Function - 3D Animated Short Film
Function follows the story of Blu, a recently activated robot, who goes on an adventure to discover his purpose in the world. Through trial and error, and a valuable discovery, Blu comes to realize that he too was designed for a specific reason and has a meaningful role to play.
Function is a 3D animated short film produced by approximately twenty animation, visual effects, and sound design students. The artists who collaborated on the project, all pursuing various disciplines in the entertainment industry, worked together to transform a single concept into a visually stunning and meaningful 3D experience.
Function was written and directed by Abby Spencer.
The world of Function is observed from two very different perspectives, from the robot's point of view and the inventor's. To push both perspectives, our visual development team thoughtfully designed every section of the environment to serve a purpose for both the inventor and the robots who inhabited the space. Regardless of where the camera was, we wanted both perspectives to be present.
Similar thought and attention went into the development of the characters. Each robot was designed specifically to reflect the function that they performed. Not only did this help drive the narrative, but also influenced the character’s personalities and the interactions that they had with each other.
However, unlike the environment and robots, the inventor was designed to remain ambiguous. Rather than portray a specific character with defining traits, the inventor was developed to embody a feeling or concept that is left up to the viewer’s interpretation. To achieve this, the inventor mostly remains in the shadows, off-camera, and portrayed primarily through their hands.
The lighting in the film was an important contributor to the overall story, almost just as much as the characters and environment. Not only did lighting help demonstrate the passage of time and create atmosphere throughout the film, but it heavily influenced the climax of the story. Five different types of lighting were developed.
From the original score to the character sound effects, we wanted the sound of Function to push the narrative of the story even further. A variety of sounds were thoughtfully developed for each individual character to express their personalities, functions, and emotions. The music was composed to mirror the events of the story and set the tone from beginning to end.
Thanks for watching! Enjoy the film!