Canine carnage in new action-packed animation

If you're a dog owner, then you'll love, not to mention immediately identify with some of the adorable puppy's behaviour, this brilliant new 3D short Doug 'n' Dog. A charming tale of the relationship between man and his best friend, the film was created by four students - Damien Guimoneau, Marlène Ranchon, Julien Jupille and Pierre-Gil Franc - of the Bellecour School of Art, Design & Entertainment.

The short tells the story of amatuer scientist Doug, who's desperately trying but failing to create a money tree. Interrupting Doug's work is his small puppy, whose sole interest is getting attention from his owner. As Doug finally realises the perfect solution to his project, the dog's mischief with his ball results in an unexpected but exciting outcome.

We spoke to the student team behind the film about its production...

Q: What were the film’s influences, both story-wise and stylistically?

"The original idea cames from project manager Damien Guimoneau, who wrote the scenario the year before we created the film. We then developed the story during the pre-production phase, each one coming with his own vision of it, which resulted in massive changes.

"Stylistically, most of our influences come from our 2D and 3D cultural background, with feature films such as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, How to train your Dragon, and shorts such as Meet Buck, Salesman Pete and Wallace and Gromit."

The style of Doug n Dog was heavily influenced by feature films such as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and How to Train your Dragon

The style of Doug 'n' Dog was heavily influenced by feature films such as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and How to Train your Dragon

Q: What 3D software did you use?

"Our main 3D software was 3ds Max, used with Mental Ray. The character modelling was done in 3ds Max and ZBrush, and the texturing was completed in ZBrush and Photoshop. For the compositing, Damien mostly used After Effects."

Q: What was the most useful piece of software?

"I guess every one their own vital tools depending on what they were working on. But it's fair to say that everything in the production revolved around 3ds Max. All the main parts of the project, including modelling, lighting, shading, rigging and animating, were done in that piece of software, all of which required a broad range of its tools and a few additional plugins and scripts."

The student team used a combination of 3ds Max, ZBrush, Photoshop and After Effects to bring their film to life

Q: What was the most impressive technical aspect?

"Probably, as in most student shorts, rendering times were a big deal to us. Considering the amount of environment modelling we had in the film, it involved a lot of organisation and network rendering to get through to the end of it.

"Technically speaking, the rigging was also much more advanced than what we'd ever done before, and was all a matter of problem solving."

Doug 'n' Dog presented the student team with rigging and rendering challenges

Want to know more? Check out these cool making-of videos...

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