The Beauty Of Life was our first 2D Short Film project back at the German Film School. I worked with 6 other students on this short.
The Story is about an ordinary farmer who paints the most important moments of his life.
Moritz Bunk, Patrick Kreuser, Felix Graf, Marc Mueller, Sylvia Kratzsch, Christian Miletzki and myself.
Click on the Image below to see the film, or just Right Click and "save target as..." to download it.
It's in quicktime mov format. I would suggest to watch the film before going on reading this post.
We put quiet some time in the story and preproduction. When the production started we soon realized that it was far more work than we expected. We worked on this film for approximately one year.
Some shots were so complex that we worked about 8 hours for each frame.
Here are the modelsheets for the main character "Lars".
Marc and I worked closely together while developing the characters for this film. The first two modelsheets of the tiny Lars are designed by me.
The later stage Lars modelsheets are designed by Marc.
And here are the modelsheets for the Dog for the crayon and colored pencil stage. ^^
After talking carefully about each scene with Moritz (the director), Marc did storyboard thumbs for the crayon and colored pencil animation. With this visual feedback, Christian and Sylvia could start working on their shots.
For each drawing stlye we used different approaches.
The Crayon animation was created digitally in Corel Painter.
The Colored pencil and pencil animation was drawn traditional on paper.
The Watercolor animation was animated traditional and then colored frame by frame in painter to maintain the artistic look.
The Hands and the Final four shots were animated traditional and colored in Animo.
As you have noticed there are 3D camera movements in a couple of scenes. For those scenes Patrick previsualized the scenes in 3DSMAX using a low polygon environment with mannequins as stand in models for the characters. Then we printed out the whole camera movement and started animating the environment and characters using the printed 3d scene as reference.
These shots with the camera movements were the most complex shots. I remember when I did the pencil shot, where Lars and Allie are sitting in front of the campfire, I used more than four 5B pencils for the shading. It was also very thrilling when I started shading the characters cause I knew there will be no turning back and I had to consider the lighting for each frame.
Moritz did the background lines and coloring for those shots and he did an awesome but painful job. Both the background lineart and the coloring where very complex and he needed approximately 90minutes for each frame (including lines and coloring). And when you imagine that some shots where longer than 200 frames....wooo..I don't want to think about it again...
Also a big respect to Felix who did all of the "hand" animations.
Here are some awesome character designs of "Lars" by Marc
character design of "Allie" by me
character design of "Aaron" and "Jan" the two sons of Allie and Lars Keagan by Marc
character design of "Nellie" the little daughter by me
While Moritz composed the awesome Music for "The Beauty Of Life", I took care about the Sound and the credits.
And after one year of hard work...we finally finished this piece!