Samantha Skinner Compositor's blog

What I am currently up to, portfolio and more

June 15, 2012 / by Samantha


I have been really busy with school just starting up and my transition closer to campus (again). I have been trying to think what my next blog page should be about, then it hit me- I don’t have any of my work on here (My portfolio is here!) Or for that matter, I have not really talked about my work, or what I want to do and why; what I am learning about in school. I know I have some information about me on the “about me” section, but I need to revise that at a  latter date. So, why not go about it in a blog entry!


Currently I am a full time student in university going for my Bachelors in Computer Animation. This keeps me quite busy. I decided to get into computer animation after a love for 3D modeling, photoshopping, and Valve. (Those of you who  know me know my love for all things Valve-amongst photoshop and 3D work. I will have one blog entry about just this in the future!) I can literally sit for hours and model/photoshop one single object and be fine with that taking up my day. And when I start to work on an animation? Same thing. If I can’t get it to work, I make it work.

lately I have been doing a lot of work before my enrollment in school and during with Valve models (I have been in school for 7 months in my fundamental classes). It was a long process and a learning experience being able to now take a decompiled Valve model, re-rig (or fix it’s exciting rig), texture it and animate it. Animating it sometimes made me scrap the rig and start over again from scratch.

Now keep in mind, I started this without Maya or 3dS max. I only used Cinema 4D until recently. Boy was that hard!! There are virtually NO tutorials for doing this in cinema 4d. I was able to get all the way through the process until the animating stage….then I had some serious rigging problems. Forced to convert from C4D (I would have eventually anyways, but still) I got my student copy of Maya and Motion builder and I was on my way again! I was able to successfully take an (already made) Gordon Freemany model, adjust the rig, and add a .bvh file to animate it. Then I composed it Cinema 4D and After Effects.

Since Cinema 4D is my native program (2 years of learning this and being citified with it), I went back into it to get the camera angels, and basic render effects needed to bring it into After Effects. I found this whole proccess very fun and frustrating all at the same time.

I basically started with a basic render like this:

And I ended up after many renders and After Effects work with this (in 1080P ) :


I am now starting out the plans for an animation featuring Gordon, Alyx, and Barney for Half Life all into one video. I want to either render each sequence separably, or make them all into the same scene. I am not sure yet. There will be entry’s about it at a later date. I want to make something like Thejazzman made:

His animations really inspire me. His first person ones are fantastic! I hope to start making fluid animations like that soon! (not to mention, longer animations as well…) I just have to get better in Maya.

I also do some work in real flow and soon will have some better renders up on my youtube channel.


Other then 3D animations, I have been doing my usual work in Photoshop. I was playing through an amazing custom map for Garry’s Mod called “rp_city8_district9″, and I saw a lot of custom posters for the Civil Protection and decided to make one my self.  Here is a screen shot:

And here is what I came up with (warning, big file size):

I am not sure if there is too much going on, or if it is fine. I posted this on my deviant art page as well.

I also got bored, took a picture of my self, and made this:

lol Barney…Edited in Photoshop with a little help form the Half Life series 


I have come to a conclusion that I need to make some more (and better) 3D models for my portfolio. I seem to be focusing on animating a lot lately, but since that is in my degree I guess I am off the hook. For now…

I have also realized I need to make my self a logo….

So basically I am working my butt off (straight A’s baby!) and striving to make and take everything out of this education. In fact, for one of my first digital painting I used Gordon Freeman as my subject….Obsessed? Maybe. But I am okay with that.

One thing I do want to point out before I close this entry, is that I do a lot of photoshop manipulation work. As I look at industry jobs, I am not sure there is a need for that. I have not really done any concept work unless you count some of the photoshopped pictures. This kind of makes me worried since I am self conscious about my traditional art. I guess that is something I will work on in school. I do see is that Valve has posted that they are hiring for a computer animator…if only that position would stay there for 3 years, then I’d be laughing…. (:

Well I think this concludes this basic “what I am up to” entry.

Au revoir!


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