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Making of "Make it sound FAT"

Posted by on in Tutorials

Hi, my name is Romwald Bogun, a French Visual Development Artist. With my team of six awesome classmates, we made the short­movie "Make it sound FAT" which was for us was a nine-month great adventure. Our aim was to create something really funny and motivating for us and to show people an insane story that they had never seen before, we wanted a crazy story and in a very creative world. Everybody on the team had an idea of what kind of work they wanted to do after school graduation. So we tried to work exactly what each person wanted to be good in.

The team:

 

­Romwald Bogun : Director / Art Director / Co­Scriptwriter / Team Manager / Lighting / Compositing
Aurélien Cova : Co­Scriptwriter / Animation / Layout / Rigging
Sébastien Baron : Lighting / Compositing / Surfacing / Modeling
Romain Tinturier : Animation / FX / Layout
Pauline Lelarge : Modeling / Surfacing / Animation
Jorris Minjollet : Layout / Animation / StoryBoard
Quentin Lebastard : Modeling / Animation / Layout

 


Concepts / Modeling

I was in charge of the art direction of the project. So from the beginning I wanted that everybody was able to share their ideas and sketches to the team, even if they weren't comfortable with drawing.

 

The aim was to have all of the film done very quickly, edit it and then have time to be able to correct everything at the end.

 

 

The great thing was that we were all on the same wavelength, so when we had to define the style of the movie everybody immediately thought about artists like Mcbess, YumYum Studio, and the movie Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs or the cartoon Adventure Time.

 

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During the whole process, we really played with geometric shapes and mixing things together. I started to do some sketches and ZBrush sculpts and very quickly it was clear that we had our mains characters. So I drew the model­sheets to help the modelers. The next step was to imagine a lot of different monsters. We created a lot of things and had discussions with various people, but also thanks to the movies we loved as kids. When somebody on the team was stuck on something to create, I drew them something so they could use it as a guide­line, like the Island, the shops, or the props designs. Sebatien modeled and textured the old guy and a lot of the props with turnarounds of sketches as bases. Pauline made clouds and musical instruments pretty well, she created some instrument from next to nothing.

 

For the citizens, we made a basic blank citizen, no gender, no details. Aurelien rigged it and we create accessories, clothes, mustaches, hair,... Animators made walk cycles and animations with them and we skin wrap clothes on animated mesh. This way, we can do several differents citizen very quickly.

 

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Our process was clear and fast. I created a list on Google Drive about everything: the characters, the shops, the props. Everybody was able to choose what they wanted to model and we knew exactly who was doing what, and what remained to be done. Modeling begin to be a bit of a game for all of us and the faster we worked the better the models turned out. A  few months later the characters were already modeled in 3D by Sébastien Baron, Pauline Lelarge and me using 3DsMax software. Then Sébastien and Pauline started to work on the shaders for everything.

 

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Storyboard / Layout / Animation

 

Since the project started, Aurélien Cova was learning how to rig with tutorials found on the internet. We didn't have any classes on rigging at our school and there was nobody able to help him, but soon after we finished modeling the citizens, Aurélien Cova started to rig them in 3Ds Max. The main character was done in one month and the others took a one week. We wanted characters as stretchable as the 2D characters in Adventure Time or Mcbess. So they all were able to switch between IK/FK, snap IK to FK and inversely, stretch in IK or FK mode, and to be able to do what we want with their limbs, automatic delay and use simple UI for expressions.

 

The citizens were also able to change their clothes, accessories and haircut and the old man had his own flying cloak.

 



In parallel, we set up meetings often with the team to discuss the storyboard. Our drawings were really rough, but we were so involved in the project that we weren't bothered about it. The story evolved a lot during the course of the year. Thanks to Romain Tinturier and Jorris Minjollet who were the first to work on the layout and the pioneers of the animation. The aim was to have all of the film done very quickly, we would then edit it and then be able to correct everything: the rhythm, what parts were indispensable for building the story and remove other assets that weren't so useful, even if they were cool.

 

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We focused a lot on the humour of the movie and it's appearance.

 

About the animation, animators (Romain Tinturier, Aurélien Cova, Jorris Minjollet, Pauline Lelarge et Quentin Lebastard), started all over again using their 3D layout scenes as references. They also had a look at frame­ by ­frame shots from movies and ads: Cloudy with a Chance of meatballs (especially Chester's animation), Mcbess' Deezer ad, YumYum HappyFood, etc.

 

They not only modeled their animation on work already­ done, but they tried to do their best to have an animation which looked like the one they wanted. I'm really proud of my team who done a great animation ­job on the movie in a short amount of time (4­5 months).

 

Lighting / Compositing / FX


While some were doing the animation, others were already working on the lighting for the movie. We wanted a light that was semi­realistic like Monster University: with high contrast and colored shadows. We used Mental Ray for rendering because our school didn't have V­Ray.


We wanted to make two radically opposed worlds: the first one with really natural and classic colors and the second one with some crazy colors when there are the monsters. It was really great to be able to work on different styles of lighting, and for us it was a great opportunity for our portfolio. Moreover, it really emphasized the craziness of the "other world".

 

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Firstly Sébastien and I, did a render of the city to find a basic mood lighting: a basic daylight, just a chillin mood. As we get the most basic mood of the movie, we can increase it to made apocalyptic mood. When one of us finished a lighting scene, we launched the render on the school's computer, it was fast, the average time was 3­8min per frame and something like 20­45min for some of the big island shot. We added some 2D FXs using After Effects to all the movie to give more motions and to make all short­ movies feel more "cartoony". We made it with the "shape" tool in After Effects by animating the shape frame by frame.

 

Romain Tinturier did all his special effects and debris with the particles Pflow in 3DsMax. I did some FX's simulations for the lava and the tornado with Realflow to keep the 2D yummy style.

 

A great experience


This project was for us a great experience for our vocational training objectives and humanly speaking. It gave the opportunity to each one of us to perfect themselves in the area he wanted. We made this movie to have a good time and have fun during our last third year of school. We think the project like a huge thing, we made wallpaper, trailer, teasers, ... We're proud to see people have as fun by seeing the movie as we got by doing it.

 

 

 

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Romwald Bogun

 

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