Category Archives: Mechanical Animation

Modelling and Animation


During the modelling process I saved quick renders, to test how the whole thing was looking. A lesson learned from last semester when half my polys turned out inside out – an amateur mistake

As I was already behind in my abilities from my long gap between first and second year, and problems with 3DSMax last semester, I really took this brief personally as a challenge to myself – t0 make a full model, something that looks ok and that I can finally be pleased to have made

I found the linking of the legs themselves to be simple enough, adding dummies on the joints and following a horse run cycle to get the smooth movement of the legs


While my cogs were not made in the proper way – with the teeth being too close together – I did manage to link them together, though the illusion breaks down with too much scrutiny. The horse it meant to appear to be powered by the steam engine moving crank shafts, which turns gears, pumping the shoulder and hip pistons to move the legs.

Model Reference Sheets


Steampunk Horse Model SheetWhen I first designed my horse, I felt that the bulkiness and style of the design would best suit a rough, corroded metal texture. This would give the impression of a large, tank – like Courser, stained with age and use.

However, wen it came to making my model I was still learning about making tight, symmetrical meshes, and while my model looked fine in the end the wonky polygons proved too hard to unwrap.

Instead I used simple images as textures, taking inspiration from Bioshock Infinate’s Steampunk horses to create a more polished, simpler skin.

Bioshock Infinate

Final Textures

Model Reference


model ref

model ref pdf

For my more detailed model references I mostly looked at steam engines, in particular looking for how the moving parts interact with each other. I found that I could best understand the roles of moving gears and by watching them in motion, though it is hard to find decent videos that show the mechanism for long enough.

Claw test


A mechanical claw created using dummies, from a tutorial on rigging.

While I didn’t have any serious problems with the rigging itself, one issue that I couldn’t figure out was that the square dummies – though aligned (when possible), seemed to rotate on a wonky axis – not their own. This made moving the claw fingers more difficult, and caused the wobble in the base

wrong rotation