View Full Version : 'Climber' by Carlos Villarreal Kwasek. Copyright 2006 Vancouver Film School

09 September 2006, 01:45 AM

A Climber is ascending a diffucult mountain and his will is drying out. He have to choose between the fall or keep climbing. He has to face his own fears... and defeat them.

I really wanted to match my concept art with this short film that I've been working on during my studies at Vancouver Film School. Comments are very welcome.

Download movie here:



09 September 2006, 01:49 AM
Nice job! Loved the stylization - beautiful! You're animation was great, too - great facial, and secondary animation, and nice poses. :thumbsup:

Thought the story could've had more to it, but it showcased your skills and talents well! :)


10 October 2006, 12:43 AM
Your stuff is awsome. You've been my inspiration. :thumbsup: I couldn't make my reel without you.
Keep up the good work!

10 October 2006, 01:33 AM
Hey Carlos, what a great reel!! The camera work and the timing are so well done! I think you totally nailed the timing where the climber goes to attack the monster and then transitions into the ice. Oh, the crosshatching in the shadows is also pretty cool. Very unique!!

10 October 2006, 02:08 AM
GREAT JOB! My friend
:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: (Two thumbs and two toes up for you!)
Just my preference that I like the old ending where there's no monster (or your so called "FEAR") fading away more than this one, but your piece is SUPERB already... very artistic (for me it will be more artistic with the old ending) and fluid :applause:

10 October 2006, 01:30 AM
Excellent piece the way I agree with Pomme about the demon fade away scene. For me it would suit your style of storytelling more if the climber just putting his tool (whatever it call) into the ice. But the scene right now is also easier to read. So it's up to you. It's a great work already. I'll keep following your work for sure!

10 October 2006, 05:00 AM
Carlos - this is some solid stuff. The overall treatment and rendering is really unique and has a certain tactile sense about it. I love the character designs and your style of drawing...good to know you are not bound by the computer...thanks for sharing.

10 October 2006, 09:10 AM
I think a problem with most of the Animation schools (with the exception of Ringling and CalArts and AM) is that they train you to be good at everything, generalists so to speak, which is not very practical, it's apparent in this short from VFS, that results in films being medicore all around, nothing exceptional. I would have sacrificed modeling, lighting and rendering in favoure of animation, but thats me, maybe you like modeling more or lighting, so focus on one aspect of your film that you like most, make it great and leave the rest to be just okay.

About this short, the idea is not really bad, the character, to me, lacks that range of facial expression, becasue the most acting that he does hanging from the k2 is with his face, and i think it doesnt have that liveliness, mostly feels like a puppet, again, perhaps its a modeling, regging or animation issue. But just finishing a short is a good acomplishment, a lot of people start and never get across the line so congratulation there!

I liked the opening titles too, very professional looking.

10 October 2006, 01:55 PM
Golden Camel
very hard but truthful comment, specialy on the generalist education of most animation schools.

I think you found a very nice visual technique that show your graphic background and skills.
Liked the evil character a lot, although he could have been even more exegerated.

thnx for sharing and good luck for the festivals (if you send it in, what you defenitly should do)

PHO 75
10 October 2006, 12:16 AM
hey carlos excellent work, your animation skill is beyond student work in my opinion. you have a really good grasp on the physicality of human movements. The stylized textures also really adds to the piece, shows you have an artistic eye. you should be very proud. my only crit and it's non animation related is when the two characters start charging each other. As everything is moving quite fast from both sides there's a shot in the middle of it all that's a close up of his feet climbing. I think this shot really slows down the momentum of the sequence. Only thing that really stood out from the first time i watched it. besides that, really solid work. good luck


10 October 2006, 05:50 PM
goldencamel: The "problem" with your comment is that i am not sure you fully understand the time situation involved.
calarts: 4yr BFA
calarts: 2yr MFA
Ringling: 4yr
Filmakademie: 2yr basic 2yr production
supinfocom...etc etc etc

VFS: 4-6 months production To be trained as a "generalist" in this time frame is a compliment.

