In the process of deciding on a personal project to take on, I was originally aiming for something along the lines of my typical style of 3D - complex, technical, and realistic. But over the course of a few days, I started to be pulled in a different direction.
Why not tackle something that I am not used to? Something where I can practice and freshen up some skills I have not used in a while. So, character animation it was! It had been quite some time since I had ventured into character design, rigging, weighting, and animation, and this was the perfect opportunity to brush up on some of my skills that had lost a step or two.
I chose to do a short video celebrating El Día de los Muertos. There is something inspiring and infectious about this celebration of life every year in Mexico, and all of the magnificent design and colors that follow it. And what better way to show that than with a bunch of stubby bean-people with ornate masks dancing around?
With a timeline of two weeks, I set out to design, model, rig, storyboard, animate, and composite a 20 second short that attempts to capture the joy surrounding this holiday every year. What followed were late nights and weekends filled with some of the most fun I have had in quite a while working with animation. I hope that watching this can bring you as much joy as I had
while making it.
Thank you for watching, and Happy Día de los Muertos!
Below you will find two different videos from the beginning stages of this project. First, the (hastily) hand-drawn animatic that shows my initial vision for what the shots and timing would be. As you may be able to tell, a few things changed from this first edit to the final animation, but this formed the groundwork from which I would work from.
Next, you will see the animation pass. By animating the characters and rendering playblasts of each shot, I was able to finalize timing and camera movement from shot to shot before moving to final lighting, shading, and set dressing.
Music: La Bruja by Conjunto Jardin
Font: Mexican Knappett by Jack Fisher