Tuesday, 20 April 2021

"Alma" Wins "Best Animation" at Flicks Fest

Congratulations to the makers of "Alma", which has won its first festival award - "Best Animation" at the Flicks Film Festival in March

"Alma", is the first fully motion capture CG short film created at Escape Studios; it was directed by Rola Hafez, co-directed by Francesco Cordari and Alexandra Megerdichian, and produced by Emmanouil "Manos" Zervoudakis

You can watch Alma at Vimeo below:
MA in 3D Animation
Alma was completed by students on our MA in 3D Animation, collaborating with VFX students and also some of our undergraduate animation students. 

Xsens MoCap
The MoCap performance was recorded at Escape Studios on a Xsens Awinda MoCap suit, supplied by Escape Studios' tutor and cinematographer Clement Gharini.  "Alma" was completed as part of our MA Animation, in which students must deliver a personal project, which can be done individually or as part of a team.  "Alma" pulled together 3D and Animation students to deliver a short movie as a team project, using Motion Capture to facilitate the animation.

MoCap Pipeline
Jake Lee - MoCap Performance
Thanks to the MoCap pipeline the team was able to record all the takes for the short movie, which involves a humanoid robot, in just one day.  

Jake Lee, one of our animation "short course" students, donned the MoCap suit and acted out the scenes, while Edoardo Sartori and Karla Rojas, year 3 animation students, helped with managing the software.   

Some scenes in the film are full MoCap, some are a blend between MoCap and keyframe animation, and some are fully key framed animation.

Rendering was carried out in Redshift and most renders were delivered through CGRU (https://cgru.readthedocs.io/en/latest/#), an open source renderfarm software. 

Other Software
Compositing was completed in Nuke. Modelling was carried out in Maya and Blender, texturing was done in Substance Painter.  Rigging was based on the Advanced Skeleton add-on, with bespoke parts added as needed.

18 Week Schedule
The project took 18 weeks from the first idea to the final delivery.  

"Alma" Credits
  • Rola Hafez - Writer, Director, Producer, Animator
  • Francesco Cordari - Writer, Co-Director, Colour Scripts, Supervising TD, Character Artist
  • Alexandra Megerdichian - Writer, Co-Director, Lighting & Rendering
  • Emmanouil Zervoudakis - Producer
  • Austin Hill - Storyboards
  • Paloma Zhu - Concept Art
  • Mihail Sustov - Sound Design & Foley
  • Maria Cortes-Monroy - Original Score
  • Alice McCall - Motion Graphics
  • Jessica Elias Lopez - Colour Scripts
  • Paolo Amadini - Assistant TD, Animator
  • Jake Lee - MoCap Actor, Animator 
  • Samantha Maiolo - Animator
  • Federico Bonato - Compositing 
  • Amedeo Beretta - Executive Producer, Animation Director
  • Edoardo Sartori - MoCap retargeting
Festival Success
"Alma" Colour Keys

This is Alma's first festival win. You can see the official list of winners here.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our BA/MArt in 3D Animation, follow this link. To apply for our storyboarding evening class, visit this page here. For the next 12 week animation course, click here

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