Tag Archives: domino effect

References and Research


Sets and Props

For my animation I needed three different sets, the bedroom, the interior of the alien’s flying saucer and the exterior set of the house and the field.

The bedroom

For the bedroom I needed to model a bed and a window. I started my research by finding references for beds and windows.  These are my references.





This is my drawing of the bedroom. This is just a sample, the colours of the bedroom would be probably different. The designs of the bed and the window were quite simple. After completing this drawing I realised that the bedroom looked too empty, so I decided to add paintings,or photographs and maybe a wardrobe and drawers.

The Flying Saucer

Luckily, the flying saucer is a simple shaped object.

Here are some references I found in the web.

Here is drawing of my flying saucer.

For the interior of the saucer, I would only need to model a sort of a control table.  I decided that on the wall, behind the desk I would add alien signs and a photomontage of photos that have to do with alien’s sightings on earth, as well as photos of movies that are referring to aliens.

Here is a drawing of the interior of the flying saucer.

The house

Here are some references.



This is a drawing of a house I drew in Google Sketch up. The house would be probably be smaller with less windows. Moreover, the colours of the house would be different.

Here is the same house with different colours and textures.

Other objects

Electricity pole

Here are some references.


Lighting pole.

Here are some references.



I decided that I would model tree without leaves. It would be much more easier to model it in Maya.

Here are some references.

Here is a collage. By this collage I determined the height and the width of the objects I was going to use for the animation.

House: 8 m

Electricity pole: 7.5 m

Lighting pole: 6 m

Sign: 4.5 m

Tree: 4 m

Flying saucer’s diameter: 8 m

Here are my drawings for my animation, I used soft pastels.

3D animation


First of all, our task was to create a 3D animation (which should last 30-60 s)  in Autodesk Maya based on the idea of the ‘Domino Effect’, in four weeks time. I started my assessment by watching videos on the internet and doing research on the ‘domino effect’ and trying to think of an idea. I also watched animations that were done by previous students. The most common ideas included balls, dominos and kitchen utensils.

Here are some videos I watched in Youtube.

The famous Honda advertisement : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ve4M4UsJQo

video no.1 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGdebJilFgo

video n0.2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKGe-SJPEVc

video no.3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY4DtGwoIVY


Firstly, I wanted to do something simple, in order not to have any problems with animating in Maya. I had different ideas. The classic and usual idea of using balls. Moreover, I thought that the whole action it is supposed to lead to something like the turning on of a light bulb or a toy. What’s more, I thought of doing an animation that included a circus and clowns, and at the end of the animation a canon would fire. But after a while, I realised that the attempt of doing such an animation in Maya would be a suicide, because of the involvement of human characters. But later on, I started to think other ideas that included different themes, atmospheres and simpler characters like animals, aliens etc.

And then an idea popped into my head. Two aliens are trying to abduct a human from his house while he is asleep. One of them spills his drink on the computer buttons that control the flying saucer. The saucer gets out of control and hits an electricity pole. The electricity pole hits on a street sign, the sign on a lighting pole and the lighting pole on a tree.

Later on, I remembered the short animated film by Pixar, called ‘Lifted’ (2007), and I thought that should be useful and I used it as a reference.

Here is the complete short animated film ‘Lifted’, by Pixar


Here is the initial storyboard (My idea is a bit different here).


I decided to form a schedule for the next four weeks in order to finish my animation in time.

First Week: watching videos, finding an idea, finding references, have a complete storyboard, character design, model sheets, sketches and drawings of the sets and the props.

Second week: create a library of textures, create the photomontage/moodboard using photoshop and illustrator, start modelling in Maya.

Third week: finish modelling in Maya, create the sets, add cameras and lights, animating.

Fourth week: rendering, editing, create the visual of the animation in photoshop.