SEN - 3D animated shortfilm

"SEN" is a short story about a small robot on a foreign planet, that deals with our perception of time and age. The full shortfilm is still in production, but here you can watch a small teaser/preview incorporating the shots of the first scene.

You can find background info, behind the scenes stuff and more images below.

I would like to notify you when I release the full shortfilm. I do not send newsletters or spam.





BEHIND THE SCENES





Robot

The main protagonist, a small robot. I wanted it to look cute and curious.
My concept didn´t have a mouth, but expressions and emotions would be quite hard to convey using only eyemovement.
Thats why I added the ears, which are inspired by a mouse.
I also gave him the ability to change his eyecolor between blue(neutral), green(positive emotions) and red(negative emotions).


Link to Artstation

Robot

The main protagonist, a small robot. I wanted it to look cute and curious.
My concept didn´t have a mouth, but expressions and emotions would be quite hard to convey using only eyemovement.
Thats why I added the ears, which are inspired by a mouse.
I also gave him the ability to change his eyecolor between blue(neutral), green(positive emotions) and red(negative emotions).


Link to Artstation



Rusty

"Rusty" (for the lack of a proper name) is the second character. Our protagonist meets him in the crater of a crashed spaceship.
He is old and rusted, and tries to warn our protagonist about something...


Link to Artstation

Rusty

"Rusty" (for the lack of a proper name) is the second character. Our protagonist meets him in the crater of a crashed spaceship.
He is old and rusted, and tries to warn our protagonist about something...


Link to Artstation



sh1009

Shot sh1009 is the main shot of the film and - certainly - the most ambitious shot. Our protagonist, a small robot, discovers a crater with a crashed spaceship inside. He meets "Rusty" - a robot just like him, but old and rusted. Behind rusty is a mysterious portal, which our robot wants to examine. Although Rusty warns him, he activates the portal, and plunges into a lifechanging adventure... I am only showing the first parts of the shot here to avoid spoilers. The full shot involves the robot traveling through the portal and has a length of 37 seconds.


Link to Artstation

sh1009

Shot sh1009 is the main shot of the film and - certainly - the most ambitious shot. Our protagonist, a small robot, discovers a crater with a crashed spaceship inside. He meets "Rusty" - a robot just like him, but old and rusted. Behind rusty is a mysterious portal, which our robot wants to examine. Although Rusty warns him, he activates the portal, and plunges into a lifechanging adventure... I am only showing the first parts of the shot here to avoid spoilers. The full shot involves the robot traveling through the portal and has a length of 37 seconds.


Link to Artstation



Crater breakdown




A small breakdown of the crater


Link to Artstation

Crater breakdown

A small breakdown of the crater


Link to Artstation





Icicle generator (Houdini)

I created a procedural icicle generator in Houdini using some noises and lots of vdbs.
I have uploaded the digital asset (.hdanc) on google drive. You can download it below for free


Download .hdanc

Icicle generator (Houdini)

I created a procedural icicle generator in Houdini using some noises and lots of vdbs.
I have uploaded the digital asset (.hdanc) on google drive. You can download it below for free


Download .hdanc



Robot Rig

This is the rig that I made for the little robot in my shortfilm. It took countless weeks to create, probably because I was not very experienced in rigging.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for me were the automated wheels. If you set Keyframes on the CTRL_Move, the wheels will turn automatically on playback. The problems with a simple solution arise in situations, where the robot turns completely around, or drives around a corner, instead of following a straight line. The best solution proved to be a rig with world vectors, which at every frame calculates the distance, which the center of each wheel has moved, and turns the wheel accordingly.
You can take a look at the expression in the rig, which you can download below for free


Download robot_rig.mb



Snow assets (photogrammetry)

Using flour and some lightly sprayed water you can create pretty convincing miniature snow. I used an old Canon Eos 50d to take multiple pictures from every side, then fed the photos into meshroom, an open source photogrammetry program. After a bit of cleanup and remeshing in Houdini, I had some pretty convincing snow clumps.

Snow assets (photogrammetry)

Using flour and some lightly sprayed water you can create pretty convincing miniature snow. I used an old Canon Eos 50d to take multiple pictures from every side, then fed the photos into meshroom, an open source photogrammetry program. After a bit of cleanup and remeshing in Houdini, I had some pretty convincing snow clumps.



Breakdown Shot 1 and Shot 3

This is a breakdown of the rendering of shot 1 and 3, also some bit of RnD (Research and Development).



After the robot enters the portal...



WORK IN PROGRESS

Some work in progress stills from the animatic.





Once again, here are my social media links. Feel free to message me, I would like to know what you think. You can also send me an email to SENshortfilm@gmail.com