Papercut is a short-film which combines 3D Animation, Live-action and VFX elements. It was made by 3rd year students at Escape Studios in London, UK.
An origami man adventures around an art studio with his newly-folded wife. Everything seems great until something unexpected happens...
The Process of "folding" our short-film...
Concept Art and Character Design
In order to understand the process and the steps of creating origami with paper, we had to watch many tutorial videos and spend time creating origami people ourselves. That's when we started building the design of the characters. It was important to keep the colors realistic and "paper"-like.
As soon as we decided on the final story, we started creating storyboards to visualise the idea better. The most fun part was throwing ideas for the montage of our characters going on different adventures.
We wanted to make sure the animation we had in mind was realistic and do-able. So, what better way to test it, other than creating the whole film with real-life origami people?
Since our characters were paper-thin, the models had to be precise to the very last polygon. Even though we were having some problems with the rig weight and the meshes, we managed to fix them and create these fun origami rigs!
After visiting our filming location to capture the environment, we were able to start placing our characters in the 3D re-creation of the London Fine Art Studio. This enabled us to visualize the film and pose the characters in the right angles.
Turntable of Models, Textures and Lighting
We were looking to get the translucent effect that occurs on paper under bright lighting. We made sure the folded parts looked thicker under lighting. We also added some details on the textures like a game of Tic-tac-toe on the back of the Origami man and the colors of his wife on the new-folded babies.
All the props that the characters come in contact with are entirely 3D-modelled and textured.
Footage filming at London Fine Art Studios
Since the room we were filming in was relatively empty, we each gathered all the drawings, sketches, paintings, art supplies and props we could find home and brought them to the studio. We decorated the whole place in order to create the feeling of a cosy, colorful art studio for our Origami characters to have fun in.
Our tutor, Clement Gharini, provided all the filming equipment we needed and guided us in this amazing experience.
Color, Brightness and Contrast
It was important to keep the lighting colorful and bright to fit the tone of our little film.
Approved Animation and final Original Soundtrack by Lorenzo Pelli
After taking feedback from tutors and industry professionals, we managed to finish 3D Animating the characters. In order to avoid having scenes where the characters looked flat - since they are paper-thin - we made sure to carefuly select the best poses and angles possible.
Not long after, we finally received the original Soundtrack for the film, created by Lorenzo Pelli. Lorenzo kindly offered his talents to our no-budget film, and was able to perfectly capture the emotion and style we were looking for.
As soon as the 3D Animation was done, we started working on the compositing part of the film. We had to make sure the characters looked like they are part of the real-life environment but also being the center of attention in each scene.
Official Poster and Thumbnail
All movies need a poster! We created the poster for "Papercut" thinking of the importance of capturing the mood of our light-hearted film.
The final 3D Animation and VFX short-film took us 4 months to create from start to finish. As of the day of entering the Rookies contest, the film has won 5 International awards including Best VFX and Best Short-film.