A master is being challenged by a competitor. However, the master mantis does not care for the challenger's advances; All he wants is some peace and quiet, and he would kill for it...
Many would kill for some peace and quiet
The Peacekeeper teamAleksandra Strojecka - Main animator, concept art & storyboarding
Emilie Solheim Brosvik - Compositing, lighting, rendering & layout
Johanna Hawkridge - Modelling, Texturing, lookdev
Katie Prentice - Rigging, technical director, modelling & editing
FreelancersImogen Walters - Animation
Mong Hiu Yu - Animation
Bobby Cordiner -Composer
Concept art is done by Aleksandra Strojecka. The left concept art is based on the mantis known as the orchid mantis and the red mantis (also known as the "Kung-fu mantis") is based on the baby stage of the orchid mantis. We did not originally know that the master would be the full-grown version of the red mantis. That's because when we first learnt of the red mantis' existence we only knew of it as the "Kung-fu mantis" but later learned that it's just a stage of its evolution and therefore we all agreed it made sense for the master to be the full-grown version of the red mantis.
The lovely mantis characters were brought to life by Johanna Hawkridge. She modelled, textured and did look development for both of them. As they are based on real-life creatures she went deep into the studies of them, anatomically and all the details of them. She even got hold of a taxidermy mantis to use as a reference!
Johanna Hawkridge provided most of the assets for the environment through photogrammetry. She retouched them to make them more user friendly within the scenes. Katie Prentice was the one to make the lanterns you can see spread throughout the ground. Emilie Brosvik was the one to assemble the final scene layout after testing out several versions of the final look. We did not have a clear vision in mind, therefore, we went from having just a green scenery made of plants to trying different things. In the end, we knew we wanted to have a sort of temple to make it even more clear that the white mantis is a sort of "master".
Final shots vs. Renders
Emilie Brosvik was in charge of lighting, rendering and compositing. For the comp side of things, Emilie Brosvik had to figure out a way to make the pupils of the mantis "merge" with the eye of the mantises to help to express the emotions of the mantises. So she blurred them, graded them and lowered the transparency so you could see more of the detailed eye underneath to make it seem more a part of the actual eye. Additionally, the master mantis had some skinning issues on its "knees" because of the extreme sitting pose so Emilie did some clever paint-outs of the tiny mishaps.
The mantis rig is done by Katie Prentice. She has made a rig that contains both the red and white mantis, allowing animators to easily switch between the two characters for animating. One of the harder things to figure out was the pupils. Katie was able to get them to slide against the surface of the eyeball and used blend shapes to be able to show emotions through animation. Additionally, she made the red mantis head detachable and easy for animators to use for the beheading shot in the film.
Lovely posters made by Katie Prentice