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Beyond the Dust - ESMA Short 2023
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Beyond the Dust - ESMA Short 2023

Matteo MICHEL
by Upmann on 21 Apr 2024 for Rookie Awards 2024

"Beyond the Dust" is a graduation short film made during our final year at ESMA Toulouse, France. Directed by Alexia AMELINE, Marin BENITEZ, Lucien BIGEY, Marine DUPUY, Benjamin HACK, Matteo MICHEL, Salomé QUILLIEN, Juliette VIGNOLLET. Original score by Gregory ALLISON #esma

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"Beyond the Dust" is a graduation short film made during our final year at ESMA Toulouse, France. 

Directed by Alexia AMELINE, Marin BENITEZ, Lucien BIGEY, Marine DUPUY, Benjamin HACK, Matteo MICHEL, Salomé QUILLIEN, Juliette VIGNOLLET. Original score by Gregory ALLISON

PITCH

A vacuum robot wants to espace from its luxurious building.

TRAILER

STILL FRAMES

BREAKDOWN

SHORT FILM

DUSTIN

Dustin is a vacuum robot who wishes to escape his building and explore the world. He is very curious and stubborn.

Designing Dustin was a challenge : we needed him to be more futuristic than actual vacuum cleaners, but still realistic. For this aspect, we found inspiration in Zaha Hadid's work, with a lot of curves and smooth shapes. 

The biggest challenge that we had with Dustin was to give him expressions without a face. We gave him a big movible eye with an aperture to mimic eyelids. We searched how to add more expression to it and found a reference in "I Am Mother" by Grant Sputore. We added two small eyes on the sides of the big one. They can move up and down and shake when Dustin is afraid or excited. Finally, we added changing colors in his eyes which adapt to the situation.

Gary

Gary is an old maintenance robot who is scared of his boss but loves to secretly listen to music and dance when is job is over.

As Gary is older than Dustin, his design needed to be different. We took away the curves and took a lot of inspiration in many generations of Boston Dynamics' robots. Gary is a maintenance robot, so he doesn't have to be nice looking as he is not supposed to be near the building's habitants. We can see all his functionnal systems and other mechanical parts. When wanted Gary's movements to be as realistic as possible so we took many references in engineering, like the thrust vectoring F35 engine for Gary's shoulders.



The AI

The AI is the boss of the building. She spends her days scanning the building, watching for anomalies and disfunctionments. She also is in charge of the security and prevents the other robots from running away.

The AI is a cold and heartless robot. Her expressions are represented with a ferrofluid ball in her face, a metallic metal which reacts to electro-magnetic waves. which moves with her emotions. When she's scanning, the ferrofluid is calm and smooth and when she gets angry, the ferrofluid gets fast and spiky.

Architecture

We wanted our building to look futuristic, so we took reference from Zaha Hadid and her gigantic and curvy buildings. We separated the building in two styles, the public areas and Gary's workshop.

In the public areas, there are big spaces, with a lot of reflections and light lines to open the space even more. The furnitures are simple and refined to keep the place clean. The apartment  is in the same style of the hall, but with more furnitures to show that this place is private and inhabitated. The furnitures are composed by a few art pieces and fancy objects like a piano and a big TV to show that the owner is wealthy.

Gary's workshop on the other hand is a small and dark place, with a lot a objects everywhere. That's where Gary spends most of his tim, and also where he likes to dance at night when the AI isn't watching.

Technical aspects

Rigging : The mechanical aspect of our robots impacted a lot the rigging and animation process. We had to find ways to avoid model penetration and we couldn't use any stretch and squatch to keep it as reel as possible.

Rendering / Compositing : The multiple reflections and light effects where heavy and made the render time a bit long, so we had to optimize our layers and render settings at the maximum. We also add a lot R&D for the AI scanner, the TV reflection on Dustin's eyes and the exterior of the building.


Thanks for reading ! We hope that you'll like our project as much as we loved creating it !

Directed by : 

Alexia AMELINE : Modeling, Lighting, Texturing, Set Dress

Marin BENITEZ : FX, Lighting, Compositing, Modeling

Lucien BIGEY : Modeling, Lighting, Set Design, Chara Design

Marine DUPUY : Animation, Layout, Rigging

Benjamin HACK : Animation, Rigging, Layout, Editing

Matteo MICHEL : Modeling, Lighting, Texturing, Compositing

Salomé QUILLIEN : Animation, Rigging, Layout, Pipeline

Juliette VIGNOLLET : Modeling, Lighting, Texturing, Set Design


Original score by : Gregory Allison

Sound design & editing : Tristan LE BOZEC - Sebastien FOURNIER - Yoann PONCET

Mixage 5.1 : Studio des aviateurs - Yoann PONCET - José Vicente

Voiced by : Hugo SCOTT


Thanks to our interns Arthur JUSTEAU & Arthur VIATGE


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