Mouse Model Created

This is a first pass of the mouse model for our short film.  While thinking about the design for the film, I wanted to keep it pretty simple and graphic with a nice flow through the body and face.  I’m a huge fan of clean design, and had been spending a lot of time watching some old Pink Panther cartoons with the kids, including one of my favorites “Think Pink“.

I love the design of The Little Man. Especially the way the head and body act almost as one.

Pink Panther and The Little Man - sourced from

Pink Panther and The Little Man – sourced from

I had a quick chat with character designer and good friend Sheila Bailey  about the design of the mouse, and she quickly sent over a couple of sketches.  One of which absolutely nailed the intent of the mouse, and I quickly got to work modeling a version in Maya.

sheila pencil sketches

Sheila Bailey Mouse Drawings

Early Wireframe

Taking inspiration from Sheila’s drawings I began modeling the mouse and while adding a hint of innocence to his look.  I loved the general shape, but wanted to make him a bit less “sly”.  My wife and I also worked to give him a name.. we couldn’t just keep calling him “The Mouse”, so after much discussion, we ended up with the name Robyn.  The name is multi-layered.. first, it’s the name of her brother.  Second, we think that at some point in the future he will get eaten by a bird.. most likely a Robin.  Third.. it’s just a cute name.

Robyn was modeled in Maya using polygons.  This screenshot is from an earlier work in progress – just trying to get the flow working around the mouth.  It’s pretty low resolution, but in this case, I really wanted to make sure the deformations would stay smooth.

After a little bit more work and a slight expression to show the cuteness, I sent along a 360 render to the team for review.

Jason Schleifer
Jason Schleifer
Jason and his mad scientist eyebrows have been pushing the boundaries of CG animation and sharing his knowledge for nearly 20 years. Widely recognized as an industry leader and mentor to hundreds of animators, Schleifer, formerly of Weta Digital and Head of Character Animation at DreamWorks, now works as Head of Content and is a co-founder of Nimble Collective.

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