Course: „Audiovisual Media“ at the Hochschule der Medien, Stuttgart (University for applied sciences for media) with focus on Computer Graphics and Animation
„Luna“ Spring 2006
This student project was my first experience with 3D Animation. A short movie produced within 3 1/2 Months. which shows the lively imagination of a young girl, as she travels, with a robotic friend, to the moon.
The team consisted of Alexander Balling (Link), Tobias Müller, Markus Nagel, Katja Beck, and me.
While the production in general was tackled by the whole team, I was responsible for the storyboard, general Art Direction and Background design
- during my internship at Studio Soi (Link) during Winter 2006/ spring 2007 I worked on multiple projects, some of which are:
"Spongebob Combots Animation"
For the Combots Web Applikation, I animated a number of short clips of character animation. These include Patrick and Thadeus of „Spongebob Squarepants“, as they perform small activities as walking in circles, reading a book, etc.
TV Channel ARTE provided Soi with a dozen of children drawings, which were transformed into small films that explain the childrens` personal wishes on how to create a better future. Visual elements were taken directly out of the pictures, and animated in a variety of animation styles, including paper cut animation and 3D.
I worked on multiple of these short TV idents in animation, modeling, texturing and background design.
"Annie & Boo"
For the preproduction of a „Annie & Boo“ concept, I painted three moodboards that depicted scenes and characters from the script. All images were painted in color in Adobe Photoshop and a graphics tablet.
For a series of short clips, animated in a 2 ½ D style using paper cut-like animation in Maya, I worked on animation, background- and Propdesign. The clips featured antropomorphic noses in various scenes of daily life, and represented the different target groups of tissue-manufacturer „Tempo“.
My second student project was
„Nachts in den Karpaten“ („ANight at the Carpatians“, spring 2007), an 8-minute long mixture of stop-motion puppetry and CG-Backgrounddesign about a young woman entering a vampire's castle in the snowy cliffs of the Carpatian mountains.
I was responsible for general Art Direction and Animation Supervision. For the animation of the puppets we devised a rather unusual (and to our knowledge unprecedented) approach to stop-motion: All character scenes were animated/previsualized heavily in 3D (Maya), using character rigs derived from the measurement of the real puppets. These animations were used as overlay with the camera that shot the puppets. Like this, the previsualization served as a direct aid to the animators on the set.
This approach allowed the directors, which had no prior animation experience, to have a close-to-finished cut very early in development (by using the 3D Animation), but also to start with music and sound production early on. Most importantly, most directorial questions could be answered comparably early in the production, based on the Maya-animation, which made it possible for a team with no real stop-motion experience to finish the movie (~5 min. character animation) within 3 ½ months.
For more information and a trailer on the project, please visit the official webpage here.
Bachelorthesis: „Implementation of handpuppet-style Animation in Maya using Motion Recognition“ Winter 2007-spring 2008
In my Bachelorthesis, which I developed at Studio Soi, I devised a toolset that allows control of Handpuppet-like characters in Realtime through camera-based, marker-tracking. Using a simple kind of Motion Capturing with one standard camera, it is possible to control the movement of the puppet in realtime in the Maya Viewport, offering a responsive and playful approach to limited character animation. In addition, small joysticks can be used to control additional features like facial animation.
Using the realtime physics in Maya, it is thus possible to create a small puppeteering stage with Muppets-like characters and movement.
The project was realized for Microsoft Windows, with the ARToolkit(Link) and the wiiYourself!(Link) Library in C and C++.
„Loewenzahn: Robots“ Summer 2008
For Studio Soi I designed and directed two short films that were commissioned by german TV channel ZDF for their famous kids' show „Loewenzahn“ („Dandelion“). In these two films , which are a mixture of cartoony 3D, paper-cut style and handdrawn animation, the star
of the show, Fritz Fuchs, envisions his life with robots as servants.
"Escalator Escalation" Winter 2008
An absurd short film about the dangers of modern technologythat I animated, designed and rendered in Maya as a side project. Sound design is by Dennis Kopacz, while I helped with the voice acting. Can be seen on my Vimeo page.
"Mercury Bird" Winter 2008
For the hand drawn Diploma project of Ina Findeisen at the Filmakademie Baden Württemberg I animated several fog and cloud effects with Maya Fluids. The film is scheduled for July 2009.
"Dodi" January/February 2009
Personal 3D short film project about a funny little masked fellow encountering a surprisingly sturdy plant. I opted for a rather colorful, lush and illustrative look and style of animation. Will soon be available on my Vimeo page.
"Cartoonscum" Trailer for the international Animation Festival Stuttgart March 2009
Directed by friend Jan Lachauer, I helped with the 2D/ 3D-Animation, Texturing and Rendering of this extremely illustrative Trailer. Jan's particular approach to handpainted textures brings a cellar alive, in which a group of animation maniacs await new film to satisfy their hunger for animation.