Matt Frodsham – Birds Experimental Animation

February 10, 2015
by Tim Rabjohns

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    Sometimes dotmgo is sent self-initiated projects that show off the skills of its creator and they are normally narrative led pieces.  In this case however Matt Frodsham sent in a slightly bonkers piece of proof-of-concept animation, which could so easily be extraplolated in to a whole cartoon series.  (Take note Cartoon Network…).

    He’s currently a UK motion designer working in Berlin with a company called Zeitguised.  Called simply “Birds”  this project looks at the movement of everyday birds as some sketches for a pitch for a TV channel rebrand.  It was planned to film and track live birds and augment the pictures with 3D CG in composition.  According to Matt, what they ended up with was “a lighthearted essay on the contextualization of familiar and unassuming animals.  Two strands in the work of Zeitguised merge in this piece.  One strives for character design with little or no recognizable anthropomorphisms or animal features. The other is a synthetic construction of images through deconstructed fragments of the prevalent photo realism in CG.”

    And here’s the making-of Birds

    [vimeo w=573&h=322]

    Matt continued: “The final ideas came about while working on the actual film.  What tied the film together conceptually was the subtle humour emerging from blending the realistic motion of the birds, which I hand animated, and with the inappropriate and surreal materials and objects associated with these animals in a wider context.  This is why we coined our approach of “contextualized characters”, as the design stems from their own context and is therefore also a humorous reference to the prevalent self-referentiality.

    Personally I would really like to see this technique used in more situations – maybe a jelly that moves like a dog, or rain that moves like a monkey – there are so many ways that this type of experiment could go and now animators have worked out how to emulate animals to a very accurate degree it’s time to have some fun!

    Software used: Cinema 4D with Octane Render Engine, Remotion Uniflex, Remotion Phyfluids, XParticles, ZBrush, After Effects

    Credits: Concept, Art Direction, Design, Animation, Production: Zeitguised, Lead Animation: Matt Frodsham, Animation Chris Hoffmann & Katha Niedermeijer, Music: Marian Pramberger with Matt Frodsham

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