Nucco Brain – At First Sight Animation

November 4, 2015
by Tim Rabjohns

    At First Sight tells the story of Brian, a typical 21st century hipster, who is struggling with a mobile phone addiction.  While absorbed with the small screen he finds himself incapable of enjoying the beautiful world that surrounds him. Brian’s multiple encounters with reality are disrupted by his phone, luring him back to the virtual world. However, his journey to work takes an unexpected turn as his smartphone uncontrollably rebels..

    This animation has a great look and feel – something modern yet traditional in it’s style.  I had a quick chat with Tanja Lunardelli from Nucco Brain who told me a bit more about why they made the film in the first place:  “We wanted to make the film for two main reasons.  Firstly because we wanted to share our vision about the use -and abuse- of modern tech and secondly we wanted to showcase our unique way of blending both 2D and 3D animation.

    It was quite challenging to find a way to mix 2D backgrounds and VFX with 3D characters and find the right stylisation for the lightning and texturing. We think that a lot of CGI can look very same-ey with unnecessary realism sometimes – so, with this film we deliberately set out to try a different visual style and we’re fairly confident that we are the only ones doing this.

    Nucco Brain for dotmogoThe backgrounds were manually painted and divided into layers and all the characters are in 3D.  We used flat shades and hand painted textures however to give the illusion of 2D.   In this way the characters would not clash with the 2D Backgrounds.

    Additionally all the effects (smoke, flashes and etc) were created using “classic” animation techniques where every frame was hand drawn.

    Another challenge we gave ourselves was the decision direct the story as a team.  We wanted a movie that would be exciting for the entire crew to work on, with everybody giving their input.  It was not as easy as we thought but the end result is much better than it would have been if the whole team hadn’t contributed!”

    They used various softwares: Photoshop for digital background painting, TV paint for the classical animated VFX, Modo for 3D modelling, Maya for animation and After Effects for compositing.

    Credits: Director: Pedro Allevato, Producer/Animation Supervisor: Stefano Marrone, Project Manager: Sally Guelfi, Storyboarding: Vincenzo Lamolinara, Concept Artist/Modeller: Andrea Realli, Visual Designer: Thomas Gutteridge, Lead Modeller/Texture: Pietro Licini, Rigger/TD : Matteo Dogliotti, Layout Artist and Lighting : Roberto Libralato,
    Effects: Ludivine Berthouloux, Compositing: Pedro Allevato, Lead Animator: Pedro Allevato
    Animator: Leon Dexter

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