A spaceman’s unplanned pit stop causes all sorts of trouble in this comedic new short
Stopover is the story of a solitary spaceman who makes an unplanned pit stop that leads to a close encounter of the third kind. Travelling through an asteroid field, an urgent call of nature sees him stop at what appears to be a deserted planet. However, the spaceman quickly realises this is not the case when he starts to relieve himself outside a small alien’s home.
The short is a new film by motion design studio LeMob and director Neil Stubbings, who came up with the idea based on personal experiences. “Usually my story ideas just start out with a situation, in this case a spaceman ‘on the road’ with a call of nature,” he says. “I can’t really remember when I got this idea. But it probably was beginning of this year, when I was on a road trip through New Zealand and having the exact same problem…”
Keen on the idea, Stubbings got to work on production with a traditional animation look in mind. “Although I mostly work with computers, I really dig the look of analog animation and illustration, and I always try to make my work look less digital,” he says. “Also, great inspiration comes from the films of the French animation schools. Those guys are top-notch!”
Cinema 4D was used as the primary 3D application on this project, with Cactus Dan’s CD Tools plug-ins used for the rigging of the characters. “I mostly used these because there were really great tutorials by Cactus Dan himself,” Stubbings explains, “and he offers great support in the plug-in’s own forum at c4dcafe.com.” The director chose Photoshop and Cinema 4D Bodypaint for texturing, and After Effects for compositing.
The most technically challenging part of the project was the spaceman’s ‘urgent’ walk. ”I spent hours and hours trying to get the right type of walk,” explains Stubbings. ”How do you walk when you are close to urinating in your pants? I tried acting it out myself…”
Acting aside, the director studied real walks and cartoon animations before manually keyframing the animation. “As with all character animation, it’s very helpful to have a good working rig,” he says. ”In my case, the rig had some flaws that had to be corrected on the go. It could have been easier if the rig was built better from the beginning.”
Check out more work from LeMob on its website
on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 11:33 am under Shorts, Showcase.
You can subscribe to comments.
You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.
Tags: 3D animated short, 3D animation, Animated short, LeMob, Stopover