Short Film

As part of the lecture „Computer Animation“, Vanessa Heckmann and I produced the animation „Verspieltes Spielzeug“. We collected several ideas for this and were inspired by the Pixar animated films „Toystory“ and „Tin Toy“. Here, a girl is playing with her toys in her room and is called to dinner. As soon as she leaves the room, the toys come to life. When the toys hear noises in the hallway, however, they freeze again. 
  • University Project
  • Teamsize of 2
  • Cinema4D
  • Davinci Resolve


Charakter- und Toy Animation 

First the was rigged and weighted. With this rigged model we animated three scenes. First, the girl starts in a sitting position on the bed. She plays with a bus toy while swinging her legs back and forth. The girl’s left arm rests on her left thigh and moves slightly with the movement of her legs. All animations were created using keyframes. After getting up, the girl stands in front of the bed and runs to the door. As soon as the girl has crossed the room, she raises her hand and, with the help of a keyframe animation, opens the door and walks out. In the last animated scene imcluding the girl, she stands in the hallway, opens the door and looks into the room. Finally, she switches off the light.

Surrounding and Lighting

Since the scene is set in a child’s room, we looked for a low-poly model of a child’s room in which we added some toys. In addition, we enlarged the room and added deco, such as houseplants, to make the room more homely. We also added a hallway, which we added more free models to, as the girl leaves the nursery and can also be seen outside the nursery. 
For the lighting, we decided on one ceiling lamp per room, as is usual for a scene in a closed room. In addition, there is a bedside lamp in the bedroom, to which we also added a light source. In the hallway there is also a wall lamp next to the door to the room. As soon as the girl presses the light switch, the intensity of the light in the children’s room changes from 100% to 0%.


The entire room is filmed by three cameras. The first camera is slightly above in the room, in the corner where the train is and shows the toy from above. The second camera moves with keyframes from a view of the bed to the opposite corner. With this camera we get both a perspective from the bed and one that is placed similarly to the first camera but is further down. The third camera is in the corner next to the door. This gives us an overview of the room and allows us to show how the toys move at the same time.
Almost every toy has a camera to get detail shots and some toys have several cameras to show the course better or to get more perspectives. Furthermore some Cameras are connected via a camera morph or moving alongside a spline.
Lastly we created multiple morph cameras for the animation of the girl to showcast her playing on the bed, standing up and leaving the room, as well as peaking into the room again at the end. 

Results and Takeaways 

In summary, the aim was to improve our skills in animating 3D models. After a few weeks of work, we have a finished animated film that lasts over 3 minutes. We got to know different types of animation and explored them. The most important thing we learned from this project is that you shouldn’t get too excited too soon and that it may look good at first, but even without any changes it won’t look good the next moment. For this, it was all the more gratifying when an animation worked and bit by bit the idea and the toy came to life.