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Our Ocean

Our Ocean

Priya Shah
by priyashah on 10 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

When a visit to the festival turns into tragedy, two young innocent siblings and their friend must survive before the human apocalypse destroys their home.

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The annual Fish City Festival has been affected by the ocean changes but has continued to run all these years despite the human pollution and overfishing. This year marked the 500th year of the Fish City Festival and is Dex and Troy’s first time. While swimming around in excitement, they meet their friend Maya. However, when the cargo ship arrives above Fish City, the festival ends up in a major tragedy. Dex, Troy, Maya and Fish City suffer the consequences of our actions.

This is a student short film created as a part of the 4th Year Integrated Masters Course at Escape Studios, Pearson College London. In collaboration with the charity 'Ocean Generation' who provided us with facts/statistics which we could use in the film. This film was created with a combination of Animation, VFX and Games students.

The Team:

Written & Directed By: Priya Shah

Producer: Ethen Dent

Unreal TD: George Morris

Technical Director: Jessica Hiles

3D Lead: Mahamud Usman

Editor: Jack Devereux

Our initial idea revolves around a festival that takes place annually at Fish City. Our director knew her characters were going to be turtles who had a brotherly bond. The main idea was that the brothers to meet their fish friend at the festival. But then a tragedy occurs destroying their city. She developed this concept with one of our concept artists. Down below are some of the initial designs:

These were then developed into 3D, building the environment in Unreal Engine. The main assets such as stalls, cargo ship, fishing net and festive items were modelled in Maya and textured in Substance Painter. Trash and ocean assets were found in the unreal market. The layout was built and developed by our 3D Lead. While these were being developed our characters were designed, modelled in Zbrush, textured in Substance Painter and rigged in Maya.

Lighting and Simulations were done in Unreal Engine. The lighting of Our Ocean was utilising a stationary directional light to get high-quality GI around the scene and a caustic light function to create an underwater experience. We used moveable lights to create a three-point lighting setup for the characters. The effects and simulations were done by using some experimental plugins in unreal and some simple ones to create simple effects throughout the short. 2D VFX were then applied to add some Godrays, bubbles and fishes to polish off the atmospheric feel using Nuke. Editing, Sound Design and Final Colour Grading were done in DaVinci Resolve. 

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