Bitter Lands - The Making Of A Short Animated Film

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
P1 OPINNÄYTTEET D 2016 Vuorenvirta
Degree programme
31 + 6
My thesis is centred around the creation of a short animated film. My goals included solidifying the union of my background in 2D animation and my more recently acquired skills in 3D animation, and furthering a fictional universe which I had created in a novella. As an artist I naturally come up with visual depictions of any narratives that I create, so the transition from written word to moving image was very organic. The animation depicts an exciting scene from early on in the timeline of my text. I imagine this short film could act as a “teaser trailer” for a hypothetical full-length animated film based on my novella. I chose a scene which I hope will leave viewers guessing and wanting to know more of the story, as teaser trailers attempt to do. I used character designs and environmental sketches which I had previously made to start the animation process. The modelling, rigging, and animation was done in Autodesk Maya, using both motion capture data and animation done by hand. I first created the character models and environment, then directed an actor through the motion capture process. I imported the motion capture data into Maya, cleaned it up and supplemented it with additional shots which I created from scratch. I also used Mudbox during the animation process. Post-production was done in Photoshop, AfterEffects and Flash. I rendered this animation entirely with toon shaders and included outlines around many elements, creating a look which is very similar to 2D. Using this technique, I retain what I consider the best parts of both disciplines: the charm and organic quality of 2D animation and the greatly simplified technical maneuvers, such as camera moves, of 3D animation. Creating this animation has made me even more excited about exploring the world which I have created in my narrative. I have also discovered a style of animation which greatly appeals to me by rendering my 3D work to look two dimensional. I hope that my experiment with this technique inspires others in the animation industry to try it as well, and that my narrative inspires everyone to explore their own stories, no matter what medium they may tell them through. Film:
Vuori, Rasmus
Thesis advisor
Lappalainen, Kai
animation, 3d animation, 2d animation, narrative, maya
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