Category Archives: 15 Second Short

Reflective Essay

Reflection on the process

I am quite impressed with what we managed to accomplish in the eight weeks that we have been back. Compared to the same time last year, our fifteen second animation was a bit of a mess… Things hadn’t rendered correctly, sound was not finished yet and we did not even have a certain scene done yet. All these problems and it was only 30 seconds long.

This time, we managed to create a two minute long animation, complete with sound, everything rendered several times and a couple of different versions of scenes. (By the way, as regards to it being two minutes long… Time is somewhat an abstract concept and this is our interpretation of the fifteen to thirty seconds).

We kept the animation relatively simple, so we were not overloaded with work, and focussed more on making a visually attractive piece that would heavily rely on sound to create the atmosphere the would emphasise the events on screen. I think we achieved the result we wanted, if not something even better than we planned.

I was thoroughly impressed with how well we worked together as a team, and that made it not so worrying when trying to create an abstract animation, which we had not really seen in any previous years work aside from some of Kristian’s stuff. That being said, we planned out our workload pretty well and that helped us avoid a lot of stress.

There was a clear jump in the standard of our animations last year compared to what the outcome of the projects were last year and it was really exciting to see. I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in the future.

Response to feedback

In response to the feedback we received, noted in the “Feedback Week 7” post, we were rather pleased. Everyone seemed to find our animation was effective in creating the tone and emotions that we intended. The comments on what to change were focussed on minor things that would help with the aesthetic of the short. We have managed to change the perspective shot of the marble so it fills the shot more, we attempted to add the pulse into the scene where the synapse shatters but it wasn’t visible so we did not change the scene, we could not work out why the face was so noisy, making the liquid have more reflection turned it white according to Aidan so that was not changed, the background issue was actually the reflection of the light bouncing off the brain and would have meant rendering both Aidan and Mark’s scenes again which would have taken too much time, we fixed the pace of the credits and title, and the sound. Also, the time it took to render the marble scene again, there was no longer any time left for us to render the ripple on the head. I had tried to use a wave deformer on the head as you can see in a previous post, but it did not seem to have much of an affect.

Corrected Animation


We tried to apply as much of our feedback that we had received to this as possible, but due to the time constraints, we ended up only fixing the credit speed, the title font, the sound, and the perspective shot of the marble.

Still, I’m pretty chuffed with our outcome.

Rendered Clips – Solution

Problem of reflection:

It was caused by the light that I created to emphasise the features of the face, in response to feedback we’d received, and simply breaking the light links between the light and the background eradicated the reflection. So then it was simply a matter of rendering the scene again. (See previous post for evidence of issue).

Colour problem:

When I rendered the scene again, the gradient was then consistent in the background, and the marble had green inside it again. So the cause of the discolouration was the point light located in the head model.

Camera issue:

It was simply a matter of taking my time and playing about with the marble and camera to come to a pace of movement that kept the marble in sight and at a reasonable speed.

Lesson from class on lighting:

Rendered clips

With these scenes, the camera angles and speed have been tweaked several times.

Original ending:

The group then wanted the pipes to move as they had in a previous test I had done before going flat. (See here for video of test STICKS).

Changing pipe movement 

When I went back to try and change the position of the pipes, however, I had to redo the scene. I was able to import the earlier version were the pipes did the wave movement and the pipes in my current scene were in the same position to do the movement but for some reason just kept going flat when I tried. So I deleted those pipes (120 of them) and duplicated the 40 pipes that did the required movement 3 more times. Which meant rebuilding the scene.

Thankfully, we had enough time to do that and get it rendered, but some issues came up.

Fixing Camera Movement:

The marble goes off-screen and it is also too fast, so I need to slow the pace of it down.

Current outcome: Shows issue with reflection

I ended up having a reflection in the background of the scene for some reason and so I changed the background to an Image Based Light with a gradient texture on top, like Alec suggested. This meant I could remove the point light that was lighting up the entire scene and it lowered render times. However, for some reason, the texture didn’t show up and it became an Alpha Channel, so I had to then take the scene into After Effects and add in a gradient background. Now, instead of the pipes being blue they are more grey.

I need to sort out this colour issue.

Alpha channel issue: and