Gajusz Foundation would never overlook human suffering. It helps in situations in which no one else could ever help -in moments when only miracles can happen. Believe it or not - miracles happen and many of Gajusz's children that survived their hardest times are living proof of that. Gajusz is not a typical foundation – and that is why it deserves smoething special.
The Gajusz Film is a simply beautiful. A short animation about wild dogs, hungry birds, a mysterious dark creature, a flamingo and a little girl hidden in a golden egg. Created by Karol Belina Brzozowski, a mesmerizing tale full of allegories and symbols has been brought to life by director Marcin Drabinski and his team from Chimney Poland. It's a story about a child's death, love, warmth, courage and dignity. A very unique film made especially for very unique children. 
 
STORYTELLING
Karol Belina Brzozowski has created a touching a short story with an original title "With Flamingo to the sky". Subject matter was clear to us - in a dark, harsh world covered with dim light there is only one godray falling from the sky - the fuchsia one.
The first impression was amazing but then, story itself needed to be adjusted to screenplay form. Most of the tale we have left untouched, but the biggest change concerned the rescue scene. Within original story flamingo is so enormous, that only his head hacks through the thick clouds, tears ground apart and lands next to the child. After the pre-visualization process we knew, that this scene needed to be changed. However, the frame became lost some of its magnitude to get a more a dramatic accent and combine with the story in a more poetic way instead.
The most mesmerising about fact this story is that a flamingo as well as wild dogs and dark creatures are all allegories of death, and the difference matters the most. We intensified that difference by changing colours, music, scale, framing style and at the end the most obvious - the environment.
ART DIRECTING
IDEA
What we aimed to achieve was a 3D animation stylized as a painting/drawing. The difference appeared to a bigger than we actually expected - not only textured  and lightning style but applled to whole process of creating image. Just to be clear - we didn't want to create 3D animation that looks like it’s painted with brush, because that can be easily achieved only by painting process - everything else would be a substitute. We just tried to understand creation process and do it in similar way in 3D. 
When we think about a 3D render, we think about light that we add to the scene. This is precisely the same as in real life - light reveal colour, form, structure and detail. The more physical shaders are, the more realistic renders become. The process is pretty straight the forward like taking photos.  But when we think about drawing - we do opposite. We start mostly with blank white sheet of paper and dark, grey pencil.  What we do is painting shadows and killing details.  The starting point was pretty obvious then - we all just started to draw.
ENVIRONMENT 
Short animation's form requires simplicity. We do not have enough screen time to explain how this strange environment works - so we decided to make something similar to existing formations. Reddish, rocky ground and thick windy atmosphere are the best. The wind was simplified to almost even horizontal lines. The second thought was to create something opposite to the world that we know. We added a big structure hanging from the sky just above the golden egg. Our inspiration was coelenterate - the mouth of small creatures living in the ocean like jellyfish or a polyp.
Conceot Sample
Art/Early Matte Painting Sample
Matte Paintings Sample
CREATURES
What you can notice is the difference in concept styles. We tried as hard as possible to play with form, colour and style. Several artists worked together, crafting everything you can see in the film.  Our artist - Krzysztof "Green Pea" Grochowina has created most of the creatures concepts. Simple, strange and creepy appealing though.
 FAMINE - the main Antagonist 
"This is the movie about death... but without death itself" - Marcin says. 
We decided to choose one of the other horsemen of the apocalypse. We have choosen Famine - the one that doesn't kill instantly but punishes her victims with exhausment and torment - the same way disease punishes a children. Famine is nourishes by child agony and feeds her hyenas with the leftovers.
Accepted Concept
Turntable
FAMINES' HYENA
Hyenas look scary and agressive although their victims are always smaller and weaker than them. These creepy creatures attack only in packs. Always obey to Famine who - she is privileged.
Art Sample
THE GIRL
Gajusz Foundation has a beautiful visual identity - the main image is on enormous mural that covers walls of the children's hospital in Łódź. In the image we can see the Girl sitting on the flamingo’s neck. The girl has beautiful, long hair of a pretty unusual, bluish colour.  We emphasize her emotions by painting her skin with various colours. 
She was playing safetly and joyfully in her golden egg but after the shell cracks she's petrified until the Rescue Scene.
 
FLAMINGO
A enormous and colorful animal. A ray of goodness in creepy world. The symbol of quietness and equanimity. Combined from small pieces - love, empathy and kindness of many, many people.  An angel that was sent to deliver a Child from suffering and fear - an Angel of decent and peaceful death. 
EDITING - THE HEART OF THE WHOLE PROCESS
Two editors - director Marcin Drabinski and Rafał Listopad were carrying on the whole process. Marcin combined all elements into one film.The creation process took a long time - editing was the best way to check the progress we were making, quality and storytelling.The first edit was created from the storyboard - even then we were able to verify if the story was understandable and what corrections had to be done. After that, shots were replaced one by one with 3D visualization - props, cameras, simple characters were combined in proper scale in 3d - render out in low quality and merge together in animatic.
TECHNICAL DIRECTING
NO! WE DON'T LIKE AIR RÉSISTANCE!
In every shot there is a smoke simulation. When we consider smoke behaviour inside a small space - let's say, a room - the most important is the air resistance and differences between gas density. These calculations require lot of memory and computing power. Most of the simulations created in 3D are bound by container size. In huge enviroments - like ours - we decided to switch off the whole air resistance and replace it with simple (not so powerconsuming) calculations. Even though we acquired worse results, we were able to produce enormous amount of simulations and pick one that matches scene the most. What we achieved were smoke simulations from camera till horizon - all in one 3D render. When we needed more advanced simulations - especially in front of the camera - we created an additional container and simulated smoke in the “normal” way.


CROWD SIMULATIONS
Not a typical, artifical inteligence free, particle-based, simulation of hundreds of centipedes and dozens of dogs. Multiple "walk cycles" are created - cached - and connected to a flocking system.A few simple scripts instead of one, a big solution. Finally - the possibility of changing the behavior of each character. 
RIGGING
We don't use N.A.S.A. technology to create rigs. Simple and straightforward, but created in 3 milestones. 
PROXY No1 - the previz mesh - with correct scale and proportions.
PROXY No2 - the base mesh - animators can use it to do their jobs as well, as all particle stuff that was actually done with it.
FINAL RIG - the complex mesh - with additional 3D strokes, and base setup for clothes and hair simulations. In most cases rigged on top of PROXY No2 rig.
GRADING - THE ICING ON THE CAKE
At the compositing level everything that we put together was adjusted to the so-called “neutral grade”. The second step was just typical Grading. We were using Baselight system.
Baselight system allows to make a quick change of all the colour settings at once, Colour transfer between shots, multiple versions, compositing features and realtime player.
We need to mention that unchangeable environment and ultra quality calibrated monitor that we have in Baselight room were pretty useful.
SOUND
Sound is just as important as the picture itself, that is why we put it in the best hands.
Two professional Sound Studios, CHIMNEY DENMARK and DREAMSOUND created wonderful, touching and at the same time different sound designs. 
It was a pleasure to work with you guys! Thanks again:
CHIMNEY DENMARK : Kasper Topp & Thomas Banke Brenneche
DREAMSOUND: Filip Krzyżykowski & Kacper HABISIAK