Carlosvk: I am more than impressed with your innovative work. the style and realistic nature of your animation, the painted textures and environments, and the non-Loman model----are just a few of the aspects that showcase your abilities as an "exceptional" artist.

well done.

10 October 2006, 06:37 PM
of course when you bring in the time factor, and for a six month work, I should say the short is pretty good but still the problem that remains is that when you get out of school and start looking for jobs, you are competing with all those Calarts, Ringling and AM graduates and "Why I only had six months to finish my film while the other guy from another school had four years" will be an excuse no employer would buy.

But personaly, even with such a short time to finish a film, I think one should focus most of the time on one aspect of his film, which would be what he eventualy wants to be doing, is it animating? modeling, lighting? becasue, if you want to make them all good, and if you had a year maybe you could but in six months, you can't and your film and your reel will suffer.

of course, my point of view is that you want to get a job doing one specific thing, if one wants to become a generalist and is okay with that kind of work, by all means, don't listen to me!

10 October 2006, 06:55 PM
Hey Carlos, I love your stuff!! You managed to bring your 2d talents to this piece and it really comes off well. Congratulations on finishing, and good luck in the future.

I think that any employer that looks at this film and realizes that it took 6 months to make would be impressed. Compare that to a film that took 4 YEARS, what is more production friendly? Which one is more able to meet deadlines? To me it's clear....anybody that can finish a film of this quality in 6 months is worth a lot more than someone that meanders his way through 4 years of school, only to finish a mediocre film.

10 October 2006, 07:56 PM
i agree with Mr. Gaeta:: i dont think students who have only 4-6 months use it as an excuse, they use it as a signpost of production readiness. With a time crunch like that, unseen in many schools, it shows a rare ability to crank out work at a high level in a realistic amount of time. Although 4yrs would be great, and there would a wonderful opportunity to really shine, that isnt the case in most productions. you often never get what you want, and struggle to make it good enough for clients...

It is a sign of professionlism and work ethic on a student level. Unless we all go work for Pixar and have an unlimited budget, these types of rigorous deadlines are a plus to an employer, not a minus.

10 October 2006, 08:24 PM
I agree with everyone.

Indeed the generalising and not focusing to one point is a bad idea generally, but then again in professional life, you cannot go and say to someone : "Hey! I only animate walking people, nothing else, but I'm perfect at it!" (excaggerate a little that is...)

On the other hand timing is something that a lot of companies take into account (cause a deadline is a deadline).

Carlos: I really liked the animation. I can offer nothing of technical stuff, since I'm not into graphics at all (what the heck am I doing here????), but the idea was really well made and well performed, and although the facial expressions did not persuade me really, everything else did, and more over I did got the firm impressio nthat you're not another animateur but actually an artist (take it as a complimaint). :)

10 October 2006, 12:43 PM
hey carlos, great work, although I personally didn't get through the animation that the climber was blind, as it said in your story synopsis; love the rest though.

10 October 2006, 03:48 PM
nicely executed :)

10 October 2006, 06:21 PM
Thanks everyone for your honest comments. This project has been a learning experience, so will be the next one.

VFS is a one year program in wich the first 6 months students learn the tools that they will need to develop their projects in the remaining 6 months. My short film was completed in 6 months from begining to end, but I did a lot of "tests" and concept art during my first 6 months in school.

Different companies demand different talents. The bigger the company, the more specialized you con be. Happens a lot that fresh graduated students start in small companies. In a small team you need to be able to show a variety of skills and still be able to specialize in one filed. When you are sending your reel to a company you have to understand what that company is looking for.

Thanks everyone again for the replies.


Production time breakdown for Climber.

Modeling and rigging: 1 month.
Texturing characters: 2 weeks.
Matte paintings: 1 month.
Animation: 4 months.
Compositiong: 2 weeks.
Sound: Under development.

