[ #CGRecordInterview #vfx #Animation #news #shortfilm #Feature ] Illogic has gained so many awards after "Garden Party" came out ...
We're lucky enough to have the exclusive interview with them to see more the secret behind the screen. Check it out!!
Born in 2014, illogic is the result of a unique alchemy between five friends who worked together since the early years in school. They are a team of artists and storytellers driven by this pleasure to collaborate, looking for the best stories and the most captivating images.
Their work mainly explores the animal life and its philosophy, one of our main inspirations, giving to people another vision of the common world.
Please could you tell us about your team, and the story behind the idea to start the Project!
Garden Party is our graduation movie from the French school MOPA. We met each other in school and quickly became friends. About the project, from the onset, we wanted to feature an animal and we liked the idea of using frogs as witnesses of a crime scene. We also took inspirations from thrillers, as well as telling a story from a différent scale and point of view which we're used to seeing in live action.
What were the animation's influences, both story-wise and stylistically?
We're all pasionate about the wildlife in general. We took great inspirations just watching documentaries, studying real life. We got to a point where we even set a vivarium in our house during the production, with real frogs and toads inside. We didn't took so much from existing animation stuff for the story. The film had to be really realistic, for both animation and rendering. We tried to get a Hitchcock touch in the film, through the ambience and the suspense. Something really cinematic, blended with a very documentary aesthetic. It brought a very special atmosphere to the movie that we really liked.
In our case, it was all the idea to start from cliches of polar cinema to turn it into a different storytelling. Adding those small characters allowed us to bring a new point of vue, and a touch of black humor, which is something we really enjoy. We don't like the idea the get serious and try to always have some balance in the story.
What was your goal when you made the film? Also, what was the most challenging part and how did you achieve it?
The goal was to create captivating images without letting go of the story on the side, and to address to a wider audience as opposed to just children. The biggest challenge for us was the editing. We did a lot of versions just to find the right balance between the three different stories of the frogs and the background story.
All the six of us were generalist, with some specialities in particular fields.
We had a very homogeneous team, where everyone could bring his skills in each step of the project. It was very confortable when we had some rushes, where a lot of people are needed for the same tasks (Storyboards, modelling, animation etc..)
Rest of the time, we splet tasks considering the schedule and priorities, using the better of everyone.
We had the chance to have all the team very involved in the script, sharing a lot of ideas all along the project. It helped a lot.
The wrinting part was tuff, and we had many different versions of the film for a long time. The hardest was to get fixed on something, to start the animation step. But it finally came to a point where writing and animation were happening at the same time. The editing was still changing at the end of the production. It was intense but very stimulating for each of us.
Preproduction started in september 2015. The writing took 4 months before getting into the production process. Then animation and rendering came in January, and the film was achieved in June 2016. It took 9 months with 6 guys (and some nights).
What software and plugins did your team use? Could you please give some breakdown on the most interesting part of the production?
We used Maya for the modelling, rigging, animation, layout and also for a lot of fx in combination with Bifrost and nParticle. We also used Zbrush for sculpting, as well as Mari and Substance for texturing. We used Capturing Reality for the photogrammetry and Houdini was useful for the granular simulation of the caviar. Finally, we rendered with Arnold and did the compositing with Nuke.
In order to obtain the realistic look that we wanted, we handled to build a 3D scanner in our garage, based on photogrammetry, to scan 3D assets. It was a huge challenge for us, we had to take a lot of documentation about photography and lighting in order to make it work right. But it was very interresting.
We used the software Reality Capture to scan the objects. Then all the scans were brought in Zbrush for remeshing.
We also developed a script in Zbrush to export color, normal and displace maps from the scans. We could then get them in Maya, and replug the maps automatically, increasing the speed of the shading process. This method was really useful to build very quickly a lot of assets with good quality.
What would you consider as the most important thing in creating a short film?
I think a good short film should touch your emotions after watching it. Stories and animation have the power to transmit emotion and can help to connect with other Human beings.
What do you plan to do after the film? Would you open a studio or apply to a big studio?
We have created a collection named "Illogic", and we are basically working on commercials. At the same time, we're also working on our next short film which is currently in production.
What advice would you give to aspiring 3D artists looking to break into the industry?
Because CG animation and VFX always evolve evey year and very fast, 3D artists have to stay focus on what's happening around. But we thing the most important is getting strong basis. Good sense of composition and storytelling. Do not always matter about the softwares, and think more about the result. There's always a way to do it.
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