Sunday, May 25, 2014

Here's something for the 3DStudio Max animators out there.  Tired of the tiny, hard to read frame counter displays out there?  Well here you go...
A free renderable geometry Frame Counter to render with your "work in progress" animations.  Just place it in relation to your camera, type in the animation title, name and workflow status in the attribute holder and it becomes a great help with critiques.  You can download it from my Tutorials page here:

http://www.themichaelsmith.com/p/tutorials.html#FrameCounter

I also included instructions on how to create your own....plus included a script you can copy that will create one for you.

Have Fun and Keep Animating!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013



Grabbed some dubstep and some gameplay footage of the animation work I've done over the last few years.  So crank up your subwoofer and enjoy this sampler of a little of the animation work I've done in games over the last few years.

I put it together from various fan gameplay footage I could find online. Thanks to all those fans whose footage of my animations I used to make this reel.

Games included in this reel:
Tomb Raider: Legend
Fracture
F.E.A.R. 3
Reign of Thunder
Minimum

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Welp...I guess this YouTube thing is going to catch on...

I finally got around to officially adding my Transformer videos from back in the day to YouTube (I think you could already find the vids on there in some form or another by other people).

I did the Volkswagon transformer back near the end of the year 2000, and man...computer animation tools have come a looooong way since then.  It went viral before there was such a thing as going viral.  People had to email the video to each other back then.  Alright, I guess I'm starting to sound like the old man in the rocking chair. Enjoy the vids!

Monday, October 7, 2013



Putting my facial rig through it's paces...

A quick posing exercise I did recreating facial expressions from photos.  This wasn't so much about accurately portraying the pose, but learning to exaggerate it using the rig I created.  I've noticed a TON of little tweaks I need to go back and fix on the rig now, but I think it's coming along pretty nicely.  The really good news is that most of the setup process is scripted (I still need to place and skin bones/make morph targets, but once that's done it's just running a script) and recreation of the rig on a new character is "easy" (easier).

P.S.  This was my first ever SubSurface Scatter texture render for the skin, and man does it create some cool effects.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Throughout my career as an animator, and having to rig my own characters...I've become somewhat proficient (IMHO) at rigging.

I watched Jeff Brodsky's (Character Technical Director at Disney) elephant trunk rig demo and I was so impressed that I decided to take a weekend and recreate it in 3DS Max (thanks to Jeff for answering some quick questions I had about his setup too).

I love the ingenious thinking that went into creating the rig as it shows the true artistry that can be found in rigging. The rig (simple to use....somewhat complex under the hood) behaves almost like it's magic! I may post the rig so people can play with/learn from it too.

WOO HOO FOR MATH!!!

You can watch Jeff Brodsky's original demo here: https://vimeo.com/49353110

Now I need to go and animate an elephant!!!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's 2013 and time for...A NEW ANIMATION REEL!!! Polished, tweaked and re-rendered some things that were bugging me on some of my animations, and added some new stuff! Check it out...

Animation Reel 2013 from Michael Smith on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

After a loooong drive from Maryland, starting my new job at TimeGate Studios out in Houston, Texas!