The Mars Rover Project (aka "Last Call at the Rusty Servo")
This epic, which was never completed, was built and animated in Alias (now AutoDesk) Maya, starting in 2005. It is the story of a group of five hard working Martian robots who sit around the poker table at The Rusty Servo all night and argue about the possibility of life on other planets.
The robot characters were designed and built by former Don Bluth animator Kevin O'Neil (THE IRON GIANT ) and art director Christophe Vacher (Disney's ENCHANTED , Shane Acker's 9 ). The film was animated by Ken Roskos, Kevin O'Neil, and animated and directed by Disney CG animator Dave Gottlieb (MEET THE ROBINSONS and BOLT ). Ernie Merlan produced, and arranged for the voice talent, and also did post with Iohann San Martin. Ivo Cristante (TREMORS , E.R. ) did the production design, with environmental elements by Rick Moser. Rigging by Karen Nugent, Vince Delay, Gibran Jimenez, and Jeff Tse.
My contribution was the interior construction, the poker table, set dressing, the cards and chips, and the lighting, as well as handling the rendering of each frame. The jukebox was by Pablo Alphonso. It was a wonderful introduction to the world of CG animation - and modeling in three dimensions.