Final Year Short : Skyfall


Hey guys, I’ve recently finally finished work on my major project at Bournemouth and so far the response has been pretty positive so I thought I’d put it up here.




              Name: Skyfall
          Software: Maya, Novodex [(Nima)](,en/), Shake, Photoshop, Rendered in Maya Software/Mental Ray
   Description: A 3 minute animated narrative short viewed through first person seeing the effect and aftermath of an apocalyptic event. The main emphasis of the piece is on atmospheric and powerful visuals. The idea is inspired by and uses an existing piece of music called "The Dead Flag Blues" by Godspeed you black emperor!.
   The amount of time spent on this project is quite hard to measure due to having 2 other projects and 2 exams running simultaneously but I'd say the vast majority of the work on this was done over a 3 month period. It's an entirely solo project.
 38.2mb Mpeg4 dowload:

Mirror 1
Mirror 2
Mirror 3
Mirror 4

Thanks for the mirrors guys!

   I've had a few problems finding a decent compression solution but the above is pretty much the best I could do, however it does feel like there's some framerate issues but hopefully it isn't too much of a problem.
              If anyone has any comments, suggestions or questions then please let me know, I'm eager to see what people think.

edit: If anyone is interested I’ve uploaded a small making of video

 14mb quicktime:

Download here

Also if you want to take a look at my project report I’ve uploaded that too, I can’t guarantee it’s interesting though:

3mb PDF download


I really love your animation Matt, it is one of the best animations to come out of the NCCA yet. You’ve really done the song justice with a piece that fits the mood well. Of course, the visuals are truly exceptional as well.


Loved your animation and visual effects. Music and storytelling helped alot to get in the mood. REALLY NICE WORK!


Hi Matt,

Wow, that was a very impressive short. I love it! Nice dark ambience and the whole going-backwards passage is great. The music works very well too. I’m a filmcomposer myself so if you ever need any original scoring done with something like this I’d be happy to help. You can check my site for music demos if you’re interested:



Really impressive piece. i love the structure and amazing mood.



WOW… nice work. Really love the whole look and feel of the piece. I tried to do the same with my final animation of my degree, concentrate on on the look/colours/comp/feel. Reminded me of the film ‘avalon’ and also ‘a very long engagement’, with the colour grading and punched out blacks and whites.

Did you use real camera motion for the movement, as its very realistic… which is quite hard to get looking rite with just random noise or hand keyed animation.

What kind of a job are you looking to get into now that you’ve finished uni?

Really good work!



thanks for all the encouraging comments so far :), it makes all those long hours feel worth it. This piece isn’t as “finished” as I had originally planned (the ending featuring a secondary character got cut) and I’m aware of many flaws but I’ve reached a point where I have to declare it done and let it go.

Sid: Thanks very much for the offer, I don’t know when i’ll next have the spare time (and rendering facilities) to produce another short but it’s something I’ll keep in mind.

Eightgr: Thanks very much for the plug.

Harrod: Yeah, the look and atmosphere was the main focus point for the project, the dynamics just kinda grew out of what I needed for the narrative.

The camera motion was a bit tricky to do but yeah there’s no way I could have done all that by hand or with procedural noise. For the opening section it’s all taken from actual hand held camera footage which I then tracked to isolate the camera movement. I tried doing the same for the blast sequence but it proved to hard to get a proper track with all the motion blur going on. I tried handkeying but it would have taken me ages, in the end I was lucky that my uni has a Mocap studio, recording the motion took around 30 mins and the data I got out of the end was pretty clean.
At some point I intend to make a short making of video for download just showing stuff like pass breakdowns and how I went about doing things, the camera stuff will probably be included in that.

Jobwise I don’t know yet, I’m pretty much a generalist and I’m having trouble choosing to commit to one thing, I also have a love for character modelling which doesn’t come across in this piece ;). I’m going to have a fish around at our degree show and then see what opportunities present themselves.

One last thing, I’ve just chewed through a lot of bandwidth in a very short amount of time… if anyone knows of somewhere good for mirrors it would be greatly appreciated!


Hi matt, I love the short. (I always like the type of apocalyptic story)

I thought it is very impressive, considering its a 1-man job and you are still in uni, especially the part where the buildings are collapsing. Maybe you could share a little bit on how you did this part. Did you use any plugin to break the models? For the dynamics i see that you use nima, why do you think you need to use it instead of the maya built-in hard dynamics?



Very impressive work. You really created a somber and dark atmosphere in this piece. Could you give a little information on how you created the collapsing buildings?


FANTASTIC work mate! Had a hard time believing it was all cg!


Very inspiring piece. I love it. The colors are incredible.



awesome work.


absolutely awe inspiring work, Visually and emotionally.

It was a surreal experience watching this film.

I like the overall message of the film too. It could be many things that happened, Like meteor impact or nuclear explosion, I like how it wasnt too specific, and the viewer could draw many conclusions. Because of this “open-ended-ness” it doesnt get too preachy or political. It does universally make the point that everything can and in a second and you should enjoy your time here while we are alive. I dont know if that was your message, but whatever it was, it was really well done, none the less.


what a great piece!


A very powerful piece. Amazing for a solo piece as well. Great job. 5 stars.

Could you tell us about some of the challenges you had to overcome? Some techniques you used?


man i thought that was going to be another vfx shot but not man that was somsthing else something really good . I love it the minute the it went in reverse the hair on my back went zzzzing excellent work man


WOW! It’s very very impresive! Especially I like the sign on the roof “ДУША” - “soul” (translation from Russian). Good work! 5*


You’re a bad guy man ! Excellent and awesome work…:thumbsup:
Could you explain your method for the buidings please ?


Excellent stuff! It almost seems funny that this is the first time I’ve seen a short with this song for the soundtrack. GY!BE is such a good accompanying band for apocalyptic imagery. I liked the reverse nuke, and the entire piece was very well edited to the voice. Very awesome!

(Makes me want to listen to more of f#a#oo)


Really nice atmosphere. Moving piece of work. Good editing etc etc.