Tip #1662: Dissecting “Jisei” – An Animated Short

… for Visual Effects

Tip #1662: Dissecting “Jisei” – An Animated Short

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Animation requires tools, techniques, creativity and imagination. And lots of time.

Image courtesy of Motionographer.com.

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Jisei is an animated short that turns reality on its head in fascinating ways, based on the poem: “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep.” Directed by Tom Teller and Julian Conner, it is currently featured on Motionographer.com.

In this article – link – they interview the two directors about the creative process for the work.

Tom describes Jisei is “an experimental short film that follows the recollection of one’s memories as they experience death. It was something we had wanted to make for a while. For better or for worse, we’re both fascinated with death; I’ve had a few close brushes with it between a pretty bad motorcycle crash and a plane landing gear failure. For me, this film was an effort to express some thoughts and feelings that crossed my mind in those moments.”

Julian continues: “After countless hours discussing the topic, we finally landed on the premise that the choices we make every single day of our lives compound on themselves, resulting in our impact on the world after we’re gone. It’s all connected, the places you’ve lived, the people you’ve met, the ideas you’ve had – and in Jisei, we chose to connect them quite literally with an astronaut’s tether.”

Tom: We started with Miro, an online whiteboard application, where we wrote down all of our initial concepts and ideas, pulled references from other pieces and drew mock-up scenes. We spent quite a bit of time iterating on the core concept and the message we were trying to send. After the narrative structure, we moved on to look-dev and animation. All of the CG was done in 3DS Max and rendered with V-Ray on GPU. For compositing, we used After Effects and Nuke.”

Julian: “We both have backgrounds in Photoshop and relied heavily on it during the initial concept stages. I would mock-up a frame and express my motivation behind the composition, and he would do the same. Before we began previs, I would be working with these boards in Adobe Premiere and automating some test animation that Tom would take much further in 3DS Max.”

The entire interview, along with production stills and the short film itself is covered here.

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