Louis - 3D Animated Short Film
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Louis - 3D Animated Short Film

Jonathan van Baggem
by ElineVerhaeghe and JvanBaggem on 30 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

A short film about a painter with Alzheimer and living his final day being aware of his surrounding world. Made by: Jonathan van Baggem, Iris Reynders, Eline Verhaeghe, Arthur Sirjacobs, Quinn Bogaerts, Abel Baeck. Project made at Howest Digital artist & Entertainment

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Round of applause for our sponsors

Final short film

Ideation

It all started with the idea of making something moving and emotional. We started pitching ideas to each other in the summer of 2021. One with a gargouille and a boy, and another with a chasing scene inside of an spaceship heading to an collision course, but we chose for something else. Jonathan proposed the idea of a painter having alzheimer, but not knowing it yet. The short film shows the last day that the painter is still able to experience. Initially we wanted to work on a monster that represented the disease, that later got dropped as the oil rising would be a stronger methaphor showing that he is forgetting the world around him.

The main character - The Painter

From the beginning it was clear that the painter needed to be an old person. Iris and Eline were responsible for concepting the painter. After that was done, sculpting, modelling and texturing was done by Iris. Rigging and animations was done by Jonathan.

The Monster

Initially we wanted to create a monster that represented the disease of Alzheimer while also filling the painter's studio with oil. Quinn Was responsible for designing the monster. He made various designs all focussed around something hugging our painter. The final design was a slug like creature with many arms. 

The Idea for a monster representing the disease was later dropped while we kept the oil. This was done because the oil was enough of a representation of the disease.

The Room

The design of the room was determined early on. The painter has no time to clean up the room, he needs creativity to flow. So the room is going to be messy. Really messy! Neglecting the room in actuality.

The Paintings on the walls

More time was needed for developing the paintings on the walls. At first we were going to make the paintings in the back of the room more disturbing as he was forgetting how to paint, just like William Utermohlen who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Eline Verhaeghe was responsible for making the paintings. AI generation was combined with overpainting.

The Simulations

Arthur was responsible for the oil simulations that made the paintings melt and the room fill up with oil. He was also responsible for generating spiderwebs all over the room to tell the viewer that the room is really getting neglected.

Musical Composition

Abel Baeck was responsible for the musical composition of this short film. We knew we wanted something old fashioned. We made sure to communicate with Abel that it needed to feel nostalgic like the crackle that the needle of a record player makes and something moving and emotional

The Artstyle

The artstyle for this short was very important to nail in the first few weeks. At first we wanted to go with something stylized, but that made it look like that the topic wasn't serious. It is a serious topic so a more restricted and straight modelling language was chosen. As for texturing, we wanted to stay in the theme of painting. That is the reason that we have brushstrokes in the texture and normal map. 

Who did what?

Jonathan van Baggem - Prop modelling & Texturing, Character Rigging and character animation

Iris Reynders - Character design and creation, Compositing

Eline Verhaeghe - Prop Modelling, Prop Texturing

Arthur Sirjacobs - Procedural Houdini modelling, Houdini fluid simulations, Lighting, Compositing

Quinn Bogaerts - Modelling, Texturing, Lighting

Abel Baeck - Composer of Final score


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