Watch this cartoon-style CG short and find out how Yoshi Tamura and Planktoon, created the painterly masterpiece
Planktoon is a Paris-based creative studio, made up of five people: Sun Limet, Alban Lelièvre, Fabrice Sénia, Alexandre Henri, Sébastien Pribile. About 50 worked on bringing this wonderful short to life.
The idea of Réflexion started when veteran animator Yoshimichi Tamura was at Dreamworks in LA on 2002. He drew some funny pictures about two girls fighting and that gave Sébastien Pribile a line of story.
The short explores the theme of how women are overly concerned with the way they look – here the girl’s mirror plays up and a fight ensues between her and her reflection.
Coming from Tamura (Disney and Dreamworks animator extraordinaire) and Planktoon, Réflexion is bound to be beautifully animated – and it doesn’t disappoint – but we were particularly impressed by the painterly look that’s been achieved here by mixing 2D and 3D.
The short’s movie influences of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Sabrina can clearly be seen, but also Planktoon was inspired by: “Illustrators and painters – Tadahiro Uesigi and John Singer Sargent. Disney movies like 101 Dalmatians, the fashion of Dior and René Gruau… and women and girls in general.”
The short was heavily influenced by classic movies such as Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany's
Planktoon produced the movie and worked with Yoshi to direct the short. “We wanted to be sure we could maintain and keep the main line of the movie in the same direction,” says Pribile.
“Yoshi did all the storyboarding at the start of the process, but the collaboration with the Planktoon team brings the best for the movie.”
Planktoon used Maya for animation (but the short uses of mixture of 2D and 3D). The painting render was done with a special bespoke sofware called EXPRESSION.
“We were excited to use 3D tools to prove that technology is not a break for any kind of art,” says Pribile. “We know that we can do it traditionally, but it could be more difficult to find the good artists to make this kind of movie.”
The challenge for Planktoon was to mix the 2D animation with the 3D animation: “3D animation was done first, but was followed very closely with 2D poses (on storyboard or thumbnails).
In order to challenge themselves, the Planktoon team used a mixture of 2D and 3D elements to create the painterly effect
“The 2D animation was done frame by frame in second time. We composited the two ways and the final render mixed the both to get this painting aspect.”
Check out the scene where we see the girl’s reflexion in the glass, Planktoon says: “It was the most challenging technically because it’s a really good 2D-3D mix.”
We love the animation near the beginning of the film where the girl’s reflection is seen in the glass in her apartment. Truly inspiring stuff – no wonder it’s been shortlisted for the International Festival of Animated Film, ITFS
More about Planktoon
Among more specific activities, we direct commercials, as well as short animation films and series pilots. While we naturally tend toward cartoon-style animation, we recently discovered that not everything in the real world was moving according to the stretch and squash rules (except, maybe, in some seemingly painful cases). So we adapt and explore other ways as well.
Our structure specificity lies in the skills diversity of its members. Our range of action is rather large, covering all the required steps for a short film making. As a creative studio, if required we can either work on isolated specific fields, such as character designs, storyboard and art direction, or on the whole movie. In some cases (game cinematics, for example) we can take care of the production aspect as well.