Friday Animation Fun: Destiny
Watch short film Destiny and discover how a team of students at Bellecour masterfully managed a complex narrative of time, death, and reality…
The atmosphere and style of this movie is absolutely fantastic. It reminded me of work by Pixar and Disney, and when we contacted artist Fabien Weibel about Destiny, he revealed that Pixar’s Up was a massive influence: “The We loved the story of Up and the personnality of the protagonist.”
▲ The main character is so adorable and helpless. Make sure you're still watching after the credits role...
We were also inspired by the short movie The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore, especially by the character’s design.
Watch short: Destiny
Mamoru Hosoda’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time helped us in the story telling.
Groundhog Day, in a surprising way, came later as it was only when somebody told us that our plot sounds like it that we took a look at it.
Then it’s a mix of many references and sources that we all added days after days in order to choose what would best fit to our short.
The Time and decisions through it as central theme is a quite famous one but we wanted to add, maybe not a lesson, but, certainly, a different way to apprehend the notion of time and how to spend it, to not be always narrow-minded and let some unexpected things happening in our daily life.
3D World: What did you do on the short and what was the hardest job?
Fabien: For me, the most challenging part was all the planning tasks. It was a new experience for me to lead a team and to meet the (short) deadlines!
Manuel: I did the character modelling, the character rigging, some props modeling, the vegetation, some FX such as the windshield breaking. The hardest job for my part was the rigging because I had no clue how to do it right, so I had to learn it and that was a personnal challenge but it was really interesting.
▲ Destiny was heavily influenced by Pixar's UP and Mr Morris Lessmore's Fantastic Flying Books
Victor: I did props modelling, set dressing, almost all the textures, characters skinning, some FXs such as the broken glass, when the main character press his head on the window and some compositing. My main challenge was doing a repetitive task (modelling, unwrapping, baking and texturing), but I enjoyed it as more as I could ! I didn’t or barely did any animation in the movie as I mostly was in 2D stuff.
3D World: How long did the animation take to produce?
It took us one year to produce the animation. Each one of us had to produce a shorter movie before, in our school’s second grade. So for most of us it was the really first team-made movie.
3D World: What 3D software did you use and why?
We used 3ds Max because that’s what we’ve learnt all the 3D aspects and production pipeline on during the three years at Bellecour Ecoles d’Art. As it was said before, we barely worked in a team before, except in our respective internships.
- Watch a cute animated short Monsterbox from another team of Bellecour students
▲ Another cute animated short from students at Bellecour. We hope to bring you more on this short in the next issue of 3D World. Very Lilo and Stitch-like, don't you think?
We knew that we had to be very organized so we first determined what each of us wanted to do, made a strict nomenclature and organisation (which was mostly Fabien’s task) and then started to work quickly. We also made regular meetings between us and later with the teachers and sound-makers to make things going in the right way.
3D World: What was the most useful piece of 3D software and why?
Almost all of the basic 3D abilities of 3ds Max were used in the production. But particularly the Xref function really helped us: it made the production even more fluent than we would have used simple “merge” or “import/export” stuff.
We have centralized almost all the props in one 3ds Max file so we could pick them up from here to other scenes, which simplified a lot the work of the modelers and texturers, and later for the animators.
3D World: What was the most impressive technical aspect of the project?
Destiny does not contain really complicated scenes. When we were working on the scenario and the animatic we planned almost all we need, the tasks were been attributed quite naturally.
▲ It hasn't all been plain sailing for the Destiny team - the project presented them with various challenges, one being the broken hour glass scene...
There was some specific problems for some scenes as the broken hourglass for which we used four particle systems or for when the character press his head on the window, which was made easily in post-production. The collisions between the character and his clones were also made using post-production techniques with Adobe After Effects. We solved those problems quite quickly, asking teachers and friends for tips and help.
3D World: Did you learn anything from producing the short?
Fabien: We did not encountered any “big” problems during the production. The most important one was when we tried to use the “containers” in max, we noticed that our files were corrupted. That’s why we used Xrefs as a fallback.
Victor: First, we wanted to add a cat in the story baseline and I tried my best to make it. Then, the problem with it was doing the fur but we were running out of time and we couldn’t spend any more time on it in the production. So I and the rest of the team decided to forget it and to focus on the original story, just keeping the cat flap.
3D World: Did you use or develop any new or notable techniques?
Not really, we used 3ds Max for the 3D part, Photoshop for the textures and After Effects for the post-production and the montage. Fabien wrote a script which had been very useful for the rendering part as it allowed us to make efficient and organized post-production work.
3D World: What do you do now?
We are now looking for job opportunities.
We hope that the short will help us to convince recruiters to hire us. We’ve planned to send our film on festivals in order to show it and share it with many people.
Feel free to contact me.
Thanks for sharing info on your lovely short, Fabien. You and the team deserve to do well, it’s a brilliant story.
on Friday, October 5th, 2012 at 3:55 pm under Shorts, Showcase.
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Tags: animated, Destiny, film, Friday Animation Fun, short