15 Second Animation · New Narratives

15 Second Animation – Models and Inspiration

When it came to developing the environment for our animation, we decided to make a number of different models of flowers and such to build the background around. That way we could get a better idea of how the environment should look in the finished product and could make any changes depending on how the models would fit aesthetically. Rather than just adding in flowers, I wanted to refer back to one of our previous lessons discussing implicit and explicit meanings throughout the narrative, giving purpose to every aspect of our scene. In doing so I tried to research types of flowers and their definitions and whatever seemed closest or relevant to our story, I would then attempt to model them on Maya.

The group had previously discussed the possible use of exotic plants in our animation, it would deter from where the audience would initially think these birds would live, and would give us an excuse to use an array of wild plants in our background that we wouldn’t usually see in nature.


Reference Images

blooming gardenias

((Image left– http://www.gbif.org/species/113611118

Image Right– http://garden.lovetoknow.com/wiki/[=Gardenia_Plant_Care ))

My Model


Speaking of exotic plants, during my research I discovered an flower known as a Gardenia, native to subtropical and tropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and Oceania. This plant can be considered quite difficult to grow just because of the difficult conditions and heat it demands to thrive but what really captured my attention was the flower’s meaning. “Gardenias symbolize purity and sweetness. They indicate secret love. They convey joy. ” (“The Flower Expert“2017) It perfectly suited the narrative of our animation regarding a mother’s love for her children and the flower itself was very beautiful. I really wanted to challenge myself by modelling it because I was still very unconfident when using Maya, it did take a few attempts and multiple mistakes, but it helped me ease into making more models of plants.

Bird’s of Paradise

Reference Images

((Image Left- https://www.ftd.com/blog/share/bird-of-paradise-meaning-and-symbolism

Image Right- http://www.avasflowers.net/product/birds-of-paradise-bouquet ))

My Model

Birds of Paradise

As soon as I had heard the name of this flower I knew I wanted to use it in our animation, it really fitted the theme of our little bird characters and the personal paradise we were creating for them. The name was chosen due to the fact that the flower resembled a brightly coloured bird in flight, hence the name ‘Bird’s of Paradise’, however they are more formerly know as the Strelitzia. Similarly to the Gardenia, it’s species is native to South Africa but can also be considered a popular house plant. According too (FTD Fresh, 2016), “The bird of paradise represents faithfulness, love, and thoughtfulness.” As well as ” Birds of paradise also represents having a good perspective on life.” This could tie in with the implicit meaning of how the mother reacted positively to the baby snake in the story and how she reacted kindly to accepting him into the family.


Reference Images


((Image Left– https://www.ftd.com/blog/share/tulips-meaning-and-symbolism

Image Right – http://www.henglizhen.com/tulip/ ))

My Model


Keeping along with the themes of plants designated in Africa and exotic regions, the tulip I had discovered initially had wilder origins than the back garden. It’s implicit meanings according to  (FTD Fresh, 2016) “The most common meaning for tulips is perfect or deep love. Tulips are also one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring and can mean rebirth. Victorians often associated tulips with charity.” Love and charity were certainly themes that could be intertwined with our story, it perfectly suited the overall message we wanted to convey to our audience with our heart warming, family orientated animation. Also the design of this flower I found could be easily duplicated and added into the background to fill up any extra space.

More Models

Below are also some more attempts I made at modelling, only this time it was based on the concepts I had drawn previously. One of which includes my design for the baby bird in the animation, I found some degree of difficulty translating 2D work into 3D but with the help of my team, I feel proud of my results and how much I had learned from the process.

Tree Models

Tree models 2 and 3

Tree model 1

Bird Models

Richard 2 (2).jpeg

Richard_model (2).jpeg

((Image – First bird model attempt ))

boob (2).jpeg

((Image – Second bird model attempt with working eyes. ))


  • “Gardenias”. The Flower Expert. N.p., 2017. Web. 13 June 2017.
  • Fresh, FTD. “Tulip Meaning And Symbolism – FTD.Com”. FTD.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 13 June 2017.
  • “Gardenia J.Ellis – Checklist View”. Gbif.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 13 June 2017.
  • “Tulip – Henglizhen – Blog About The Most Interesting Things”. Henglizhen.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 13 June 2017.

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