


Very interesting mix of organic and mechanical! The occlusion render really brings out
the sense of those forms!
It sure will be very interesting to see how texturing will amplify the fusion between the
Good luck!


Hey there.

I must say… this is one of the brilliant-er concepts i’ve seen… that spider… is definetly strange behaviour! I hope to see more soon. looking good so far.

Can you tell us your pipeline? what apps are you going to use for tracking? whats your main app for CG?

looking good all in all.



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