Short: The Light At The End

Here’s another little film I hope gives some laughs:

A lovesick man is saved from certain death by a divine light, but is there a hidden agenda behind the intervention?

What that little promo out the way, let me get geeky at all the Blender stuff! :smiley:

The focus for this short was very much on the story and animation. After Taste Lab I’d had enough of worrying about buffer shadows and textured SSS, so it was a big relief when tests using the Freestyle renderer turned out pretty nice. I could probably try to relate line-drawing to the “on edge” main character, but honestly it was the 20 second render times that did it.

Hopefully it strikes a good balance between humour and tragedy - for a long while there wasn’t a single joke in it, and it really wasn’t fun to watch. Luckily focus testing (shoving an early preview in people’s faces and watching them look bored) came to the rescue. I ended up animating nearly the whole thing again, so it took longer than I would’ve liked.

There was also quite a lot of compositing involved - everything was rendered in separate renderlayers and put together in the compositor. Normal nodes were used for subtle shading effects on the ground, and I put a heavy lightwrap effect on the clouds (big thanks to the Sintel compositing guys for that one!) I experimented with using hair particles for the grass, but I ended up doing it all in the compositor - displacing it with a fine cloud texture and blurring upwards. I also had simulations going on the hair and shirt, although I did cheat a little bit by painting over a few frames in Gimp when things messed up.

Here’s a breakdown video of one of the shots, for those interested.

In all, it was a fun project to work on - the hardest thing was the story. I really struggled with the film’s “meaning” (if you want to get arty) but once I brought my themes together it all kind of fell into place.



You’re genius! I was really looking forward to this, I really liked your previous shorts!
I hope at Blender foundation they will consider to hire you for the upcoming projects…
Excellent work!

P.S: I read your motivations not to use a brilliant graphic, but you could really improve it without to much effort…

i love the style, and the first bit is great. you seem to have troubles with the cloth simulation, but i thought it was a nice (if not slightly depressing) short.

epic :smiley: loved it very much

Really cool idea, I liked it a lot! 5*

hey buddy … as always gr8 work…

keep working

Just brilliant :cool:

It is so great

Could you give some tipps about animation?
Or even better a tutorial?

Enjoyed every second, well done!

I’m sure the flat shading allowed you to do what you do best, Animate! Great job. 5 stars

@3dementia: Yes exactly :slight_smile: I didn’t want to undo the animation with my poor efforts at shading and texturing. Hopefully next time I can get some extra help to make a film that looks really nice.

@BlenderPER: Thanks! It sounds like a bit of a cop-out, but I’m not really sure you can cover animation in a tutorial properly. You can be taught the techniques, but it mainly comes down to just lots and lots of practice. Read “The Animator’s Survival Kit” if you’re interested - it’s an excellent foundation

@Casio23: Re ,cloth simulation - tell me about it :slight_smile: Unfortunately it was only after I made this did I realise you could cache linked simulations, so with this I had to set up the cloth sim separately in each shot. I hoped that the final shot (while not immediately obvious) does alleviate the depressing tone somewhat - it’s supposed to be symbolic of him “letting go” of his baggage.

@Gionavvi: That would sure be nice!

Thanks everyone for the really encouraging response!

+1 to the Animator’s survival kit

Are you considerig something like community help for your next project?
I think that sort of collaboration will really help people like me in getting better…

Yes I am! I’ve been working on a much bigger project since January, and I’ll be looking to get some extra help soonish. I’ll post an announcement in a while, once I’ve got a few more things worked out.