Media Design School graduates Isak Edstrom and William Bentley are finalists in the 16th annual Animago Awards, which are currently underway in Potsdam-Babelsberg (near Berlin), and short Film Dr Grordborts Presents: The Deadliest Game is also in the running.
Media Design School graduates Isak Edstrom and William Bentley are finalists in the 16th annual Animago Awards, which are currently underway in Potsdam-Babelsberg (near Berlin), Germany.
Isak and William, who both graduated the Diploma of Advanced 3D Productions this year, were selected for the 3D still-life photos they created as students.
Meanwhile, Dr Grordbort Presents: The Deadliest Game - completed in 2011 by students Benjamin Van de Laar, Brendan Naylor, Charles Cumming, Don Bradford, Eden Nicolson, Jared Taylor, Kimberley Veale, Manuel Piña, Mike Aslin, Richard Falla, Sergej Žlahtic - has been selected for a Jury Prize.
We caught up with Isak and William to find out a bit more about their work.
Isak Edstrom - The End
Isak is currently shooting a new CGI short film with actors, who were filmed on a green screen and will be integrated into a CG environment and is working on a facial tracking project.
What are your artistic influences?
I think analog photography is a great way to get artistic influences. It gives you a good understanding of how things look from different angles and offers unexpected lighting combinations. It helps me reinvent commercial photography, which can look too artificial.
What advice do you have for other students starting this kind of project?
I have learned (the hard way) that it is better to thoroughly think through an idea pre production. I have a bad habit of rushing in to the work and start modeling, sculpting texturing without having a good idea or understanding of what I am going to make. I also leave extra time at the end to fix small problems and put those final touches on my work. It makes a huge difference.
What was the motive for “The End”?
It is an almost finished text written on an old typewriter. You could see it as a positive image - the writer can be satisfied because he has completed his work - but I made it quite dark and perhaps even a bit depressing. This leads the viewer to think that he has finished a dark book or it could be a message about his state of mind. The phrase “The End” helps the viewer to draw conclusions about what will happen to the writer. It is a piece of art that I am very proud of.
William Bentley - Calamity Jane
William is interested in working with films and story telling. He’s particularly interested in cinematography, lighting and rigging.
What are your artistic influences?
I am influenced by artists such as Eric Powell and Bruce Timm. Also my inspiration comes from movies. I am a fan of Spaghetti Westerns and Film Noir, so influenced by directors such as Sergio Leone, Alfred Hitchcock and Quentin Tarantino.
What is the meaning behind “Calamity Jane”?
I had a character in mind that I wanted to portray. I picked the elements of the composition to paint a portrait without actually showing the character. I named the image "Calamity Jane" after the infamous cowgirl. In poker, two queens is sometimes referred to as Calamity Jane.
Being a fan of western films, I wanted the image to have a western flavour. My goal was to create an image that was photo-realistic and I wanted the lighting and grade to create the mood of an old photograph.
Briefly describe the particular process to implement your project.
After I came up with the idea, the first thing I did was to collect reference, so taking photographs and collecting images from the internet. Next I modeled everything to scale and began placing the elements and playing around with angles until I was happy. I spent a lot of time tweaking textures and shaders. I used Mental Rays, Material X shader on everything. I rendered the image in five passes: Key Light, Fill Light, Rim Light, Final Gather Pass and Depth Pass. I then composited and graded using Nuke and Photoshop.
How long did it take to realise the project?
From initial concept to finished work, about four weeks.