Building a House

Once we had all came to an agreement on the house, it was time to start modelling…or building as i liked to say.

I was in charge of modelling the house, and since i had designed it, i was glad of this. It meant that as well as working from my own concepts as reference, i also the house visually built in my head, so it wasn’t difficult to build in Maya.

I began with a cube and worked from there…

I built the main structure and then added onto/built on top of from there, as you can see in the image below, this is the basic house fully unassembled, a roof, balcony, walls, windows and door. I did this intentionally so that i can use these assets to build the neighbouring houses and also give them individual details, so that each house isn’t a carbon copy of the other.


Once assembled the house looked like this, which i felt look very like the drawings i did, which made me feel like it was successful.


I also modelled the swinging seat, however i will be texturing it with other assets, rather than as part of the house.


I then UV’d the house and began the process of texturing, so far i am only at the beginning. Below is the first texture that has been applied, as you can see clearly, parts didn’t apply correctly, and the planks are to large in proportion to the house itself. I intend to have this finalised  and completed by Monday. Once successfully done it will make it easier to create the other houses in the scene at a quicker speed.


House Development

Further development was need in colour and style for the house, so i continued with my concepts…

For these concepts i was mainly playing around with the colour of the house in question, and the neighbouring houses. As a group we really liked the idea of the houses all being different colours, so i began by trying pastel shades such as yellows, pinks and blues, in the next concept i decided to colour the tree in Autumn leaves, then decided to colour the houses in warm autumn colours also, i also played around with the idea of panelling, which i really loved, but felt it looked to victorian for the style/era our story is in.

Since i enjoyed the warm colours i then tried a red version of the house, but felt it resembled a barn, finally i came to the idea of having the houses in warm autumn colours, but having ‘our house’ in a colder blue shade. This would help make it stand out and also imply what type of emotions are inside that home.

In the bottom two concepts i also added a porch onto the side of the house, as Tyrone had suggested it could look like and give us a ‘stage’ for our film, It does look nice, however as a team, we all preferred the porch  at the front of the house, and felt it would set the scene much better.


Since i enjoyed drawing the plant pots on the porch in earlier shots, i decided to add some greenery to the walls of the house as well, i think it looks nice, but could complicate the modelling or add to much extra work for the time schedule.


Since we had decided on the film being set in autumn, then started playing with colours to portray this well. For the concept below i simply coloured the houses in warm tones, and then took an image from the web and edited it photoshop, the film itself wont be in this blurry style, but it was a nice and simple way to see how our houses would fit into that landscape.


House Concepts

From the off set of this story being planned, we knew we wanted the house to look quite ‘american’ and most likely be in a cul-de-sac. This was the first concept i did, then realised i needed to concept more rather than just jump straight into colour.


I drew out these houses, i wanted them all to have a porch area, and that was what my concepts were based around. Since the story all takes place on the porch, i knew it needed to be a large enough area to have a seating area, this is what i came up with…


Once happy with my sketches, i began shading them in grey scale, the only colour i added was the green of plants, which some of the houses have more than others.

Each house i wanted to have a different style than the other. As you can see, some have a smaller porch, some have a porch that goes the whole way around the front of the house, some have an attic window plus the second story to the house.

Some have next to no plants, and some even have greenery growing up the house, i felt these smaller details can tell a lot about what kind of people live their, and how they feel about the upkeep of a home, which makes us consider why upkeep hasn’t been kept. Money issues? Family issues? Laziness? Depression?


After sharing these concepts with the rest of the group, i got feedback on what they liked about the houses. Which one is their favourite and why? I intend to now use this information to concept a ‘Super House’.


Since the majority of the story will take place on the porch, i decided to begin concepting what the porch might look like, what the seating wiil look like etc


Group Agenda

Now that we have finally got our story down, and we are happy to settle with it, it was time to move onto research and concepts.

Old Mans Backstory

Tyrone is researching and creating a full backstory for the old man/grandfather. So far we know he was born in Ireland and emigrated to America , were now as an old man he lives with his daughter, her husband and their son/his grandson. We know he was a toymaker/carpenter and still likes to carve small toys as a hobby. We are currently discussing his mental state, is he a grumpy old man? Does he have dementia? etc

Little Boy Concepts 

Julie is busy drawing and doing concepts for the young boy.

Real World Concepts

I am working on the concepts of the ‘real world’ mainly the house as thats were the story will be taking place, i still need to conceptualized the street, and what surrounds the house.

Dream/Special World Concepts

Blaine is working on the designs for the dream/special world. It will  be based around wooden toys telling the story, it will be very stylized and simplistic but in a very beautiful manor.

Calendar/Time Table. Finalising Story

Niamh has taken the role of producer and management of the group and timetable.  She has made a google calendar that plans out what we will be doing each week and when deadlines will be so that we can move onto animation and rendering etc.

Story Changes!

After more discussions , we changed the story, after even more discussions, we changed the story again!

