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Behind the Scenes: Lonely Flower

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About me

My name is Pavel Burmistrov.

My background is drawing, 3D modeling, and rigging. Currently, I’m most interested in animation. I completed my studies at Penza Art College.

I've worked as 3D modeler, technical manager, and 2D animator at the Propellers studio.

At the moment I'm working as 3D animator at the studio "Petersburg", and very interested in new creations.

For the last three years, I have been working on a short animation, "Lonely Flower". In this article, I want to tell you how the work on this project was carried out.

Idea

The idea was born in 2015;  first I imagined the visual part, then I wrote the script and drew the characters and the storyboard. There were no dialogues yet, they were written after.

My main mistake was not thinking over the whole plot. I realized by the middle of the process that the animation seemed unsatisfying to me.

At this point, it was important to think over all the elements, the types of characters, their feelings, expressions, and behaviors.

I started with a  quick and small storyboard.

Afterward, I made the storyboard more detailed so that viewers would get more out of it.

Above I attach some frames from the storyboard.

I used Blender and the Blender Render engine.

First I created the characters, rig, and some backgrounds, all based on the storyboard. I looked for the visual references for the animation and, because I did everything by myself, decided to simplify the style to keep it beautiful.

The animatic was done in the form of a blocking animation in Blender, the characters with their rigs were placed into space, in front of 2D backgrounds.

The purpose of these backgrounds was to outline a compositional plan for the frame, establish the approximate content of a scene, and determine the location of the main characters.

The animations were blocked in with approximate timing. After the voices of the characters had been recorded, the timing was corrected.

Modeling

The modeling started during the process of animation. Modeling the characters was necessary to simulate all the backgrounds and set up materials.

Here some snapshots of the characters:

The backgrounds are made simple, mostly without texture, only color.

By working with the camera, I could build the desired composition.

Rig

My task was to make the rig as simple as possible without using manipulators.

The rigs were modified over the course of the project, giving the characters new controllers.

Animation

I learned to animate during the process and did a lot of re-working.

After taking 3D animation courses, I managed to take a fresh look at my work and finish it at a satisfying level. Despite this, several things could be better.

Lighting

This phase is my favorite—it’s where I build the picture in general and create a specific atmosphere.

At this stage, you finalize the color, materials, and composition. The most important thing is to find the general color scheme.

I did trial renders, so I could see the whole scene and adjust the colors.

I did the lighting and rendering of the final picture with EEVEE.

I started this project when EEVEE did not exist but finished this render using EEVEE; working with it was very useful.

Compositing

Compositing was the final phase of working with the animation. I used nodes, mostly muting the shadows, adding noise, and color correction. Then everything was rendered into a sequence for further editing, which was also done with Blender.

Sound

Not the best part of my animation, many viewers told me about it.

I did it myself, guided more by my ear than by knowledge. I chose the program FLStudio because it is familiar to me. I searched for the background sounds on the Internet using free sources, and sometimes recorded them myself.

Conclusion

It was difficult work, especially because it was the first time I had done something significant like this. Some things could be done faster and better, and some things could be delegated.

But most important to me was to finish the project and convey everything I wanted.

All the mistakes that I made and wasn't able to correct will be taken into account in my future works.

I could have worked at this animation endlessly, but there are lots of other ideas, stories, and topics that deserve more attention.

About the Author

Pavel Burmistrov, 3D artist and animator

 

 

About Author

Abby Crawford

I've been a part of the BlenderNation team since 2018, producing Behind the Scenes and Meet the Artist features that highlight Blender artists and their work.

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