Dancer by the Sea


Dancer by the Sea is short film of an older woman who learns to let go of her past and in order to move on a live a happier life.  It was a difficult and unique challenge, because the film was made to look painterly. Originally it was going to be watercolor, and gradually switched to being a painterly brush stroke look. This was a great technical challenge for shaders and the efx team. 
I was a supervisor for various art teams, such as lighting, shading and visual development. I would make sure that teams were on schedule during production and assisted in directing the art teams. 
Besides directing the teams, I also did various 3d work on the film. It was a mixture of visual development and effects.

Categories:    Cinematic
                        Student Film

Completed:    Winter-Spring 2016

Course:           Animation Capstone

Skills:                Maya Autodesk
                          Mental Ray
                          After Effects

Role:                 Shading Supervisor
                          Lighting Supervisor
                          Visual Development Supervisor
                          Render/Composite Supervisor
                          Various 3d Artist
                          Technical Support

After composite work and post-edit for colors, these are the final look result for the film. The look is a combination of how textures are painted and how mental ray renders out the custom made shaders that render a watercolor look.

Watercolor Look Development

One of the many technical challenges for this film was developing a watercolor look using Maya's shading network. 


After a lot of collaboration, we were able to design this type of shading network that renders out the textures to be flat and we can have a custom colored and painted texture for different values of light. We needed this because artist will use different color to represent shadow and light on an object. This system also allowed us to blend between values. 


Concept Art





Fur Test
Below is one test I made utilizing Maya's old fur node system and setting up nodes to where different values of light on the surface of the fur was assigned a color. I had a ramp established to where 0 is a purple texture, .01-.09 are tans and yellows, and 1 is a very light tan


Second Test
This was my second test for 2d fur, using the same technique as the fur test from above. I tweaked a few nodes to get more dimension in the fur. This fur has less broad brush strokes and had a bit more depth for the fur. There were 4 watercolor textures assigned to fur. 


Sea Foam

The EFX team had created water to fit the style of the foam, however it was missing sea foam. The way that the water was created made it tricky to add any kind of foam mat. 


I made a few planes that had a black and white image of sea foam, that was animated to move back and forth with the waves. I then rendered that out and composited in after effects using a screen and liquid effects to warm the water as it moved. 


Tear 2d Animation

In one shot the main characters cries and we needed a tear effect for it. Since the film has a 2d look, it needed to fit the style of the film. 
The director decided she wanted the tear to be hand animated, and wanted the tear to well up and then drop down her face. 


I hand animated a tear in photoshop first. I tried to draw some transparency to get the idea that this is a tear running down her face.


After it was approved, I painted the tear solid and used Photoshop effects to had a beveled shadow to it. This makes the tear feel a bit 3d, or give it a nice shadow to use for compositing. It was rendered out and then brought into after affects, where I used special compositing effects to give it the appearance of a tear. 



Because of the production's short timeline, the team made the decision to have a 2d transition during seasonal changes. Using photoshop, I made watercolor illustrations for each season, that were then edited to fade into one another.