Android Logo Animation

In this project the goal was to create a logo animation for a lesser known company or group. Even though according to engadget Android platform smart-phones have 34% of the current US market share, a surprising number of people will return only blank stares when asked about the Android mascot.  With this in mind I set to work creating a short “internet ad” style animation featuring the little guy.

To begin, as always, some reference material:

The basic Android logo

Humm, not a lot to go on,  but we can work with it.   Seeing as everything appears to be rounded as far as the arms and legs, I’m imagining that the rest of the body is more rounded then block like.  Keeping this in mind and following our reference material we can extrapolate the simple shape of the Android’s body arms and legs using a few cylinders sizing them up and rounding the ends as needed. Once that’s done we get something that looks like this:

The Polygon Primitive Cylinders for the Android's body and limbs.

Looking good!  Now we just need a head to house that positronic brain.  By adding in a sphere and elongating it slightly in the middle we can get the basic shape of the head. Cutting off the bottom half and then lofting the edge  at the bottom gives us a nice closed half sphere. With he addition of a couple more cylinders for the antenna and two simple polygon spheres for the eyes we have a fine looking basic model.

Android model w/ head.

While our little android doesn’t necessarily need a lot of smoothing we’ll go ahead and take the liberty of doing so:

Complete Android model smoothed and ready for texture.

Now that we’ve got our little buddy mostly knocked out we’re ready to make the word Android.  A quick check online found there no one had created a free public domain font in the Android style yet so that means we get to trace it.  Using that handy dandy reference material projected onto a flat plane in Maya we can use the ever ingenious Create Polygon tool to trace the outline of each letter. Once done it’s a simple matter to extrude the top plane of each letter to give it some depth toss on a simple gray Lambert and we get something like this:

Thanks Create Polygon tool!

So we have our droid, we have our words in 3d, now we need a plan.  This calls for a storyboard!

The rough storyboard for our animation.

Great! We have the actors and the plan now we just need a stage.  A simple primitive polygon plane stage with a 3 point lighting system with an overhead spot and will go a little something like this:

Our stage with a spotlight.

Now let’s get a texture on the droid and put it all together:

We're ready to animate!

So once everything is set up, I created a controller of the droid (our principal actor) to help get him across the stage in one piece (the head, arms, legs, and body are all separate meshes).  Enlarging the words so that it could zoom in as per the storyboard and then key-frame animating the droids movements I added a bit to the end of the animation by having the entire scene white out to more closely resemble our reference material.  I set this to render on two separate machine in the school’s computer lab overnight just in case one machine failed or someone restarted it.  Total render time  for 690 frames at 720 HD was approximately 6-8 hours.  Here’s the result:

The full animation.


All told the entire project with render time took in the neighborhood of 20 hours.  A few things I would have done differently, tighten up the animation to shorten it a bit, making he droids movements on the head turns and arm flails a bit sharper as well.  However, in the end, I’m pleased with how my first animation turned out.  Thanks for reading.

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