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Plushie Pals

3D Animation Pipeline, Maya, Arnold
2023.01 - 2023.05


  • Plushie Pals was a team project I did for a class I took at CMU ETC, Advanced Pipeline in Films and Game Arts. It is a 3D animated render pipeline based on Maya and Arnold.

  • The animation tells the story of a young boy who spends his birthday with his plush toy, who quietly becomes a monster and steals the cake.

My Role

  • Environment Artist

  • Look Dev Designer

  • ​Lighting Artist


  • 6 People


  • Maya

  • ZBrush

  • Substance Painter

  • Arnold


  • 3.5 Months

Development Process

​Environment Models

I used Maya to model the kitchen and the living room of the apartment as the place where our story takes place.

I also used ZBrush to sculpt some of the important models, such as tables, chairs, etc. and baked the sculpted high model onto the low model in SP.


I used Substance Painter to paint all the textures for the entire environment. Considering the needs of the story, I purposely made the textures of furnitures older and with signs of use.

Look Dev & Arnold Light

Since the animation involves complex character animation and hair, we finally decided to implement pipeline rendering in Arnold.
I experimented with ambient lighting and area lighting in Maya to make the environment look more realistic. For example:

  • Added a weak area light outside the window to simulate the light outside the house and the moonlight;

  • A downward light source was added to the inside of the range hood to simulate the hood light;

  • Add an area light above and below the floor lamp to restore the lighting of the floor lamp etc.

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