Finlay MacDonald

Digital Designer based in the North East of Scotland, specialised in graphic design, 3D modelling and animation, games development and mobile application development.

3D Character Model 'Chef'

The completed model of the chef The completed bone structure of the chef
The completed chef model was created for a short animation. Fully rigged using the Character Animator Toolkit (CAT) in 3DSX Max


Design and model a 3D character to be used in a short animation. The character must have some sort of bone structure and appear in a simple environment.


I took a look at Pixar's Ratatouille for inspiration and liked the look of some of the characters. I quickly sketched a caricature based on a similar aesthetic which would follow Pixar's style. This sketch would later be used as a reference image.

A close up of the chef's head A wireframe view of the chef's head
A close up of the chef's arm The bone structure of the chef's arm


I used box modelling and the mirror modifier to rough a humanoid shape based upon my sketches. When it came time to add detail, I collapsed the stack before adding buttons, seams and accessories.

The arm bone skinned using paint weights
The character was skinned using paint weights and envelopes.


For the original animation, a biped bone structure was implemented and used to animate the character. In my current role as a lecturer, I use this model as a demonstration on how to rig using CAT which can be seen above.


After the skinning process there were problems around the fingers when it came to animating. I was able to animate the chef using pose to pose animation and finish the project, but I was a little too ambitious at my attempts to animate each individual finger.