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When Two Monkeys See the Light

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In their thesis work ‘SHINE’, students from the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg create a charming depiction of the courtship between very special primates.

 

The most creative ideas are often a result of coincidence – which was also the case with the animated short ‘SHINE’, which was born during the team’s visit in a bier garden. They noticed that not all lights in the chain of lights above them were working and they started thinking of creative reasons as to why this was. At the end of the day, the team’s imaginations had found the reason: small monkey-like creatures run along the chain of lights from light to light and tap their energy so they can glow and impress their female counterparts. An original idea for their thesis work was born!

 

The film took a total of 18 months to produce and the team continued work on it even after graduation.

 

When Two Monkeys See the Light

 

After the film’s storyline had been developed, the students first created 2D animatics and gathered reference material for the characters, environment and key elements such as the light bulbs. They then created sketches for the characters in various poses as well as additional conceptual drawings.

 

A base model that was modified accordingly to create the different characters was used for all 3D models of the monkeys: the main character Sigfried, his muscular adversary Roy and the enchanting Brunhilde with her bright white, shiny fur.

 

The wide range of settings and tools that the Hair feature offers proved to be invaluable, even if you need to practice a little to get what you want when creating complex furs like we did

 

The Cinema 4D Hair tools were key in designing the characters’ fur, which was fine-tuned with the help of textures from their original rough look to precisely what the team wanted with regard to thickness, curl and other characteristics. “The wide range of settings and tools that the Hair feature offers proved to be invaluable, even if you need to practice a little to get what you want when creating complex furs like we did,” the team agrees. Depending on the shot, the primates’ fur consisted of about 500,000 to 1.7 million individual hairs, which had a very realistic look when they were moved using a Dynamics simulation.

 

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