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Merick Cormier
by merickcormier on 31 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

A mosquito explores the world that he is new to when he suddenly meets a hungry frog.

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Film poster on the left with exploration process on the right

These are some boards panel of the storyboard for the film.

These are the characters I designed for the movie. A mosquito, a bee and a frog. I then modeled them, rigged them and textured them! I had the idea for the frog to be bio-luminescent and this is why it glows when the lightning strikes. I was able to achieve the glow by using the emission function in the material attribute in Maya and to get the extra glow I duplicated the frog layer in after effects and added a Gaussian blur on the layer and played with the brightness and contrast. 

For this movie I really wanted to show my design and paintings skills and one of the big challenges was to figure out how I was going to integrate my paintings in the 3D space and have them fit with my 3d models I made in Maya. I had a lot of different environments and each scene was its own challenge since I wanted to create cool compositions. The solution I came up with was to do the color script first and then rely on the lighting keys I had created to paint the backgrounds which indicated how I would light my scene. I then painted my backgrounds to fit the style of the film on different planes directly facing the camera with alphas in Maya. I used a similar process for the Mosquito and bee characters to create the wings, antennas and legs.

This is an inside look as to what the scene actually looked like in maya with the planes and on the right, a render test to get an idea of what the scene was going to look like.

Process from the layout stage to the animation stage to final render stage

I heavily relied on after effects to get the look I wanted because I knew it wouldn't be possible straight from the render. I rendered on many layers because I knew I wanted to add camera lens blurs and have a lot of possibilities in the post-production process to play with colors and glow effects. I really like to play with textures in my illustrations and added animated png sequences I created in Procreate with their animation feature, to create rain droplets and atmosphere. I also created the lightning effects the same way. For the credits, I animated them in 2d to simulate the droplets effect seen throughout the film. 

Thank you for looking!

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