The Cake
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The Cake

by AresVa and Gaja on 1 Jun 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

Animated short, about gluttony, made by two 3D Graphics students at Høyskolen Kristiania.

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The Cake

This project is a student project made by Ares and Gard, two 3D Graphics students at Høyskolen Kristiania, university in Oslo, Norway.

We were given one of the seven deadly sins, gluttony, and had to come up with a story and animate it. We also colaborated with manuscript and sound design students, who are later going to add sounds to the animation.

We were free to choose the software we wanted to use. The movie was animated in blender and rendered in unreal engine 5. 

This project is close to finished and is still a WIP.

Characters

The mouse and rat were blocked out in 3dsmax and sculpted and retopologized in zbrush before taking into substance painter for texturing. The masks for the shader was made in substance designer. To make the animated clay shader Ares made 4 different maps, placed it into one texture and used the flipbook node in unreal engine to flip between the four maps.

We wanted full control over the shader, to make it change when we wanted, or speed it up or down depending on how much the characters were moving. So Ares made this shader giving us the opportinity to do just that. 

Environment (Ares)

We originaly had in mind a tom and jerry vibe to the scene, with bright colorful interior, but quickly realised this was too clean of a house for the story to take place in, so we made the house look older and dirtier giving it just the look we were aiming to change to. 

The selfmade environment assets were modeled in 3dsmax and uses quixel bridge materials. We also used some quixel bridge assets to fill our scene to make it more spicy. Models which dont use quixel materials, were textured in substance painter.

Ares also wanted to utilize and learn new tools, he made this procedural wire so he could easily re-arrange and itterate the environment without having to go into 3dsmax to change it.

Animation (Gard)

For the animation part, Gard wanted a rig that could stretch and squash, just like clay and being able to make exaggerated movement, giving the humoristic look. 

Stop motion is usually set to 12 frames per second, but as we were locked to a 25 fps project, we instead baked the animations in Blender to hold every frame for two frames before importing them to Unreal, using stepped curves inside of unreal. The reason we had to do 25 fps was because the software the sound designers use is for 25 fps movies.

Run cycle used in the movie.

Rendering

The movie was rendered in unreal engine. The first time any of us had used unreal engine for a movie production, but it went super smooth, with only a few problems that solved them selves really quick. I would really reccomend anyone who wants to try out an animated movie in unreal engine to watch unreal engines VAD production workflow on youtube. This helped alot. 

We used unreal engines new lumen to light the scene. Lumen with the quixel materials gives a quick and really nice result which we need to complete the project on time. 

After a few hours of struggling to get all the renders to look right, we took the sequence  into Premiere Pro to refine the timing and edit it together.


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