Pythagasaurus

A short animation made by Aardman studios, about two neanderthals trying to save their ‘village’ by looking for the mysterious and legendary Pythagasaurus. The characters and scenery were created in Maya by Steve Roberts and Tanja Krampfert, they’re incredibly characterised and cartoony with their oversized heads and long neck to the stumpy arms which almost run along side the more typical shape of a dinosaur themselves, these add so much more personality to the characters and much more open and playful.

With a playful and funny story line the wit of the short film doesn’t just come from the writing and narrative but the play on imagery and simplicity for all to understand and see the main points. Peter Peake the director spent a lot of time developing the look and the style of the short within flash before sending it off to the CG team as he was able to convey the sort of image he had in mind which was “bizarre and otherworldly.”.
Pascale Bories animated the characters with a lot of delicacy and really running along the lines of the animator being the actor, allowing the characters to really express themselves through a short but great performance.
Once the animations had been done they then had to move onto the compositing of the animation. This was done by exporting the animation as layers to the compositor Jim Lewis. He’s the one who had to animate the equations as well as piece it all together, the idea that Peake wanted was to have the equations as a mist that runs through the animation which creates a certain aura. Using the 2D elements in 3D space and to integrate this into the environments without it being distracting.

A lot of my quotes and information was taken out of 3DWorld Magazine issue 151 with a feature on Aardman studios, which Siobhan has so kindly lent me.
Check out the magazine’s website by clicking this link HERE.

An interesting point to take from this is the order in which I really need to think about the way I work as well as the assets I need and when.
What confused me before looking at this and other ‘behind the scenes’ footage which I’m going to look into shortly, is the fact I’m working in 3D software for characters and assets but then using footage which is basically 2D space. But I was just thinking about it all wrong with it really all being animated and filmed making it 2D and simply placing it into the footage. I do have worries about understanding After Effects to its full potential but that will only come with lots and lots of experimenting and playing.
My main idea at the moment is once I had the storyboard sorted, I can really move on with the character design. Once I have the character the ship can then be designed, whilst modelling all this I really need to make sure I have the correct footage. With all the extra fancy bits, I’ll be able to add the little effects and composite within After Effects and then fully edit and export the final footage within Final Cut Pro.

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