Winners announced for Rookie Awards 2021


by trice3d on 18 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

ESMA short film from 2019 by Manon Debray, Benjamin Estienne, Edouard Castel, Tifenn Terese, Theo Richardeau and Akram Tnacheri

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"Late at night, Natt walks around his house with his flashlight. Frightened but amused by what he meets, his journey will lead him to something weird that he could not have imagined…"

Discover the story of our little boy Natt, whose naivety and innocence will have to face a harsh reality that none of us would have wished him.
This making off will present elements that allowed us to build both the visual and techniques of our film but also a bit of narration.

"Descent to the nightmare..."

Our film is a story, but also and above all a dramatic event. This choice was motivated by our desire to touch consciences. And to do this, one of our most important challenges was to create strong atmospheres. We wanted to show our boy's psychology evolving into despair.

"The family..."

The story is composed of five sequences, all taking place in Natt's house. The whole set consists of only a few rooms which allowed us to focus on the essentials, the psychological and dramatic evolution of the boy.

"An issue: the lighting..."

The time of the narration takes place almost in one go, the colorful atmospheres evolve from room to room to dive towards the climax of the action, the fall. Going first through warmth, fun, curiosity, then intrigue, doubt, and finally surprise, fear and nightmare.

In the end, the day has changed, and Natt, our little boy has changed too. The atmosphere is different, and the already bright and warm colors in the room are now desaturated and disturbing.

The nightmare happens quickly, but it won't be forgotten by the child as fast. As cruel as the background of our story may seem, above all we seek to inspire empathy and hoped that the spectator would keep a strong impression.

Pre-production researches...

As the light was our first dramatic issue, we worked on it from the beginning of the 2D animatic. In this way, the framing, the rhythm, and the visual evolution of the film had to be created by light.

Application in production : lighting to compositing

Another important element that greatly contributed to enrich the light atmospheres of the film: the flashlight. As the boy's favorite toy it has a narrative but also visual importance.

This object inspired us to the creation of the little black creature that will lead the child to start his adventure. This same creature which will later become "the monster", a metaphor for the violence between the parents from Natt's point of view.

We worked with the idea that our story is a game of shadows and lights.

"An ambition: the stylization..."

We wanted to create discomfort, by light, but also by forms. During the production of this short film, we found inspiration in German Expressionism, which then directed us towards a stop-motion aesthetic. Both in shapes and in the scale of textures, we wanted to develop a childlike aspect, like a child's house, focused on the world of Natt.

This stop-motion treatment has proven to be as interesting as it is difficult. All the albedos have been painted with particular care to give this miniature appearance. The animation and the simulations also had to match our story scale.

Finally, the choice of rendering at 12 fps was obvious and we really appreciated the final stylization achieved.

And behind: discover the team!

"To make this film, we were a team of 6 students in the final year of our 3D animation and visual effects cycle at the ESMA school in Toulouse. We worked hard for a whole year to create this short film that we wanted to carry a message. Certain violent behaviors, both verbal and physical, can really affect children significantly. For some of them very young, this may disturb them strongly.

In parallel with this message, we sought to create a graphic universe close to our sensitivity by mixing a "stop-motion" aspect and our skills in 3D animation.

We hope you enjoyed this film and that he may even have moved you. And finally that this making-off was interesting."

The team Fais-de-Beaux-Rêves.

Links to demo reals :

Manon DEBRAY (Animation)     Tifenn TERESE (Texturing / Lighting) 

Benjamin ESTEINNE (Texturing / Lighting)    Edouard CASTEL (Animation)

Theo Richardeau (Texturing / Groom)     Akram Tnacheri (Animation)

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