New student animation short: Rock in the Road
A young boy helps to rebuild a kingdom in student short Rock in the Road. Kerrie Hughes talks to the team about its unique production, which took five years
New film Rock in the Road is no ordinary student short. Its concept came about back in 2007, when a group of students at Southern Adventist University in Tennessee set out to create a three-minute short film based on a simple parable. The project, which was intended to be completed within a year, developed into a five-year journey, which finally resulted in this 12-minute animation.
Due to the lengthy time scale, the production of the film was unique, with students leaving and new ones joining the project throughout. “Finishing was challenging due to student turnover,” says Southern Adventist student turned instructor Zach Gray. “So many great folk worked on the project, but they graduated and moved on, and upcoming students had their own projects and couldn’t commit to the old one.”
The animation for the short was completed in 2010, but at that time getting students to commit to the final stages of the project proved difficult. With 120 shots left to simulate, final, light and render, a small, dedicated crew worked in their limited spare time for the following two years. “We were staring at this mountain of work, but students Melissa Caldwell, Danny Cooper and Yannick Amegan all kept pushing forward,” says Grey. “Just like the kid in the story, they moved this giant obstacle by thinking of the benefit it would bring to others.”
▲ The 12-minute short Rock in the Road took five years to complete
After five years of hard work, Rock in the Road is complete, but the effort it required hasn’t put the school off creating more shorts, with students now working on three more. “Production on each one is getting smoother – asset management, render pipeline, rigging and production management are all improving,” Gray explains. “Rock in the Road has also taught us how to focus creatively. We’re able to get to the core of the story faster, keep the entertainment value and make it visually rich. We want our primary innovation to be driven by story and the visuals, and have the technical aspects support that as much as possible.”
Read more about the making of Rock in the Road and see behind-the-scenes material in issue 163 of 3D World
on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 at 6:04 pm under Shorts, Showcase.
You can subscribe to comments.
You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.
Tags: Animation, student