Lovebirds is a collaboration between a father and a son who wanted to create something together. This project is about the loneliness and pain of being far from our loved ones. It explores a dystopian society where everyone is captive and separated.
The origin and inspiration of Lovebirds
9 months ago, my father told me he had composed a song and that he wanted me to make visuals to go along with the music.
As an aspiring environment artist, I seized the opportunity to make as much environments as I could in realtime. The goal for me was to make compelling visuals that depict my personal interpretation of this song. I also wanted to get familiar with the use of Quixel Bridge inside Unreal Engine 4 after seeing all the stunning environments made by the Quixel team.
When I began to work on Lovebirds, I was in the middle of "Control". This incredibly cinematographic game inspired me a lot to turn the ideas I had into environments and specific moods. Firstly, the brutalist structure fit perfectly with the prison mentioned in the song. Secondly, the surrealist visuals of Control helped me a lot to create this dreamy look.
Blade runner 2049 was also a big reference to me. I wanted to replicate the heaviness of deserted big cities in this beautiful orange fog. That part was essential to the shortfilm because it extends the prison that the protagonist is talking about to everyone. The song is not about one man anymore but every human being who is feeling stuck in a situation he/she can't escape.
I'm a big fan of title sequence so I wanted to make one for this project. I spent a lot of time watching Ash Thorp's work, studying the titles placement and playing with typography. We decided to add sound design to the title sequence before the song begins to put the emphasis on the machine.
Here are some of my favorite shots from the shortfilm.
Here are step by step breakdowns of some shots.
To tease the release of Lovebirds, I made a poster, two visuals and a trailer.
The idea behind the poster was to intrigue with the contrast between the title and the horrific visual. We decided to release Lovebirds the 12th of March to match the lockdown 1 year anniversary in Belgium.
For the trailer, we didn't want to just re-use the same song so my father did another sountrack thats matches the 5 shots we picked.
My father and me.
Outcome of Lovebirds
This project allowed me to try raytracing in realtime and to take my UE4 knowledges one step further. It taught me the value of optimizing a 9 months project, even if you're alone.
Lovebirds is the result of my quarantine, the ups and downs of living alone in such a strange period. It was the most difficult project I made in my life and it's not perfect but I'm proud of it.
I hope you'll like it!