Lighthouse (short film)


I just got and watched the TD Reel and after picking my jaw up from the floor I can confidently say, Fan-bloody-tastic!!!

The rig is frightening, the comp work is top notch and the sooner I apply that ocean sim patch the better :slight_smile:

56 seconds left…
31 seconds…

Top notch! With a great message :slight_smile:




Simply Amazing!
That show no matter what software are you using because if you got talent you can do what you want.

And you guys got a lot of talent. Congatulation!

Can’t wait to see more from you.



Wonderful work!

Blender is VERY quickly becoming a real bit of competition to all other mainstream apps…this is the proof in the pudding.


very nice, love the enviroment good job


Best written story I have seen in an animation in a long time.

Excellent execution and animation.

Nice sound too.



Awesome to hear all the positive feedback!
I did the rigging and most of the animation.

The rig was a lot of fun to put together. We we’re able to get hold of some of the great modifiers developed from Big Buck Bunny before the official 2.46 release, such as the mesh deform, bone heat weights and multi modifier option. Which made deforming the various elements (skin>glove>shirt>jacket…) and wieght calculation alot smoother and eliminated alot of intersections.

The IK/FK switching was adapted from the Pocoyo rig from so credit to where credit is due. Everything else was done with Blender’s Constraints and Shape Keys.


Hi dudes, thanks for the kind words!

About the pipeline… It’s pretty simple really, Tristan generally works in Max and Zbrush, so when doing the models, he’ll export an OBJ which gets brought into Blender. In the case of the cliff, the client approved the look of it in Zbrush so rather than bothering with displacement, we just exported a 200k poly mesh with a normal map and used that directly.

Within Blender, everything’s linked and instanced (the models, the configuration in a set, the materials, the character and rig setup). It’s like xref in Max but a lot more powerful since any bit of Blender data can come in linked from an external library file (including animation curves and actions, and abstract groups of objects).

So for example in the lighthouse lens room shot files, we have a linked group of objects for the main set coming from a library that contains all the models, materials etc in a group. In the shot file itself, this group just appears as one block, un-editable. Then we have a linked group for the character, which has all the models, materials, hair, and rig, and that rig can be posed and animated via a proxy. The main rig and character data remains in a single library file, but the animation data - the poses and curves themselves, reside locally in the shot file. Also, the lens itself is treated like a character, with it’s own rig that lets the lighthouse keeper open the door, pick it up, etc.

The upshot of all this is, that everything’s instanced cleanly. If we want to change the position of a prop in the set, or add or remove objects, we change it once in the library file, and it ripples through and updates in all the shot files that use it. And we can do this with the entire character setup too. We can change the models, hair, rig, whatever in the character library, and it updates throughout. So if Jeremy needed to add extra controls to the rig, or fix something that’s deforming incorrectly, he does it once, then it updates for any animator to use in the shot files.

This also makes it easy working with models coming in from outside. If we need to change a model, we just bring the new OBJ into the library file. Especially with characters using the mesh deform system, where it’s only the low-poly deformation cage that’s rigged up to the skeleton, most of the time it’s just a matter of bringing in an updated model to the character library, clicking a button to re-bind it to the low-poly cage, and it’s ready in all the shots.



Congratulations Matt and the rest of the Pro Motion team (and others involved), great story, and excellent job on the artistic and technical details.



Yep! we all need to know about the pipeline, and some advanced tutorial for blender.

Great JOB… :thumbsup:


Very nice work, the story was well done and well executed.


Thank you for some basic information on rigging. Unfortunately one needs good knowledge of python evidently to implement this IK/FK switch. Is there any tutorial?

Thank you very much.

PS: It would be really great from you guys if you make some in-depth making of concerning your pipeline (I guess mainly non-Blender users are curious how blender can be used with Z-Brush or Max etc.) as are usually published in 3d websites.


Hiya, about the pipeline I’m not sure what to add. Do you have any specific questions about the process?



Technically very wel executed. Not a great story to my taste but it looks and animates very nice.


Pretty cool work! I’m making a short film a lil’ bit similar to this one with 2 classmates, it’s our school final project It has another style and the story is different “The lighthouse and the stars”.

Nice coincidence.



really good watch. really liked the shot where the lighthouse keeper has a moment of realization. the subtle movement in his face was excellent.

Well done


Nice work, I enjoyed watching that, good visuals, some small touches that got the interest immediately were the noise from the pub, slamming the window, and knocking the book as he went for the stairs. Thanks for the rig BTS vid and the pipeline breakdown, very interesting process.

The ocean looked great.


Great work!



Really impressive artwork guys. And Matt, thanks you for the pipeline explanation.



Congrats! dowloading now, will watch it soon, or later at home.

Question though, when you import an obj or whatever format to update a mesh for an object or character that is rigged (and has vertex groups, instead of (or maybe in addition to) a meshdeform modifier,) how did you had to go about updating/transferring the vertex groups? And in case you used shapekeys, what about updating/transfering those? Or didn’t you used any shapekeys and only or mostly meshdeforms?

Eeeeh, maybe I should watch the TD short first…
Stills look very good.
Good job guys.


ow my this looks reaaaaly nice… the only thing i dont think realy fits in the still is the light of the light house… it looks kind of wierd. but the rest in that picture is just awsom!