Tardigradia - The Wild Little World
In each centimeter of soil there are hundreds of animals, so small that they can hardly be seen with the naked eye.
Industrial Motion Art created a short film about those creatures.
Blender was used for rigging and animating the tardigrade (it’s the cute one), for modelling, rigging and animating the rotifers (the slim swimming things), for UV and hair on the centipede and for some background elements. There have been plans to move the entire animation/render part of the pipeline to Blender/Vray, but in the end there was not enough time for this and it was rendered in Max/Vray.
We used micro computer tomography to get the proportions right. As references for detail sculpting we had electron microscope images, which were also used as basis for texturing.
Tardigrade caught a rotifer:
Detail on the pseudoscorpion:
Predator mites use their front legs for feeling their prey in the dark:
The turtle mite hides its legs in special cavities below its body when it is scared. The other mite, visible in the background, has a spherical shape with its head fitting exactly to close the opening.
Each of us drew some part of the storyboard, which was then discussed in the team:
The backgrounds were built using electron microscope scans of soil:
To keep a high detail on closeups, each creature had several UV tiles with separate textures. The centipede had most of them:
For inspiration we had a microscope and some petri dishes with living mites, rotifers and centipedes crawling around in the office.
Reinhold A. Fragner