10 October 2006, 06:42 PM
These are the characters I used for the short film.

10 October 2006, 03:19 AM
Dude, I'll tell you one final time, your stuff is bad ass. Granted I'm a classmate and while some may think that gives me bias, I believe it allows me insight. I've seen this entire production from concept to final cut and you deserve any and all acolades you receive.
I cant wait to see you dropped in a production pipeline.

I have to agree with Josh Herrig when he mentioned how being a generalist in a production with such obscene time and resource constraints is a major compliment. Although I'm sure I could have said it with a much sexier smokey undertone. But hey, that's Herrig, straight to business.

Anyway, i really dont have a crit. I dig the animation, model, lighting, and sure as hell the textures. You've got enough drive to pull a fat camp bus after a buffet. Keep posting and I'll keep watching.

10 October 2006, 06:38 AM
Great job Carlos!:thumbsup: Really inspired piece and I really liked the original style you created! Good luck and remember: never pick up the soap when it falls!:scream:

10 October 2006, 06:54 AM
you spelled VANCOUVER wrong on your HD video.

just a heads up, it makes you look amateurish.

10 October 2006, 05:39 AM
hey man thats an awesome concept. liked it very much. animation was good, look n feel was good. keep it up man. five stars for u.

10 October 2006, 03:19 PM
nice concept nice animation.:thumbsup:

10 October 2006, 05:25 PM
Hey Carlos,

Climber turned out great, it was amazing to see the film evolve over the year as you worked with different mentors at the school. You're one of the hardest workers that I've ever met, I'm sure that you're gonna make a name for yourself over the years. I look forward to working with you eventually.

Good luck!

(how's the new short coming along? we're all looking forward to seeing the stylized animation)

10 October 2006, 11:24 PM
Well... I watched it and I have to say it: it's very good! The second thing I liked after the animation was the style. Great job!:thumbsup:

10 October 2006, 12:35 AM
great stuff love the concept art, man it was good!

10 October 2006, 02:09 AM
nice work, amazed that you designed everything and finished it way before schedule, you work like no other, always there, you set quite a goal for yourself and others

10 October 2006, 11:40 AM
Different companies demand different talents. The bigger the company, the more specialized you con be. Happens a lot that fresh graduated students start in small companies. In a small team you need to be able to show a variety of skills and still be able to specialize in one filed. When you are sending your reel to a company you have to understand what that company is looking for.

Carlos is on top of it like a tranni.

Im with the peeps on the monster fade though. For a more artsy person as yourself, you shoulda been seeing this as "feeding the viewer" a bit too much. I wolda loved to see the cut happen with the guy swinging his ice gnarl kill blade with tons of motion blur from the dream/drug sequence right into the ice scene in one big swoop. Just a personal taste though. And yah, no clue the dood was blind.

But awesome awesome work man, especially with the textures and the end look. You could definitly make a great start as a layout artist or visual development artist.

Good luck on the job hunt mang.

10 October 2006, 01:59 PM
Nice work! Nice movement, looks real and natural! I like the texture too.

Good luck!

10 October 2006, 03:11 AM
Great stuff

10 October 2006, 09:18 AM
Amazing work Carlos! You are very well rounded and I see that as a plus for sure. the amount of quality work that you did in those 6 months show that you are talented, confident and disciplined when it comes to making desicions and moving on.

I really like the way you present your work. I wish you the best, I'm sure you'll do great.


10 October 2006, 07:21 PM
Thanks everybody for the replies with comments and suggestions. Critique is a valuable lerning experience.

Just a note on the short. Someone mentioned about the Climber being blind, the Climber is not blind nor the Creature. It was an initial idea 12 months ago, but it never made it even to the animatic. I decided to make his inside fight more physical.

Thanks everybody again,


11 November 2006, 09:34 AM
great job!.... a good, solid well rounded piece . I love the artistic feel to it.

looking forward to seeing your stuff in the future.

11 November 2006, 09:36 AM
so who is blind??? the climber or the creature? ....OR BOTH?

heheh...just joking! ;)

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