Friday, 24 June 2011

Animation project

The one thing we were hesitant about in regards to starting a blog was finding the time to write one…. these last few weeks were typical of just how full on our work schedules can get. We’ve been hard at work on an animated short film, which will actually be part of the feature length project we’re currently developing. 

Now the challenge we set ourselves on this one was a deadline of 5 weeks AND minimum damage to the limited budget we have for the feature project. So basically, the same challenge we always set ourselves…

For the animation we decided to use Poser ( and Iclone (, neither of these are particularly known for producing professional animation – but that’s never stopped us from trying something out before.


The cast were created in Poser (from Smith Micro) – with “morph dials” you can literally sculpt the features of your character to suit your design.

Iclone from (Real Illusion) was another low cost 3D app we utilized –  yes, it can’t render photo realistic images, but when it comes to stylised animation this little piece of software really comes in to it’s own – and it’s fast!

For some of the additional 3D models we needed, like buildings for example, our first port of call was Google’s 3D Warehouse, an online collection of free models  – although the quality isn’t very great on most of them, they were great as starting points for more detailed shots (we worked in more detail using Photoshop) or distant buildings.

Once we had our 3D elements, some were rendered in Poser and others were rendered in Iclone, the rendered files were then composited in either Adobe PhotoShop or After Effects.

For many of the shots, Photoshop was used to create the stylised “cartoon” look we had designed for the sequence. These shots were then exported out of Photoshop as a series of uncompressed TGA image files.


After Effects is always our tool of choice when it comes to serious grading work.

For some elements we used live-action video too, graded so as to blend with the CGI elements – again these elements were blended together in After Effects.

The film was edited using Adobe Premiere Pro.

The finished film lasts for approximately 8 minutes and will be released as a stand-alone film (probably as a DVD extra), but we’re planning to have an edited version worked into the feature project itself.

Below are a few stills...