Here’s a much needed update on the animation front of project Durian. I’d like to take you through some of the challenges and workflows that we employ here in the studio.
We now have a little four man club of animators, (Lee, Jeremy, Beorn and myself) that works as its own mini-team. We have our own dailies, we critique each others work, we help others out whenever we can, and having worked as the sole full-time animator on Big Buck Bunny, this is truly a relief! We have some really positive, respectful team dynamics amongst the animators, which really makes this movie a joy to work on. Of course, I’ve only been here for a few montha, so I’m relieved of any fatigue and burnout (so far!).
However, even with more people and a strong team, this film is no walk in the park. The complexity, the variety and the realism makes the animation particularly difficult to pull off well. You instantly spot when something is off when you get close to realism, and some things are just really hard to get right. Luckily, it can also be very rewarding too. Once the animation is completed, it’s incredibly satisfying to see it nicely lit and rendered by the render team. Suddenly it looks gorgeous!
To illustrate our animation workflow, I’ve put together a small movie of one of my shots at various stages: