Synopsis : our story starts when our main character, Emily, wakes up in a dreamy environment and then faces her memories
The Making Of
Emily is our lead character. She’s facing her emotions and memories during the entire movie.
She is a dynamic and full of life young woman with a great life force. The marks on her skin testify to the violence of her accident, against which she is constantly fighting.
She has a very strong relationship with her father, who has always been at her side despite difficult times.
Emily's father is a gruffy man but also kind hearted.
He's the one who made the music box for his daughter.
He goes to his daughter's bedside every day, waiting for her to wake up one day or at least give her a sign of life.
We worked from different references, for the faces of our characters, the corpulence while trying to respect the artistic direction we had established.
To sculpt our characters, we used the ZBrush software. The big challenge was to keep an anatomy that would remain faithful to our DA while using our concepts. We didn't want to lose the essence of either. We also made our blendshapes in Zbrush, using a morpher to sculpt Emily’s one and apply the same on the father. Later we adjust it to the father because he doesn’t have the same anatomy.
For the texturing we started with a realistic base by projecting textures on MARI. Then, we repainted them completely on Zbrush, which was easier for us because this software gave us the possibility to paint directly on our characters, without having to worry about the different UDIMs.
So we took advantage of the opportunity to stick more to the Art Direction we had chosen, which was more in the spirit of 2D painting.
Finally we switched to photoshop because there was a loss of quality on zbrush.
Some painting accidents, or some painting effects were also added during this step.
Calidou is the first Cuddlytoy Emily received as a child, it is also one of her fondest memories.
For the concept the challenge was we wanted it to appear very large so we had to find a cute and a comforting design to not make this scene creepy.
We used ornatrix to have a base to be able to repaint over it, then we proceeded to Camera Mapping to project the painted texture on the mesh. Finally we used Tyflow to simulate some hair.
The Music Box is a birthday gift Emily’s dad made for her. We really wanted to depict the dad’s gruffy personality through this object. That’s why we chose a raw look for the sculpt, and kept strokes visible in the wood. But we didn’t want it to look too stiff, so we used organic shapes.
The dancer was sculpted in Zbrush, but for the box itself, we chose a more procedural approach using Houdini to create the displacement.
We animated on a motion capture, mainly for the walks to gain some time, wich we didn’t hesitate to modify or erase in order to obtain what we wanted.
Moreover the face and the hands hadn’t any motion capture, we animated them in keyframes with subtility and realism for convey the emotions of our characters.
Meanwhile the father is only on keyframes and hadn’t any motion capture
During the compositing, we used After effects and DaVinci Resolve to add multiple effects to enhance our images.
Each shot was worked on one by one to accentuate through lights, colors, saturation and optical effects the subjects we wanted the viewer to focus on. Later we unified the shots of the film to give them a conductive link through these same effects and grading matching in sequences.
We did a quick compositing pass for some transition and dynamics effects
We try to play with explosive timing and animated painted shapes.
For the most part of the FXs, We have used Tyflow, an unofficial replacement for 3ds Max's Particle Flow, which is more instinctive and had many more features.
We also used Frost to mesh particles and Rayfire to fragment meshes in some of our effects.
There was a lot of research and development to do before we began the production part, we wanted to know how are we going to create our effects in the best way and how to optimized them.