Actual birds captured doing actual bird things. An exploration in organic 3D modeling, animation, UV Mapping, and lighting. Look and listen for the subtleties of design, animation, and sound in this piece.
This piece was inspired by the illustrations of Charlie Harper. I love his mixture of organic colors and textures with design and composition. It was definitely interesting figuring out how to make a 3D version. I distilled Harper into basic elements and principles: color, composition, and flattened perspective.
When I began this project, I had no experience with organic 3D modeling. That was my first challenge. Knowing I would have to make do with simple models, I planned out my storyboards with animation that was relatively easily done, but still created interest. So in each scene, I added elements like plants and small insects so at all times there was visual interest. I also made sure that everything in this piece moved, in order to make its simplicity work.
I knew I did not want to take the time to rig and animate these birds, especially because I had never done organic modeling before. My time constraints wouldn't have easily permitted it. So I made the first two birds blink, as a simple device to give them a lot of life. I cropped the composition of the last scene so I could make the illusion of the bird walking without even having to give him legs.
There are a few other devices I used to make this piece come alive:
- Each scene takes place in a different climate.
- Each scene takes place at a different time of day, from nighttime to sunrise to midday.
- The sun stays on the same path throughout all three scenes, so there is a match cut from one to the next.
- The compositions switch from right focal point to left focal point, and back to right again. This is why the consistency of the position of the sun was important.