Get Inspired with this Short Animated Film – ‘Feeling Good’

Introduction

This animated film was created as the graduation project for the BimViz Studio Master in architectural visualisation. Before doing the Master, I graduated from the University of Granada as an architect. I came to Madrid and started to work for Luis Vidal & Architects, where I’m in charge of the architectural visualisation department.

I wanted to turn some broad ideas into a very personal project and dedicate some time and affection to it. Therefore, I needed to build a story to I connected to and which meant something to me. The process brought me great personal satisfaction and above all, I learned a lot.

Motivation and Inspiration

What motivated me to participate in The Rookies awards was the possibility to show my work and receive feedback from the rest of the participants. I spend a lot of time watching student work and some of it is truly spectacular! It is a huge source of inspiration. I’d love to keep working on personal projects and continue developing new ideas.

I turned to music for inspiration and I chose “Feeling good”, a wonderful song by Nina Simone. The melody led me to imagine a story – an abandoned place, saturated with heat, dust and loneliness, where something suddenly happens, something breaks free and takes up an independent life. I guess my passion for science fiction has also influenced the story.

Concept

The song transported me to 1940s and 1950s, to an inhospitable and desolate place in the USA. I wanted to narrate the story of a man, through his personal objects and workspace.

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To achieve a realistic context, I had to find out what types of objects existed in that period, so I did an intensive search of visual references of objects from the USA in the 40’s and 50’s. I selected the ones I liked the best and that was the best fit for the overall composition.

Breakdown

Once I gathered all the references, I started to model the objects one by one and to test the composition of the scene. Before detailed modelling, it is important to determine the composition of the scene, since details of the objects that are far away can´t be perceived. This optimizes the working time.

I did lighting tests with HDR and VRay sun. Finally, I went for the VRay sun because it resulted in a sharper, higher-contrast image.

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In order to add texture to some objects, especially those in close-ups, I used unwrap mapping and Photoshop painting. This phase was crucial since one of my goals was to achieve the highest possible degree of realism and I had to add dirt, dust and scratches.alba-del-castillo-03Then came the rendering phase. Every time I had to repeat some sequences due to minor flaws, I used Spherebox to render only the object that had gone wrong. That was a real timesaver!

Before detailed modelling, it is important to determine the composition of the scene, since details of the objects that are far away can´t be perceived. This optimizes the working time.

Finally, in the post-production phase, I used After Effects and Nuke to create depth of field. In this phase, I used curves for colour correction. I added layers with effects such as blur, lens flares and other lens effects as well as layers of dust, fog, particles, etc. This stage was paramount since for giving the final touch to the images. It is the most artistic stage, given that you produce the atmosphere you are looking for.

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Eduardo Rodriguez for all his support and for his passionate and affectionate lectures and The Rookies for giving me the opportunity to participate in the competition and share my experience of the whole process on this blog.alba-del-castillo-06

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Author: Alba del Castillo

I'm an architect but ever since I was a child, I have felt passionate about audiovisual communication, photography, CG arts and architectural visualization. I felt the need to do a personal project experimenting with these media and I have finally achieved it. In the future, I would like to get people more excited about visual language.


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