Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We Rise (Documentary) - Animated Short Concepts

Last month I worked on an animated short for a documentary titled We Rise. I am not sure the status of the film at this point so I won't go into too many details. The documentary follows a group of music students in Haiti. I worked on an animation that will be coupled with a telling of a fable with in the real life story.

Unfortunately, I was brought in late in production so I didn't get the preferred amount time to really flesh out designs. I had about a week in a half (which was split into two parts do to the client bringing me in on another project mid-production). We also decided to go with a minimalist approach and created a theme of shadow characters which was fun to work through. This made concepting quicker and preparation for After Effects animation easier. I have yet to see the animation, I simply created the concepts and framed the shots. I then passed on the puppet style assets to be animated.

I was given an animated short from the recent Harry Potter movie for reference. It is a great piece, but I wanted to avoid doing something too similar. I started to look for similar styles to mix it up. This way I will still be working in the desired look of the client, but multiple points of reference help inspire something a little more unique. I pulled from the classic known amongst animators, Lotte Reiniger's Prince Achmed. I also drew a little inspiration from African contemporary painting and the shadow demons from Zelda:Twilight Princess.

Although it was a rushed process I like aspects of the design. It would be great to go back and fully flesh it out and bring it to life by fully animating it. There may be some more animations like this down the line, but for now it is on to the next project with impossible deadlines.

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