View Full Version : making a good short movie

06-07-2003, 09:42 AM
Yesturday, i had an interveiw with my tutor at school. i happended to slip my 3d work into the conversation and showed her some pictures from my site.

She was very impressed and sugested I did an assembly(presentation) using my skills. With my game production and freelance work, I would turn it down. But with an audience of 600+, I might be able to swing myself an arts scholarship.

The problem is, I have no idea how to make a coherant animated short. Sure, I can do animation, but I have to make it entertaining and palattable for non 3d lovers. That includes making it interesting for many peoples tastes.

It only has to be a couple minutes long, but i feel i need to have a story or purpose.


Has anyone got any advice? I might buy a book or training dvd if I can find one that will help.

cheers in advance,


Karl Hansson
06-07-2003, 02:02 PM
The key in animation as with all filmmaking is trying to make it communicate with the viewer. When the viewer can relate to the characters personalities, emotions and/or the situation they're in the film and it will becomes much more interesting. A very good book on the subject is The Illusion of Life, by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. Its NOT a step by step book but it explains the important factors that makes for living animation. Its a quite comprehensive book that also covers the history of animation at Disney.

Also watch alot of animation 2D and 3D. Study those animations that appeal to you the most and try to find out why and how they appeal to you.

06-07-2003, 07:55 PM
I'd suggest doing a music video, that way you could reuse and mix parts of the animation. Also I would go for motion graphics and just mix in some 3D. I guess it depends on how much time you have. But this would be something the audience could identify with, ie 'music'.

06-08-2003, 08:42 AM
yeah, good idea.

Music makes even the most basic animation "come alive".

but now I've got the extra job of finding suitable music... (static x!)


06-08-2003, 08:59 AM
Alternatively you could just build a very basic box model (ie stick figure person) and forget about texturing, modeling etc, just focus on bringing him alive with some kind of slapstick animation, set to music. I would try to do one thing good, and simplify it down as much as possible. That way you can have fun with it. I mean people can make stop frame animation out of crumpled paper, just go for simple.

Karl Hansson
06-09-2003, 11:38 AM
Riki has a good point. I have seen really great animations with quite simple characters but with alot of "personality" to them. And a music video is not a bad idea.

06-09-2003, 12:05 PM
Yeah, I've got some mocap files of breakdansing. This could be really fun.

I think I'll make a simple nightclub using lots of models of skeletons raving (like the chemical brother video. It'll save me from needing to hand animate.)