GMU:Spacial Information Lab/Death of a Moth

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The Death of a Moth by Vrigina Woolf

The essay is about an afternoon in which Virginia was watching a Moth trapped in a window-pane, with no escape. At the beginning she talks about how a moth is not as gracious as a butterfly nor as somber as some other moths that prefer to go out at night. The moth in particular is enjoying its flight in the afternoon, in the sun light though it is about to be gone. At the end, I understand, she deserves to die for the night is coming.


The original idea was to release a moth and a human being in a squared room. Both were going to be tracked and the human was going to be followed by light. I wanted to play with the fear induced by the moth to the human and so that the human would be in the position of the moth, having that feeling of being trapped.

The essay basically speaks about a moth trapped in a window. Since in the lab we are working with movement and we cannot record or track the moth yet the idea has to be changed. I was excited to see how the tracking of faces looked. It was decided that instead of just using the whole body we would only use the face. The idea is to record the face reading the poem and then have a moth stuck inside the mouth, this last one would move according to the mouth. It is true that the moth will be forever trapped in Virginias words forever and why not... our own voice. (That moth that once was declared to be death is to live forever).


  • Light and darkness, shadows in between. (In case of recording body movement)
  • Fear.
  • A continuos dance between both subjects. (A play inside the mouth of the reader)
  • Use of textures in the face and the whole environment


  • 2 hours to record.
  • Clip Micrphone
  • Printed Essay
  • Essay Timed (10 minutes)


Since we had some data recorded from the first day we had the opportunity to play a little bit with the bodies. Instead of using Blender I used Maya and it was a bit hard. I had to learn a lot of new things and in the end a friend helped me and explained me some stuff to get it going.



The day we had to record was a bit chaotic for the system was not working in complete right conditions, Marcel warned us about this. Even though, the results were actually very satisfying though we couldn't actually use that material because there was a problem with the program and it would save the data. We had to record next day.

I exported some of the data to maya and started playing with the face. These were part of the results.


I don't know yet how to work with Blender so I am using Maya, a program that is more familiar to me. I still need a lot to learn about it but I rendered the face using different textures and the results are really amazing.



Here I used a texture from a moth on top of a leave

I wanted to try a photo that I really like

I was curious how an picture of a forest (very organic) would look

I found an illustration of a Moth that was very elegant and well crafted, I think this one works really well


I got many ideas from our last meeting today. I think I would like to develop the whole video I had in mine from the beginning. A moth trapped inside a mouth. But through the way I have some ideas to work on until the project is completely done.

  • Create stills with different textures and poses + light:
I know now how to do a camera projection texture and is very easy, I will try to re-do the past faces I rendered before with the texture properly applied.
To be done: Next week
  • Abstraction of a moth trapped in the mouth + light
I want to model the abstraction of a moth in planes, the aesthetic I imagined for them is basically crystal planes that will be connected to the rigging system and will be animated by them. I will probably first render some still faces while playing with light.
To be done: Before the end of the month
  • Complete animation of the death of the moth + sound
Like I said, I will follow the idea of the moth being trapped in the person's mouth. I render the animation and edit the video to add sound.
To be done: The end of January, when we deliver our final projects.


Moth 2.2.jpg

Moth 2.1.jpg





I took some screenshots of several tests I did while trying to make the moth moth as I wanted. It wasn't working that well for the moth seemed to be stick to the mouth but not moving with it. Finally I realized I needed to model the moth to the mouth's shape and then it worked better. I also found some other methods to make it move as specific as I wanted to.

C moth001.jpg

C moth002.jpg

C moth003.jpg

C moth004.jpg

C moth005.jpg

C moth006.jpg

C moth007.jpg

C moth008.jpg


This is a test of the video that I am trying to make, I am still not very pleased with the result and the audio is missing

First Raw Moth Test (No Audio)


File:Documentation moth AzucenaSanchez.pdf


The video is better rendered but the audio is not quite right yet. I need to work more on the lip syc

Test #2