Exclusive Interview with EXODE's Team
>> See Also: Learn AnimationDirected by Baptiste Roy, Nicolas Mrikhi, Sandrine Gimenez, Kathleen Cartier and Thomas Saez, EXODE is the fourth year group short animated film project for these Supinfocom (renamed MOPA School) students in Arles. “The artists are from all over France,” says Nicolas Mrikhi via email, “and the project is a very much a group effort of collaboration.”
How did you all work together to create EXODE?
At the MOPA School, the film teams are generated around the selected student projects, so everyone could get involved depending on their preferences. For the concept development, there were no defined roles. I was the ‘original author’ but the whole group participated in the collaboration of the story and the visual style, but for the rest of the production, we had precise technical roles. Thomas was in charge of all the animation, Kathleen dealt with the cloth simulation and crowd management, Sandrine, Baptiste and I were dealing with the visual aspects (modeling, surfacing, lighting, compositing). Baptiste was also in charge of the rigging and the technical direction. Sandrine took care of the exodus part matte painting and I dealt with the previz/animatic editing.
Please talk about the texture of the clothing for the human characters.
At first we wanted a "sculpted rock" look, with sharp edges for the clothes too, but we realised that would not work on movement. So we decided to keep the rough feeling using heavy used cloth instead. Using both Marvelous Designer for the design and Qualoth for the simulation gave us a nice drapery that contrasted well with the sharp edged characters. For the texture, I used opacity and displacement maps to simulate thickness and worn fabric, especially at the borders.
Our main challenge producing this film was to manage to create a great sense of scale. We used slow-paced shots, atmospheric effects and iconic shots, like the one with the creature’s eye.
Making of EXODE
Please discuss these animation graduate programs. What is your advice for artists producing their own graduation film.
In my opinion, the strong point in our graduation course was the group collaboration. There is a kind of healthy competition between the students, but there is also a lot of mutual assistance. The teachers and the courses are important, but you have to work a lot by yourself and be highly motivated. During our graduation year, we often stayed the weekends at school to work, very late at night. This demanded a lot of dedication to our project. It is also important to learn how to work in a team. That's a great preparation for the professional world.
My advice for someone who is going to make his own graduation film is to find an idea, a project that you really like and a team of people as invested and passionate as you, because you are going to stick with them during a whole year, almost seven days a week and 15-17 hours a day!
For now we do not have plans of becoming our own studio. Sandrine and Baptiste are working in London and Kathleen, Thomas and I in Paris, working in various VFX and animation studios. But we will not forget the idea of having other personal projects, individually or not.
Thank you the team! We wish to see more and more inspiration work from you!
Thank you Paul and CGRecord Team!
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