Oh, Happy Day
Meet Kaya - the rambunctious and air-headed 4-striped mouse. She'll welcome you into her home with open arms in the Succulent Karoo, South Africa - however, only if you have seeds to offer. You can spot her spending her days lounging under the succulent leaves of the Quiver Trees and day-dreaming about her next meal.
Oh, Happy Day!
Meet the character I poured my love and joy into during my studies at The Animation School, where I concepted, 3D modelled in Autodesk Maya, textured in Adobe Substance Painter, rigged, lit and rendered in Autodesk Maya. Let me guide you through her journey of creation.
I was tasked with researching and conceptualizing a character that is native to South Africa while remaining visually and conceptually unique in the process. 4-striped mice are native to the region of the Succulent Karoo, which is an area that is known to be rich in bio-diversity and to be visually stunning with an over-abundance of flora and fauna.
I based Kaya's colour palette off of the unique flora that originates from the Succulent Karoo, and her clothing patterns and beads were inspired by South Africa's rich history of clothing fashion and patterns.
I finally settled on the character design that ties in all the elements of the Succulent Karoo's rich fauna and flora that I've been wanting to portray.
3D Modelling and Texturing
Finally, I brought Kaya to life in an environment of her own. This was an opportunity to bring a piece of the Succulent Karoo to life. From concept art to 3D modelling, lighting and rendering. I used Autodesk Maya, Adobe Substance Painter and Arnold for Maya.
Below are additional works that showcase her modelling, texturing and posing.
The final step in bringing Kaya to life is animation. This is a unique stage as it is a final push away from the still-image medium. Below is the 2D animatic and the final character performance. The audio belongs to Tali's Wedding Diary (01:48).
I loved bringing this character to life, along with the environment she interacts in. A tremendous thank you to The Animation School for this journey and invaluable teachings I've learnt.