Final Cut

  • 3D Animation, VFX
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Final Cut

The cartoony short Final Cut is the result of my second ever animation project. It tells the story of a trainee who finds himself in a difficult position when he needs to choose his tool and whether to cut the blue or the red wire..
The project has been realised in collaboration with my project partner Benjamin Viethen during the 3.semester (Bachelor), using mainly Autodesk 3ds Max, ZBrush and Adobe After Effects.

Given direction – and only limitation – of this Bachelor project in 3D animation was the topic: ‘countdown’. Our personal aim was to create a witty and diverting story – being both well elaborated and executed, and containing a moment of surprise.

Important to us was to create a gloomy, hazy atmosphere, generating the impression of fear, stress, consternation – leading to the climatic scene: cutting the bomb wire.

The objects and sceneries above were all featured in the animation – here you can see them in a different light.

Most 3D work was done using 3ds Max, creating an enclosed environment with multiple ambiguous objects (bomb disposal meets hairdresser), 3 rigged characters, each with a set of expressions (morphing) and cloth simulations for a few objects.

Bits and pieces were refined in ZBrush, adding details and smoothing out bumps. While most objects were modelled in a rather realistic way we decided to go for a cartoony style for the characters. Textures, partly from the internet, were created and altered using Photoshop. Compositing was realised in After Effects, adding some effects like fire and the sprayed title.

I was mainly responsible for modelling – environment, objects, characters and expressions, as well as texturing. My project partner and I shared the amount of rigging and animation. While I was working on incorporating sound effects and creating the outro, my project partner was doing the compositing work and effects for the animation.

Final Cut characters – each rigged and with a set of expressions (morphing).

In order to enhance the gloomy and mysterious atmosphere we added sounds and some music to the animation – ending with Sheryl Crow’s version of ‘The first cut is the deepest’, thanking our friends for their support in this ‘hairy affair’ (German idiom for ‘delicate affair’ or ‘difficult matter’).

Official statement (in German) | Homepage of Dr.Hans-Hoch Award for Media Art

Flaschen klirren, bedrohliche Blicke werden gewechselt, der Ball kommt ins Rollen. Eine Uhr tickt – noch 2 Minuten bis das Entsetzen einsetzt. Ein Mensch ist unter Druck, seine Augen flackern vor Angst. Hinter ihm beobachtet eine drohende Gestalt seine Handlungen. Mit fahrigen Bewegungen sucht er aus einer Sammlung von Messern, Scheren, Rasierklingen das passende Instrument heraus. Er wählt eine Schere, und da sind sie auch schon: das rote und das blaue Kabel. Welches Kabel wird er zerschneiden? Als die Spannung auf dem Höhepunkt ist, wird sie durch den Entsetzensschrei einer Frau aufgelöst.
Zum Schluss fegt ein Besen den ganzen Müll fort, und die Filmemacher bedanken sich für den Beistand in haarigen Situationen.
Zu einer spannungsgeladenen Hintergrundmusik erfinden die jungen Filmemacher Andrea Kühne und Benjamin Viethen Bilder aus der Gruselkiste. Den beiden Preisträgern ist es gelungen, die Jury durch die perfekte Animation, ihren Witz, die Gruseleffekte und den unerwarteten Schluss zu überzeugen.

Bachelor | 4.semester | 2010
Benjamin Viethen
3ds Max | Autodesk
ZBrush | Pixologic
After Effects | Adobe
Photoshop | Adobe
Dr. Hans-Hoch Award for Media Art | 3. prize
DiWiSH Media Award