Research- Thermal Effect

The part in our animation that we were having difficulties with. The curtain scene in which Lumo falls onto the ground- we knew how we wanted to style it but we didn’t know how. The flashes of the fall, inspired by Edgar Wright, and we were wanting them to be in high contrast- possibly white and black.

Thermal Camera. (YouTube, 2016).

Cassie did a little hunting online and found that it looked like a thermal camera- the black and white concentrating on the different heat energies. This works well with our animation as the heated objects in the room are our main points of focus- i.e. the bulb and the character.

We really liked the idea of playing with sound in this scene- could it be like a war scene? Cassie showed me a scene from Spaced in which there’s a fake gun fight/ shoot out. The sound effects in this are excellently timed and add a more realistic approach to the comical situation.

The scene from Spaced. (YouTube, 2016). 

It’s kind of like a PTSD style play on the action. This look has been used, mostly in comedy series, to apply an more intense meaning before bringing it back to the reality.

This video again (sorry). (YouTube, 2016).

I’m using this again as I couldn’t find the scene I wanted separately- skip to 4.30mins. The dialogue hints of the peril or death of this character, but the following comment of “no I’m actually going home can you help me up,” shows that the situation is a paint ball fight. Not actually war.

We had a look online and were struggling to find a way to create this effect. We were advise but Conann to look at Ambient Occlusion, and the invert the settings to give the more black look.

I watched a little tutorial showing how to create this effect below.

Creating Ambient Occlusion in Maya.


Creating this in Maya wasn’t that hard actually, it is formed through the hyper shade. Firstly, in the hyper shade editor you create a surface shader. Then, create a mib_amb_occlusion node. We then have to connect the output of the occlusion node to the input of the surface shader by middle mouse dragging it on top of the surface shader. The option should be set to default and then we simply assign the SS material to the model as normally done.


Jordan did a test of the Ambient Occlusion on the character (below) it wasn’t inverted however but I think it looks the part. Although the texture wouldn’t be applied to the character- rather the objects she walks into- it will look just like the thermal cameras when they are animated.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 16.20.14.png


YouTube. (2016). See Through & Fun Thermal Camera Experiments. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Apr. 2016].

YouTube. (2016). Spaced | Slow Motion Commotion | Channel 4. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Apr. 2016].

YouTube. (2016). Edgar Wright – How to Do Visual Comedy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Apr. 2016].


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