Wednesday 22 December 2021

Pinball Blizzard

Here's an enjoyable 3d animation commission that kept me busy for most of November. MIT's McGovern Institute tasked me with designing and modelling a pinball machine for a Season's Greetings animation that would also run through their 2021 brain research highlights.

I firstly looked at classic pinball machines for inspiration before the challenging work of designing the 2d 'playing field' in Illustrator. The ramps, bumpers, orbit and flippers had to be configured to guide the brain-ball's path way sequentially through the research areas. Once the layout was designed, some Illustrator paths went into Cinema 4d to create the 3d game architecture, combined with some cabinet modelling, while the playing field and exterior graphics were designed in Photoshop.

With the 3d model built I storyboarded the action before going on to create an animatic that was given a punchier, quicker edit before rendering the final scenes. In After Effects I added outdoor snow scenery, screen animations and 8-bit themed holographic info pop-ups for some of the research highlights. Lastly, sound design was fun to create in AE and the Jingle Bells theme chosen to finish a satisfying job overall. You can see this and other animations on the site here.

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