Pigeon: Impossible


Podcast #014 is online and explains why the film took so long to make, and how you can avoid the same mistakes.



Congratulations Lucas! cake cake beer beer beer beer beer

I think it’s a incredible achievement to have got…

  1. The quality this high on the visuals and character animation.

  2. To have completed the film.

(this is really the most important thing…somebody once said to me, it doesn’t matter how long you take, as long as you get it completed. This is a controversial thing to say…but, I feel that it’s kind of true…I mean lets just take Yuriy Norshteyn for example here…who has made some of the best animations ever…if indeed they have taken a very long time)

  1. To have such a great musical score done (with orchestra) for Pigeon Impossible.

It’s looking / sounding great…and the very best of luck with the next one / future.


Thanks Michael, I’ve been following your blog for a while now and always look forward to more animation from you! And thanks for mentioning the score! Sound never seems to get quite as much props as it deserves. (BTW, all of the budget was spent on the score and the sound design, we didn’t spend a dime on the visuals)


Podcast #15 is up and talks about motivating a character’s actions with thought and emotion, as well as physical anticipation.



I’ve found your podcasts really informative and useful.
can’t wait to see more.


Thanks! Podcast #16 is online and covers how to develop a “motion language” for a character that helps to create a consistent and unique personality.



I truly admire your perseverance (or what ever word fits :smiley: ) on this project.
Not only to produce such a huge project, but also to keep on with these podcast.

They are really great (love your very scientific charts!).

Best of luck with in every aspect with your film. You really deserve it :slight_smile:



Thanks Doffer, yeah I wish I had more time to keep up with these podcasts, I’ve still got quite a few more planned, but once a week is really taking its toll on me. In the meantime…

Podcast #17 is up and talks about the wing controls, broken rigging, and other tricks we used to rig the pigeon.



Podcast #18 is online and talks about a few shots we lit “all in the render” and how that compares to a multipass approach.



Amazing amount of inspiration!! Awesome that you share it ! Stunnin what you have accomplished

Best of luck to you!


Thanks Melmann! Podcast #19 is up and shows some tricks for optimizing your renders and dealing with expansive environment shots.



Wow your work and podcasts are awesome! I really want to know about how you went about texturing your animation to get that cartoon look. What shaders were used etc.
That would be a great podcast.


There will be another podcast on texturing soon, but I think the “cartoon look” is more in the lighting by pushing the direct light warm and the shadows/bounce light cool. A big part is also the eye-light and using rim lights to separate the characters from the background. Its a more controlled studio look that is similar to the offset lighting they use on 2D characters.


awesome, it would be great if you could show alittle of the shading tree on some of your buildings. Im not sure if you are using mental ray or maya software but it looks great.


Hey Lucas,
So you have inspired me enough to get off my ass and get my next short into production. I just finished reading your blog, and your thoughts on formula’s. Great stuff! I really enjoyed your breakdown of Groundhog Day also. Great stuff man, keep the energy flowing!

Congrats on all yoru success on the festival circuit!



Thanks Chris!

Sybexmed: we used XSI with the MentalRay renderer. However, the buildings are all just a single diffuse texture plugged into a lambert. A couple of the close ones also had a bump, but the look was all achieved in lighting and compositing.


We just released Pigeon: Impossible! I started a different thread:

Or you can go directly to www.pigeonimpossible.com to watch it.


Oh my freakin god…that was incredible Lucas.

You’ll get the front page with this for sure.

All the years of sweat and tears are here to be seen in this!
I think its wonderfully done and very funny. Love the part where the needle opens up, and the entire chasing after the rocket sequence is brilliant…the detail and light quality is great.

The score is also extremely good. Kudos to both yourself and Christopher Reyman!


WOWOWOWOW… men!!! it’s simply fantanstic!!!:applause:

And thank’s for your explanations… … in my language we said : RUOSSS…!!! (great!!!, but much more emphasized ) :wink:



@Michael Yeah I was so thrilled with the music and that we were able to do it all with live musicians.