It’s been a while since I posted here (a toon anim of Hellboy), but I thought I would post a little film we have done here a Toxic that has created an incredible amount of popularity on the web.
The client was Kitchen Agency in Oslo, and Europride 2005 (Also known as Oslo Gay Festival). Kitchen delivered the script, and we were completely free when it camo to develop the story, look and animation. Three people here at Toxic worked on the project, with me acting as director and doing all 3D, Colin McMahon doing the logo animation, and Knut A. Helgeland doing the editing.
The film was ultimately censored by the Europride board, who was afraid of the criticism the film got that claimed that it was encouraging unprotected sex. Despite of that, we were allowed to put in on our website, and it has amassed over 300.000 downloads so far!
Here are some stills, the link to the film is below them:
See the final film here:
And here’s a version with a slightly different ending:
Some info on the production:
It took around four to five weeks to make, with three of those week spent doing the animatic and edit. I think we made eight versions of the film before we were pleased with the cut. That was a huge learning experience, and I made about 30 lores shots that we juggled back and forth in the editing room.
The sperm was quite a challenge to rig, and I was unable to find any good information on how to setup a snake- or worm-like creature. After trying different rigs in 3ds max and Maya, I ended up using a combination of spline IK, morphers, wave modifiers and spline deformers in 3ds max for the final animation. In short form: wave deformed spline IK was doing the main wave motion, and this was morphed onto a spermatozoa with spline deformers that did the bigger deformations (turning head, bending body, etc).
The organic look was quite a challenge. It had to be real, and remicient of a colon, but it still had to look appealing without being cartoony. I went for the Disney-version of endoscopy, going for a very rich and saturated look while keeping the geometry and textures fairly close to the real thing. To avoid a too synthetic 3D look, I rendered everything in grayscale passes - and then colourized it in post favorizing passes that had no directional lights. I studied a lot of Lennert Nilsson photography, and using gradients and scattering as the primary source of lights gave the film the same ethereal look he had. One of the shots is a direct tribute to him
The passes were setup using the almighty RPManager (www.rpmanager.com), and here you can see about one third of the passes used on the opening shot:
The film was rendered in Brazil r/s, and it was composited shot by shot in Digital Fusion.
The opening shot used Chaos Group Aura for the “fluid” simulation, and After Effects was used for the logo animation.
Coming from a dogmatic and prejudical christian upbringing myself, it was nice for me to be supporting the gay community by doing this film for them. And even though reactions have been mixed, the young gay people I know have been very supportive. Despite the unusual theme and location, I hope you like the film