Monday, December 5, 2011

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore

This piece of animation won the award for Best in Show in the Computer Animation Festival at SIGGRAPH 2011. I found it through my RSS feed from 3D world awhile ago but it was only recently that they made the short film available to buy online internationally. Before I was able to see the short film I got my friend to get the iPad app version of it. Even though it is more aimed at younger children, I found it really enjoyable. It contained parts of the short film and made them really interactive, it gave you the basic storyline which was read out as you went along, however it did not include the whole story that was included in the short film. This would be because the target audience was younger children, they would have wanted to get them interested but to have them understand what is going on without drowning the whole thing with words.

The short film itself was based around hurricane Katrina and how people had lost all their possessions, they were trying to find their lives again, trying to find their stories again. In the Making of Morris: Part 1, the director mentions how they got a grant to interview people who were at the shelters in New Orleans to find out what had happened to them. To begin with their faces were blank but as they opened up and began to tell their stories, it was like they found their ground again. The power of stories can change lives. As the short film has no voice only sound, once you know the reason behind it, it makes more sense and you are able to become more involved with the story as a whole.

The Making Of Morris: Part 3 (Thousands Of Books) from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

The video above shows how they created the short film. They combined the 3 types of animation they loved the most, stop motion, 2D animation and 3D. This enabled them to pull out certain aspects of what they love from each medium. To try and combine the 3 they had to build miniatures, they built sets to scale for the film, the different types of environment in different scales and they also made thousands of books. The final outcome I find works really well, the production team have managed to bring all 3 different animation types together as a whole, quite seamlessly infact. The whole animation I find captivating and quite beautiful. It shows that bringing aspects from each animation can work when you get it right. Traditional can meet new technologies.

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