Thursday, May 7, 2009

CCS 2009 Year-End Review Reel

At the end of every semester, CCS faculty reviews each student's work and progression throughout the year. Each year, I compile a Review Reel highlighting everything I've done for non-liberal-arts classes. It has, most definitely, been a very busy year.

All visual work seen here is by and copyright of Mel Miller 2008-2008, apart from: Animation assistance on shot four of "Cabin Cat" was provided by Patrick Stannard ( Line art for the Code Monkey backgrounds were dawn by Niles Bontrager (

Music by Kevin McLeod, which he has graciously provided for public use under the Creative Commons License. Check out more of Kevin's wonderful resources at


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mel Miller Spring 09 Demo Reel

A slightly older version of my current demo reel, the newer of which, having been retimed in areas - images get more air time, for example) will be posted as soon as I get the opportunity and time to sit and render it out in a net-friendly size (It's original to-DVD setting is currently somewhere around 6 gigs!)


Caravan: Mia Ref Sheet & Environment 1

More Caravan concept art! Above is the first official character model sheet for Mia Talbert, and below is the Talbert Farmhouse where she and her father Ethan live. I will be working on the production of this project continually throughout the next four months and beyond, so keep and eye out!


Cabin Cat: 3/4 Clean-Up Animation

Cabin cat, with the first three shots in clean lines. I'll definitely be completing shot four as well, as soon as time permits. This was from our first project from this semester in Tech 3 - which was also, consequently, our first multi-character, multi-shot dialog test. Ted the Trucker faces the harsh truth about his beloved kitty. Dialog clip is from Six Feet Under. My buddy Pat Stannard co-animated the kitty in shot 4.


Caravan: Mia Tie-Down Animation & Code Monkey

On the plus side of things, I genuinely loved the other two of three assignments in Tech 3 this semester. Here is the fully animated, tied-down test for the keyframe test I posted here on 03/27/09. The assignment required us to have a character react to our classmate's plastic pig "MacGyver" which was had to come into the shot from the top left corner, and leave through the top right. Mia here doesn't notice said piggie until he hits the ground behind her, is startled by him at first, but quickly becomes irritated for invading her personal space after she gets up to investigate him. He's promptly punted from the shot. Mia, for the record, is the main character for my Senior Thesis film, "Caravan" which is currenctly in production. This was my first shot at animating Mia in order to further get to know her character.

It is wholly worth noting that Caravan is teh second short film I have had a part in this year. The first was "Code Monkey," which I digitally rendered 30 backgrounds for. The film is now complete, and I'm absolutely thrilled with how it has turned out. When I get the permissionfrom the short's director, I'll post some of those backgrounds here as well.


Scotty Gets Punchy: Tied-down Animation

One of our more, shall we say, "repeat-offender pain in the butt" assignments this semester was for the class to create multiple 30-second animated commercials. Given how ungodly busy CCS students are at any given moment, the assignment and how it was run ended up being a total snafu (as I knew it would from the get go.) I'm tremendously glad it is over. That said, here's the tie-down animation for one of the commercials' characters, Scotty. Scotty is a very angry 10-year-old boy. In this particular scene, his imaginary friend Samson swoops down, lands on his head and flies off. Scotty attemps to punch him but misses. Samson animation was by Kate Burck - if/when I get the two composited together from her, I'll post that here as well.