Les Amants Perdus - 2D animation short film
There's a story of two lost lovers, separated long ago by a curse, and turned into stone statues. Ever since, they're trying to find each other again, and every night the princess sings, hoping her voice will make it's way to her beloved. He stays unreachable, petrified for centuries. One day, a curious orphan finds
The story is based on the legend of the two lost lovers, which has been made into a book recounting their love and tragic fate. Charlie, our young hero, loves the book, especially as his precious pendant has the same pattern as the book does, which he doesn’t know will be the key to solving the mystery.
The film doesn’t have any dialog, which we decided early on in the project. Because of that, we had to design characters who were very expressive, and could convey the story entirely through their expressions. For this, Auriane and Thomas teamed up, and worked on the main trio.
Charlie is a bright and curious child, independent as well. He was designed by Auriane, with lots of references from famous orphans. His colors are muted and his clothes practical, as he spends his days running around, and some of his nights as well as we see in the film.
The only exception is his pendant. We don’t know where it comes from, in the story, but it is key to unlocking the secret of the legend, and reuniting the lovers.
The princess, named Daphné, represents love and tenderness. We chose muted, pastel colors for her, to give her a soft feel. Her design is based on medieval illustrations and tapestries, as it is the time during which the two lovers got cursed and turned into statues.
For the Knight, we wanted to use the romantic image of chivalry, rather than the more common idea of war and violence that we usually associate with knights. Elias is brave and charming.
To make the city feel lived in, we designed additional characters to populate the market. There’s also two characters who Charlie interacts with, a builder in the city streets, and an old man at the port. We designed those characters early on, and so the third one, a woman who Charlie asked a question to in one of the streets, didn’t make it to the final cut. Those three were designed by Charlotte.
The other background characters were designed by Lara S.
Lara also adapted the characters of other movies made in our year, so they could be a part of the background. We’re proud to say we’ve included one character from each of the other 9 movies!
Lara S was lead for the backgrounds, and she’s the one who made the film look and feel like it does. Early on we decided to use impressionism as one of our main references when it came to the look of the backgrounds. We wanted something that was accurate to the time where the film takes place, and it allowed us to create beautiful pieces as well. We kept the painting technique and the vibrancy of this style.
The story happens over a whole day, and we knew we wanted to have vibrant colors no matter the time, so we made sure that the night scenes were still filled with color, and clearly visible. Using references from impressionist paintings, we created different palettes for each time of day, which we then used to make the backgrounds.
Thomas was the lead when it came to animation, and he taught us to use Harmony Toon Boom, which we used for every step including compositing.
Here you can see the different steps of our process, illustrated through a single shot.
We decided early on in the project that we wouldn’t have any dialog, which meant the music was especially important. We worked with Antoine Galvani to create themes for each character, and then once the tiedown animation was done, he created the entire piece to the animation. This means that the music is custom made and best suited to translate the mood of the story. Baptistine Mortier lended her voice to the princess, and the end result is a magical and breathtaking piece of music that complements the visuals perfectly.
We worked on this film for the entire school year, from October to June. The scenario was written during our second year by Morgane, but revised with Lara C at the beginning of the year. The two also worked together on the storyboards for the film. At the same time, Auriane, Thomas and Charlotte worked on the concept for the characters, while Lola, Estelle and Lara S worked on the backgrounds. Thomas gave help for the color palettes and designs of some features of the buildings. In December drawing the layout started, while we finished up the storyboards and the character designs. In early January all the layouts were done, and as background painting got started, the color script and posing were being made, as well as animation tests for the characters and the music. In April all the rough animation was finished, as well as all the backgrounds, and the lineart and color started.
Thank you for your interest in our project! We hope you liked what you saw, and if you have any questions here's where to find us so you can know everything about the film.
You'll be able to find links to the individual portfolios of everyone on the website, so if you're wondering what other work we do, you can head there. For extra content, there's always the instagram account! Lola and Charlotte worked hard to make some really cute illustrations of our characters, and you can get to know Charlie and his new parents after the story ends.