It's that time again! Right now, the industry's great and good are descending on LA for Siggraph, the annual gathering of global animators, and where the best work from 2014-15 will be honoured in the Computer Animation Festival Awards.
And it's not just the Pixars and the Framestores who get recognition at Siggraph. This year, a French team from ISART digital won the Best Student Project award for their short animation L.30.
The story of a lonely robot, it could well be the most heartbreaking thing we've ever seen, but it's beautifully made and a real must-watch: check it out above.
We caught up with Pierre Jury, who worked on the short alongside Alexis Decelle, Cyril Declercq and Vincent Defour, to find out more...
What inspired L3.0?
The world is increasingly influenced by technology. We imagine what could happen in a world where technology, especially robotics, evolved massively.
How did you go about making it?
It took us about nine months to complete the whole project, from screenwriting to post production. There were four of us working on the writing and the visual aspects of the short film, and four more people worked on the sound aspects and the music.
Also, three artists worked with us for a few days, helping us on the main character design. We used Maya/Arnold for the 3D, and Nuke for the compositing.
Why do you think it won a SIGGRAPH award?
We worked a lot on the look of the robot, in order to make it childish and kind of charming. We wanted people to feel affection for him, until the final twist which leads to different points of view. We think that is what made a difference: people usually talk about the end, wondering if the robot is deliberately bad.
What advice do you have for other animation students?
Since L3.0 is our first film, we learned basically everything from the storytelling to the technical aspect and pipeline.
We would advise animation students to spend time on the story and the personality of the characters.
What effects do you think awards have on the industry?
Awards represent the audience. Winning one means a lot to us because it shows that people liked the film. This is probably the best award in the world!
Is there a certain type of work that tends to get honored in awards ceremonies?
We think that animation projects follow cultural trends. More and more animation films are released every year and they still attract audiences; people love and often award them.
If you hadn't won this award, who would you have liked it to have gone to?
This is a difficult question because there are so many awesome student short films! Our patriotic instinct would go for Sweet Cocoon, which is also a French short film.
3D World magazine: don't miss your copy
For more animation news, views and reviews – including a special feature on Siggraph's Computer Animation Festival – don't miss the latest issue of 3D World magazine.
Issue 199 features an incredible special feature on the rise of TV VFX, Game of Thrones and Star Wars-related tutorials, and more.
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