Jarryd Ley’s main goal as a 2D and 3D artist is to breathe life and creativity into everything that he designs. From logos to characters he gives each their own personality that is different from the last. With a love of animation and video games is what propels him to create interesting pieces. Jarryd is constantly learning different techniques and programs to help improve his work from Photoshop, After Effects to Maya and ZBrush. The skills he has gathered over the years at The College of New Jersey include illustration, 2D animation, character design, 3D modeling, rigging, and 3D Animation.
I have taken my best models and animations and put them in a professional demo reel to show studios and design companies. There are five models that appear in the demo reel, all the models are rigged and animated. The demo reel will have a small story to make it fun and show the personalities of the characters. Before each scene a title card will describe what is going to happen in the scene and what models will be the focus of that scene.
At the beginning of my senior thesis I was developing a video game with four characters to represent each suit in a deck of cards. I had made concept designs for the playablecharacters and started the 3D models for two of them. As I worked on the characters for the game, the work continued to pile up and it seemed like I would never be able to finish on time. That is when Professor Kuiphoff told me that I should be focused more on the modeling and animation instead of the game. I then decided to switch my thesis from a video game based on casino party games to a demo reel I could present to studios.
My next challenge I then had to overcome was improving my modeling and learning how to make organic models. I had experience with creating robots and solid objects but not with humans and models with skin. I then would have to learn how to properly rig and animate the organic models so that they would look human. How I overcame this was with a lot of studying of the human anatomy and how other models work. I started with a cartoon version of myself, which was originally for the game, and the results were alright for a first attempt.
The 3D model cartoon of myself, when I rigged it had a lot of loose parts that would clash with itself and the bones from the rig would stretch its skin in unintended ways. I moved onto making a robot cowboy to practice human anatomy, but without using skin. My modeling became cleaner and the bones started to work better than it did with the original Jarryd model. I would attempt another organic model with a Shark Gangster and again my modeling and geometry improved. The bones were also improving so that it was easier to animate this character. The next character was a female knight holding a massive war hammer as her weapon. This is where I learned how to properly configure bones so that it looked flawless when she was swinging her hammer at enemies. I would then create a blind monster dog that the knight would fight and that meant I would have to study the movements of a dog. The bones were not that different from a human, so it was easy to rig and animate.
The last model I created for the demo reel is the most important piece, it is a recreation of the first 3d modeled Jarryd. The Jarryd 2.0 has the proportions of a stylized human and a closer resemblance to my actual looks. Jarryd is the best modeled out of the models being presented in the demo reel. He will be the first character shown in the demo reel and have the most screen time displaying his animations. When I started creating models for the senior thesis it would take me a little more than a month to finish one. That is just modeling, that is not including rigging the bones and animating them. Now I can model and rig the characters in less than a week.
This demo reel works perfectly for me because it doubles as a demo reel to be shown at senior thesis and for studios that I apply to work for, in the future. I want to take it and continue to approve on my demo reel with the lessons I learn from the places I work and move from studio to studio during my career. I hope that my work I make outside of TCNJ will be shown on television or in movie theaters and it makes the people watching the animations happy. I want it to brighten a person’s day the same way it would make me smile when I was a kid and watched animations.
The biggest challenge I had to overcome was having to teach myself a lot of the techniques needed to make the characters come to life. My free time was me studying models and videos on how to rig and model. I had bought multiple books on design and animation to give my characters fluid movements. When COVID started to become a serious threat, I moved all my equipment from school to my house. I set up a workstation to continue to improve my character and it helped increase my productivity. While I am inside at home, I will use this situation to keep working on my demo reel and make it the best it can look.