Stork Bork


This is my first animation short that's finally of considerable length, the footage runs for 1:20, where solid 60 seconds are animated. Although this still is probably too short for a big world and it has not the greatest world's story, I'm very proud of it. There is a limit of about 30 seconds in character animation that's very hard to break for some reason and I broke it at last. It also features original music by Ekaterina Ingster.

video still

The Making

The idea for this short was born quite spontaneously, during a smoke break at work. Intensive work makes your mind go nuts and you start thinking weird about pretty common subjects. I don't exactly remember how it turned out that Joeseph, who's a great fan of all kinds of toads, came up with the idea of a total destruction, but eventually the idea was born. I didn't let it vanish and quickly came up with storyboards and approximate timing for the story. Then I got myself to modelling. I made two main actors for the animation - the stork and the toad and made lots of test renders of them in action. It turned out that I can't put the skeleton right for the toad to move nicely, so I had to constrain the script a little bit. The rest of the making would be boring to read about, because it was mostly `do this and see what happens' kind of job. I used to read a lot about animation and used this animation as a playground for learning basic animation principles. Advancing with average success, eventually the reel was ready in about a month.

video still

This is also my first completely nonlinear reel so far. Before I used to follow the concept that all animation must be carefully put into one file, so that you can run a render script that renders all the scenes in a .blend and get the final result. Although that concept is indeed very nice and sounds great, it turned out that I can't follow it anymore with longer animations with many camera shots. This short is composed more like a movie, with many separate reels pre-made, gruesomely cut in pieces and then reassembled to make the whole. I used some movie-style tricks, too - for example the ground shot in stork fly is not 3d, it's just a matte. Although it doesn't look as great as it probably could do, such an approach saved me a lot of time and nerves. The splashes of toad's legs on the camera lens were made separately, too, and then overlaid in the final composition.. It was a great field for experiments. I tried to avoid close-ups and orchestrate multiple characters acting simultaneously. Two actors who meet only in the end were not enough so I added some more, they don't play any significant role, but I hope they add to the entertaining effect.

video still

The Music

When the footage was done, I finally recalled that animations seldom look well without the music. All my previous shorts were short enough to go along with some very short music piece, but this one was not like that, I tried many different tunes and none of them matched the story well enough. The luck was again by my side - a friend of mine, Kate Ingster who has been studying music since unconscious age, kindly agreed to try to write a piece that would fit the animation well. So we rolled the video right off-screen to her camcorder and I left her alone for about a few weeks. I had no idea of what she's going to compose and how we'll record the tune. But when she gave me a tape of her try-on recording and I put it together with the video, it turned out that the music fits so perfectly that I decided not to wait anymore, do not make any re-recording sessions and release it just as it is. The music enchanced the animation dramatically, I can't think of anything better. It's a part of animation that's no less important than character movement and I'm exceptionally grateful to Kate for the music.

video still


That's it for now. Download, enjoy the animation and let me know your opinions! The dowload size is pretty big: 13.5M for 360x288 MPEG-1. I frankly hope that it's worth the download time.

stork-medium.mpg, 13.5M MPEG-1

video still

Return to Blender page

Text, design, graphics and animation are Copyright (C) 2001 Viacheslav Slavinky. Reproducion is welcome only with prior notice to the author.