Third Year Film: The Illusion of Chaos

The Illusion of Chaos is the brainchild of third year animation student Lydia Pourmand. It is an experimental film that plays with visual representations of birth, life and death through the use of digital media. The film has been created using Maya, Mari and Nuke in the Animation and Visual Effects course studio here at Falmouth University.

Original Concept Art

Digital Still from the Final Film

At the start of this project Lydia was, by her own admission, not a digital animation specialist. She started with the initial idea, a set of concept drawings and a storyboard, but knew early on in the development process that this would have to be a digitally animated film. Since then she has been on a steep learning curve directing and working with fellow CGI students James Rowden, Elliot Forrest and Hamish Ballingall. The work that they are producing looks extraordinary.


An early version of the film with scratch track by Dean Forrest is currently on Lydia’s blog. The final film may not appear online for a while however as it is set to be entered into film festivals this coming year, including the Aesthetica short film competition . The film has also inspired a projection piece for Falmouth University’s graduate fashion show #FashionFalmouth15.

For more on this project and Lydia’s work take a look at her blog

And a teaser for the film here

Third Year Film: Headless

Work on third year CGI animation film Headless is now nearing completion in the studio. Director and writer Rhys Harvey is hard at work alongside his producer Matteo Veglia and a team of student animators, riggers, modelers and texture artists now working on the final stages of the film.

Headless is tale about a man, whose head and body suffer a conflict of interests and must learn to reconcile their differences. However, there is an added complication in that his head and body are not attached to one another.

Rhys developed the initial idea for the film during his second year on the Animation and Visual effects course, and then pitched the idea to his fellow students, the staff, and an industry panel in September 2014.   It was selected to become one of this years third year productions.

Headless is a CGI animated film, which is being made using Maya, Mudbox, Mari, Nuke and Photoshop software. Rhys and Matteo have had to deal with a myriad of new challenges during the production, including learning to manage a team of their peers and dealing with one or two unexpected rendering issues – such as a sequence in which their protagonist rides a bicycle, which emerged from the rendering process with the character’s seat and the bicycle seat not quite making contact as expected.

Rhys Harvey (right) and Matteo Veglia (left)
We wish them well in the last weeks of production and are looking forward to watching the final film.

For more on this project please take a look at Rhys and Matteo’s blogs:


Third Year Film: Distance

Third year student Sammy-Jo Tawn is up to her armpits in ‘snow’ in the stop-motion studio.

Sammy-Jo’s third year animation film, Distance, features an inuit character Aluki as she battles to deal with an unwelcome companion who causes havoc with Aluki’s day to day routine whilst her partner Anik is away hunting.

Most of the animation is set out-doors in an unspecified snow-covered location, which is perhaps not the easiest of stop-motion environments to re-create. Sets have been carefully covered with a highly secret mixture of everyday household ingredients (okay – you twisted my arm - it’s salt and sugar), the surface of which is carefully maintained during shots and which has to be re-sculpted between each shot in readiness for the next.  The stop-motion puppets are made from aluminium wire, poly-moprh (a magical material for stop-motion armatures) and foam. The film also features a swimming polar bear.

Sammy-Jo has been assisted by a team of third, second and first year students: Hannah Geach and Eline Lindaas have been hard at work in the craft room, which regularly looks as if a small snow blizzard has just blown through, carving and painting rocks, assembling trees, and making some of the additional characters that feature in the film. The film also includes an impressive igloo, made by second year student Martin Burn, and back in the main studio a team of green screen compositors await the shots from the stop-motion studio. They will then remove the green, and replace it with a snow capped landscape and CGI snowstorms.

We can’t wait to see the finished film.

For more on Sammy-Jo's film please see her blog:
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