Pirates Gold Workflow (Anim)

Pre-production and blocking

I began creating the Pirate Gold animation short with a storyboard which can be seen below. I decided to have the crabs bring the closed map into the scene and drop it on the sand. As the map opens, the camera moves up to allow a better view of the map from the top and the props (palm tree, star, shell) emerge from the map. As the crabs return to the scene, the treasure chest falls from the sky which startles the crabs and making them scatter, possibly the camera moves into the crabs’ perspective and pans with them. The camera moves to view the chest from the side as it opens and reveals treasure. Coins explode in all directions and the title screen appears on the screen.

pirates gold concept.png

Storyboard developed by me

Modelling and scene assembly

All of the objects in the scene were pre-modeled except the treasure chest. I merged all the objects into one scene and arranged them into position, also adding a camera into the scene with a 24mm lens. A narrower lens did not encompass the contents of the scene with a wider one the edges of the sand could be seen which was undesirable. The chest is neither fully textured nor animated at this point. For the arrangement of the objects in the scene, I used my storyboard as a guideline.



Scene assembled by me

UV Mapping and Texturing

With the use of the Unwrap UVW modifier, I unfolded the UVs for the chest as I thought I might add some drawn textures in Photoshop but then decided to keep it in a neutral color scheme. I added a glittery gold texture to the handles of the chest by using a metal shader with altered diffuse parameters.

Rigging and animation

Using the storyboard as a reference, I animated the objects in the scene. I used a bend modifier for the palm tree and created a bouncy effect with the help of keyframes. Also, I added an extra detail for the star and shell emerging from the map and animated some rotation.

For the animation of the treasure chest, I used MassFX modifiers in order to have a more dynamic result. I made a slight change from my storyboard in my animation and made the chest drop into the scene already open with coins falling out and scattering in all directions.

During my animation, the camera performs movements including movement upwards, zooming closer to the chest, panning and rotation. After the chest is dropped and the camera changes location to view it from a different angle, a crab jumps out of the chest and initiates the particle system of coins. As the coins fly out, one coin with the title”Pirate Gold” flies towards the camera. As it approaches, the camera zooms in to display the title.

I created a path for the title coin to follow in animation and added a path constraint to the coin.


To create a moonlit nighttime atmosphere, I used two types of light: directional and omni light. The directional light emits white light with a yellow radius and a falloff radius while the omni light emits dark blue light.


I rendered the scene using scanline render as a .mov file in a total of 560 frames at 30 fps.

Compositing and video editing

Music and sound effects were added with the use of Adobe Premier Pro while compositing and special effects were created in Adobe After Effects. All music and sound effects belong to Digital Juice ‘Juicer’ which I have paid access to.


Screenshot (16).png

My animation in After Effects

The final animation is eighteen seconds long in an mp4 format.