Major Course Example 1: Animation 2


Jessie Contour
Animations Studio 2

This is my animated short entitled Betta Lovin, created during my Animation 2 lab class. The animation lab classwork consists of a semester-long project, most often a narrative animated short.

The story for Betta Lovin began based on me passing whim to make a fish burp a heart shaped bubble. This turned into the cute little ‘love’ story between a goldfish and a betta fish. I had a lot of fun storyboarding with my partner to come up with the little details to make the animation special.

I am looking to specialize in character modeling (building the 3D mesh) and rigging (inserting the skeleton and muscle systems so the character can move correctly). Modeling Bert, the goldfish, was a great exercise for me to practice making a very emotive face. Making the rig for him was also a lot of work because it was important to make him move fluidly.

Another new technique that I learned on this project was to use the ‘toon’ shading network. A 3D shader that makes the project look like it was cell-shaded in 2D. I had to work a lot with the lighting on a per-shot basis to make each one look good.

This project introduced a many new challenges for me; for example, I had no idea how to reproduce the look of being underwater and there were a lot of problems with the betta fish’s tail (a cloth simulation). I was also the leader of my animation team, so I had to keep on top of deadlines and to do list. Funny enough, a huge source of help and inspiration for me was watching Finding Nemo a million times.

The animation labs are so important, in each class I have quadrupled my animation knowledge. Without working on every aspect of all my projects I wouldn’t have known that I wanted to specialize. Now as I enter Animation 3 (the final class before capstone) I am planning on doing a modeling/rigging-heavy project so that I can focus my portfolio.


Betta Lovin from Jessie Contour on Vimeo.