Here are my old storyboards i was working on until it was changed…



Now that the story has been changed again, we are going for a more modern approach with 4 characters and a beautiful wooden toy imagination scene, the story now has…


The Kid – Hero

The Elderly Man – Mentor

The Mother – Threshold Guardian (Niámh)

The Father – The Shadow (Oisin)

Shot List

Shot One Establishing Shot: Kid sitting on a swing, on the porch of his home. Sound: Two people arguing can be heard from inside the house such as, “I can’t deal with this responsibility anymore…”, “…I’m going back to my parents for a while…” The father bursts out from the front door with his suitcase in hand.

Shot Two (represents Oisin leaving Tír na nÓg) Montage of the Father slamming the boot, then the door… then he drives off into the distance

Shot Three (represents Niámh crying at Oisin’s departure) The mother appears at the door, sobbing and slams the door suit, retreating into the house.

Shot Four The kid is still sitting on the porch, confused but silent about the current situation. The front door then opens and an elderly man appears and sits behind Oisin on the Porch.

Shot Five The elderly man places his hand on Oisin’s shoulder, but Oisin does not cosy towards the man but looks in the opposite direction. The elderly man takes Oisin’s hand with the action figure in it, as if to play but begins to tell an old tale…

Shot Six “Once there was…” ***TIR NA NOG TALE*** (Special World)

Shot Seven (the moral of the story) “something’s change, that we cannot control. It isn’t anyone’s fault, but we all must find a way of picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off and keep going.” “ a lesson to remember: the grass isn’t always greener on the other side…”

Shot Eight The mother comes out from the house, gathering herself from her tears. The kid climbs from the porch swing, runs to his mother and hugs her.

The End

Crann na nOg

Once upon a time…

  • Oisin stumbles upon the fairy ring of Tuatha De Danann, whilst seeking fire wood.
  • He notices ‘The Tree of Youth’ (Crann na nOg)
  • Lurking in the woods, Niamh watches the intruder from afar, questioning his motives (inspiration from 2015’s Maleficent)
  • Oisin takes a golden apple from the tree, the tree withers
  • Niamh walks towards Oisin, looks unpleased
  • She holds out her hand, Oisin questions in but decides to take it
  • They walk off together into Tir na nOg. (is this inside a tree? behind a bolder? deep in the woods? a gate?
  • Time Lapse- time passes by weather changing,
  • Oisin returns, looking the same as he had done before, no older etc but is panicked.
  • We see Niamhs shape/silhouette in the background. Sinister.
  • Oisin notices the changes and that time has passed, but still spots the tree still standing
  • As he walks towards it, Niamh can be seen approaching in the background
  • He takes another golden apple, and the tree in revitalised, looking fresh and young
  • Oisin realises he has made a mistake, and sadly meets him demise (not decided how yet)
  • Niamh smirks, and returns to Tir na nOg

…The End 

The Basic Idea

After spending some time in discussions and research with the group, we have decided on focusing on the story of Tir na nOg. However, we will be completely turning the story on its head, and making it something completely new, different and engaging.

The film will be roughly 1 and a half to 2 minutes in duration, and will have two characters, Niamh and Oisin.

In Niamhs appearance she will have big , dark hair and pale skin. We have discussed making her a mystical creature and have looked at fairies, pixies and witches.

Although we do not yet have the story fully decided, we do know the main problems and difficulties we will encounter will be working with hair and possibly fur, and are researching to solve these problems before we encounter them.

Main Objectives for Friday

  • have story and storyboard sorted. Have a new approach and something thats never been done before.
  • Have concepts of Niamh and Oisin, don’t necessarily need to be the final design.
  • Environment concepts. What type of word is it going to be? Stylised to be more simplistic but with detailed celtic designs.
  • i have mentioned inspiration from the games ‘Child of light’ and ‘Alice: Madness Returns: for environment design
  • Niamh will have dark hair, pale skin, bright blue/green eyes
  • Creature- fairy, pixie, witch, banshee, dragon, deer, stag
  • Greg likes idea of present and past and Ivanduralls concepts
  • research into shape of hair
  • Research why these stories were even told
  • Considering Oisin being pooka and Niamh being mystical creature
  • Tir na nOg- the land of youth


Traditionally, according to folklore, Niamh is blonde with long hair down to her waist. She was known to be beautiful.

In our version we intend her to have big black hair, pale skin and blue/green eyes. We had originally wanted Niamh to be  a pooka, in irish mythology this means a hobgoblin or sprite able to take on the form of various animals.

  • mystical
  • striking
  • fairy creature
  • goddess
  • feminine
  • early 20’s


In our story Oisin will be a young boy, around the age of 10, he will be an orphan  roaming the forest when the story begins, we are yet to decide what we want him to look like.

  • mischievous
  • misbehaved
  • naive
  • street smart
  • orphan

What does a 10 year old orphan do in Pagan Ireland?

  • prove himself
  • survive
  • hunt
  • plays
  • collects wood

Collects wood, gets distracted, see’s glowing gold apple on tree, takes it.


Niamh kidnaps him, why?

  • stealing youth?
  • sacrifice
  • punishment
  • spying