Multiple CAD models adapted for animation

A complex, multi-part set of CAD models was required for a demonstration/informational video of a water filter.


The models were imported from .iges and .stl files, producing NURBS meshes within Maya. Each surface area produced a separate patch with visible gaps. Because the product needed to be viewed with extreme closeups, the gaps had to be repaired. The NURBS meshes were converted to polygons, and vertices were merged where gaps were visible. In the case of especially complex surfaces, like the basket inside the filter, it was more efficient to rebuild the model from scratch rather than repair the imported file.

The model then had to be textured to provide the appearance of the various real-world materials composing the filter parts. It was also rigged and pivot points were set for the necessary rotations and translations of each part.


The model was then arranged according to design documents and each component was assigned to individual render layers, allowing for cutaways and masked dissolves to be coordinated in the compositing stage.


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