Peanut Butter Jelly

Peanut Butter Jelly - Animated Short FIlm from Alex B on Vimeo.

Peanut Butter Jelly is my thesis production which consists of a minute long animated short film about jellyfish fighting over a jar of peanut butter.

I served as the director of the film as well as lead artist for story, visual development, rigging, layout, animation, lighting and compositing. 12 other graduate student volunteers worked as artists in all areas of production along with 9 graduate and undergraduate students from different disciplines who helped monitor and troubleshoot renders.

Coral Reef Surfacing

Peanut Butter Jelly production still
  • Wrote renderman shaders to procedurally shade all coral, rocks and sand
  • Wrote tools for maya with mel and python for controlling growth attributes and color/surface variation


  • Set and animated cameras and character blocking animation for all shots
  • Used simple maya dynamics and tricks for less interpretive previsualization of the film
  • Built 3 node camera rig with procedural shake
  • Scripted tools for optimizing camera setup, coral placement and randomizing/controlling coral color


  • Researched and devleoped animation style for the characters
  • Animated lead characters and props for 15 of 19 shots

Peanut Butter Jelly Animation Reel

Animation Reel - Alex Beaty from Alex B on Vimeo.

Reference Footage


  • Created Lighting rig and process for artist implementation across all shots
  • Developed compositing scheme, including the 'underwater look', to be used across all shots by all artists
  • Lit and composited 13 of the 19 shots

Peanut Butter Jelly - compositing breakdown from Alex B on Vimeo.