Prior to working on this project, I had a couple of years of experience with Adobe After Effects and wanted to do a little bit more with this project. I decided on practicing how to work in a theoretical professional setting where file organization, playblasts, and working between multiple programs are a must. With a decent understanding of how to navigate through 3D packages and work to create still compositions, I decided early on that I wanted to make a fully 3D/CGI short that was narrative-driven to be more than a demonstration video with no connection between the scenes.
With a love for robots, I decided the story would be told through a robot. I began thumbnail sketches that lead into creating storyboards that outlined each principle.
During preliminary reviews, I received a lot of criticism that ultimately helped me create a more robust project but at the expense of redoing a lot of the original concepts. After the storyboard was solidified and concept sketches of a frontal, side and back view of the robot were created. I began doing rough 3D block-outs in Blender 3D with basic rigging to test out how I would end up animating the characters. Most of my time went into this phase as it was my first time ever animating a full character. After many failed attempts, I had a rigged skeleton that I could use for animating and began to brush up the geometry and add texture to the model. I knew I wanted to have the settings of the animation relate to a laboratory so created an outdoor environment that would lead to a test lab. The dark moody tones of the environment came from inspiration from videogames like Crysis, Portal, and movies like Kung Fury and Chappie. I love throwing in little easter eggs into my projects and wanted to do so for this one. Through in references to the videogame portal, some old drawings I did many years ago, some written notes to friends and loved ones, and a pop-culture reference at the end. Adding these in made the project feel more personal and overall fun to do. After exporting the 3D renders from my laptop over a course of hours, I began piping those playblasts into Adobe After Effects where I interpolated the PNG sequences into clips and added light post-processing. From there the sequence was brought into Adobe Premiere Pro where I added in sound foliage and ambient sound. Sounds were sampled from the Youtube Audio Library as well as some custom recorded sound bits to give the video more life. After many run-throughs and revisions, I arrived at the final version.