I know I usually throw up indie shorts here, but I couldn’t resist highlighting this when I found it. Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote in full 3D glory. Some may say that it’s sacrilege, it doesn’t have the heart of the originals etc etc. Personally, I think that third dimension adds a whole new spectrum of funny to Wile E.’s escapades, and I think they’ve done a great job of keeping the look of two characters faithful to their 2D originals. You can decide for yourself…
Here’s a cute camera tracking experiment with Blender, directed by Mathieu Auvray. All done in Blender, except for the compositing which was done in After Effects. This is a perfect example of how far on Blender has come in the past couple of years as a stronger production tool.
A fast-paced action chase ensues when a girl takes her new boyfriend home to meet her father. ‘Meet Buck’ has a gorgeous cel shaded look, with backgrounds that are reminiscent of a Warner Bros cartoon. It’s beautifully cut together, and the soundtrack works well with the piece, although it could have been beefed up a little during the forest part of the chase. Other than that, it just leaves me wanting to see more!
This week saw the release of the 4th short film from the Blender Foundation called ‘Tears of Steel’. Traditionally these shorts test out and implement any new features that have been in the pipeline for latest versions of Blender.
This time round, we see a slight change to the style of the short. The first three films were all exclusively 3d animation, but with Tears of Steel the focus is on visual effects. In the later versions of Blender, the Foundation has been gradually working on some major new features, most notably the 3d camera tracking system. Along with the various node and compositor improvements, the purpose of this short was to try out the with visual effects enhancements.
Although the film has generally received favourably, it has been slightly slated for not having much of a storyline compared to the previous shorts. The acting is slightly hammy in some places, but the music is beautifully produced. As a demonstration of Blender’s current abilities though, it’s a great showcase. In the short time that the small team had to produce the Mango Project, its working title, visually looks great and they’ve managed to cram a great deal of concept into the 12 minutes. Although Sintel stands as the more inspirational of the four films, because of its combination of great design and storytelling, Tears of Steel still manages to create a feeling of pride amongst the Blenderhead community.
As a bonus here are the links to the other three films, have your own little Blender film festival and enjoy!
Here’s a beautifully made 3d short about a ballerina who learns that she must be content with her life in a clocktower since she plays such an important role in the life of her village. Made a few years ago by Californian Cara Antonelli, for her senior thesis animation at the Ringling School of Art and Design. Cara is now a conceptual illustrator and 3d artist, and is currently working on Madagascar 3. You can check out more of her work over on her blog at Carakhan.com.
Great characterisation, nicely rendered, and brilliantly funny, and although it’s 3 years old now, it’s still one of my favourite 3d shorts. It was 4 years in production, and you can check out some behind the scenes podcasts and even get a special edition DVD over at the Pigeon Impossible website. Definitely worth a look if you’re interested in how a short is put together.
Not so much a short this time, but I thought this was worth highlighting since it was such a fun piece of 3D work. Directed by Patrick Bolvin and modelled and animated by a CG artist called Strob based in Montreal. They created it as a test to see how far they could push their technical level together, the suit was built in 3dsMax, rendered in Vray and composited in After Effects.
You can see how it was all put together at Strob’s youtube channel, he goes into great detail about about both the production and post processes, it’s definitely worth watching if you’re interested.
This weeks 3d short is a simple and beautifully animated film from the Ringling College of Art & Design, called ‘Heavenly Appeals’, made by David Libse.
‘After many millennia of being tortured in Hell, Raymond K. Hessle has finally earned a chance to appeal his sentence of Eternal Damnation. Upon arriving at the “appeals” gate of Heaven he is greeted by the angel who will preside over his case. As Raymond waits at the edge of paradise, he will finally have a chance to prove just how worthy he is.’
It’s a simple story, with a simple setting. The characters are perfectly designed for their roles, but the biggest strength is the character acting. The angels expression just after he stamps the appeal is priceless, and just watch his face at the end when he realises what is happening to him.
Here’s the first of a continuing series called ‘Sunday Shorts’ where I’m going to highlight some of my favourite 3d shorts, in a bid to inspire both myself and anyone else who loves creating character animation.
First up is the popular and very well received ‘Big Buck Bunny’. Big Buck Bunny was the second short produced by The Blender Foundation in 2008, and has won two awards, the MovieSquad Audience Award and the HAFF Audience Award.
Big Buck Bunny was a follow-up to the ‘Elephants Dream’, the Blender Foundation’s first short which was intended to show off and develop the capabilities of the free, open source 3d package Blender. Whereas Elephants Dream was more abstract and dark, it was felt that on the second project the key words should be ‘funny and furry’. The main purpose of the project was to show that Blender could handle ‘Pixar’ style character animation and rendering, while also making the story and comedy paramount.
It was cleverly funded by presale orders of the DVD and from various sponsors and subsidy funds.
You can read more about Big Buck Bunny at www.bigbuckbunny.org.
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