Finn and Beau: A CG Exploration of Animal Physiology


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Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis - Campus Access


Animation (ANIM)

First Advisor

Shane Acker

Second Advisor

Jose Garcia-Moreno

Third Advisor

Tom Klein


In this project our goal was to achieve a greater understanding of animal anatomy and physiology through the creation of a 3D animated short to be presented as a thesis film. In this short film we attempted to render CG versions of a red fox and brown bear that move and appear as realistically as possible. We set this in a simulated boreal forest environment so that we could model these animals living and behaving as they might in their natural habitat. The development of the short film has been carried out using the following programs: Autodesk Maya, Mudbox, and Nuke software packages. Over the course of the SURP program our team spent our time developing our practical understanding of anatomical concepts, such as muscle and bone structure and properties of hair and fur through a collection of video analysis and formal anatomical imagery. We examined not only animals in the ursus and vulpes classes, but many quadrupedal mammals such as dogs, cats, and raccoons. Due to limitations in experience and time, our final project was reduced in scope, especially in regards to the rendering and hair simulation phases. Regardless, these assets and research we performed have proved instrumental to the development of our current film.

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