Shock Trooper

Shock Trooper from BOLT

ZAP!!! This is the SHOCK TROOPER that I modeled for Disney’s animated film BOLT. This character model embodies both hard surface (as in the case of his helmet) and organic modeling. Like all of my models, everything is 100% quads, modeled in poly’s and converted to subD’s at render time.

Truth be told, the most challenging aspect of this piece was the helmet. It consisted of a butterfly-shaped compound curve cut out from a spherical “ball”, changing yet controlled radiuses, consistent “shiplaps” and renders without a single kink.

Note: No booleans were ever used – everything was carefully hand shaped for precise control over design.

Modeled in Maya
Rendered in Mental Ray
100% quads

Villain posed

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Dan Platt on August 21st 2008 in Shock Trooper

American Dog – Thunderbird CG Model

Ford Thunderbird

This high res CG production model of a Ford Thunderbird was originally created for American Dog but ultimately scrapped when the scenes, um…, movie changed. So instead of hitting the candy-like delete button, I opted for the candy-like render button and shot out a few images of the untextured model as a keepsake.

Created in Maya
Rendered in Mental Ray
100% Quads 

…and a subD wireframe shot

…and some poly wire shots 

T-Bird front wire

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Dan Platt on August 21st 2008 in Hard surface modeling, Thunderbird

American Dog – Ford F1 CG model

Ford F 1

Designed as a background model for the Farmhouse set, this Ford F1 suffered the same fate as my Thunderbird and was scrapped to the ether of filmmaking when the scenes were cut. Below is an untextured shot of the raw model.

Modeled in Maya
Rendered in Mental Ray
100% Quads 

Wireframe shot of the Ford F1 subD cage


…and a poly wireframe shot

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Dan Platt on August 21st 2008 in Ford F1, Hard surface modeling

American Dog – Farmhouse set

The Farmhouse set

Yes, this is boring and I’m shocked that you are actually reading this post but I decided to include as one example of a hard surface set. This poly model (later converted to subD) was originally built for “American Dog” as a movie set piece before the story changed, the film was retitled to “Bolt” and this scene scrapped. All similar elements (i.e., 2 x 4’s, railing supports, etc.) were repeated and “wonkified” to utilize the same UV’s.

Created in Maya
Rendered in Mental Ray
100% Quads


Farm house front  wire
Farm house close up

Farm house back wire


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Dan Platt on August 21st 2008 in Farmhouse, Hard surface modeling

“Edna Mode” digital test model

Edna Mode

Note: This model is NOT the actual Pixar model

As much as I love old school, in your hands, tactile maquettes – their digital counterparts are becoming more commonplace , especially in project based visual development. The “Edna Mode” practice model below was created from reshaping another totally different mesh as a test piece for universal mesh modeling. As noted above, it’s a copy of the brilliant design from Pixar’s “The Incredibles”.

Modeled in Maya
Rendered in Mental Ray
100% Quads 


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Dan Platt on August 21st 2008 in Edna Mode, Organic modeling

tiki time


I’m helping out Brian Kesinger on his animated short called Tiki-Time. Below is an 16″ tall maquette of the antagonist “Pele” – a volcano that awakens in not the best of moods. Next up is a digital, animated version.

And yes, the leaf base was done entirely by hand – no tricks, plenty of caffeine.


…a detailed shot.

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Dan Platt on August 21st 2008 in Maquettes, Tiki Time

Frankenstein maquettes

Rankin-Bass flavored

The following is a series of quick character/silhouette studies for a project that’s been kicking around in my stitched up noggin. Stylistically, this first one is a Rankin-Bass meets old-school Disney influence. Large round shapes contained in an innocent, child-like frame. Although I worked at Disney, this personal project has nothing to do with the Walt Disney Company or its affiliates.

16 hour quick sketch in supersculpey
Approx. 10″ tall

Rock-a-billy theme

This version has a bit of a rock-a-billy flair. My influence, the “Groovy Ghoulies” and the coolness of Johnny Cash. This is a 4 hour sketch with emphasis totally on the silhouette. The face is a little too grim for my current needs. Fun though.

4 hour quick sketch in supersculpey
Approx. 6″ tall

Rocka-billy Frankenstein quick sketch

Robh Ruppel designed

Based on a Robh Ruppel design, these forms accentuate the chiseled, brutish look.

8 hour quick sketch in supersculpey
Approx. 8″ tall

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Dan Platt on August 21st 2008 in Frankenstein Maquettes, Maquettes

I, Robot – Sonny

I, Robot – Sonny

Back in 2003, I was fortunate to work on the visual development of Sonny for the film – I, Robot at Patrick Tatopoulos Studios. Working under Patrick’s direction, my main task was to develop the look of Sonny so we could build a life-sized lighting model to aide in accurate CG model lighting. Below are various shots of my CG development work for the film.

And yes, Sonny is my likeness. :)

Modeled in Lightwave and Maya


Full size physical prop

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Dan Platt on April 26th 2008 in I Robot, Organic modeling

Leia unleashed

Princess Leia

This is a Princess Leia sculpture that I created for Hasbro around 2000. Modeled in an industrial toy wax, this sculpture actually comes apart in 9 pieces, cleverly hidden by natural costume breaks. I’ve always loved the lines of this piece. Click on any of the images to see a larger version.

Medium: Wax

Height: 5 1/2″ tall

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Dan Platt on April 26th 2008 in Leia, Toy Sculpture



Medicus is an icon that I created for Merck as a modern day Caduceus – the snakes were replaced with the double helix of DNA and Mercury, the medicinal seeker. This model also represents my first voyage into digital modeling.

Modeled in Lightwave 3D – 2000

Rendered in Lightwave and Electric Image

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Dan Platt on April 26th 2008 in ICONS, Medicus, Organic modeling

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