Black Holes
Black Holes

Short Movie : Black Holes

Black Holes is a 3D animated short film selected at Sundance 2017 ,  developing into an adult animated sitcom. 

This first season chronicles the journey of Dave The Astronaut and his partner, an intelligent melon, as they embark on the first ever human mission to Mars.

Watch the first episode, ready our interview with David Nicolas (one of the directors) and Kevin Van Der Meiren (producer).   Don’t forget to support the launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund Season 1


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Can you talk about how this project came to be? Why was this a story you wanted to tell?

We’d done a 2D project called “Pierre The Astronaut” some years ago. We just thought it’d be hilarious if the best astronaut of the world was able to lose his nerves every time NASA’s proctologist called him in for a check up. The inspiration comes from a real situation in my life: My mom sent me to the Doctor across the hall for an anal stenosis when I was 16, and I subsequently had to revive the nightmare of such a humiliation every time I would run into him in the building.

Also, we’ve always been obsessed with space, spaceships, and UFOs. It was a perfect opportunity for a catharsis personal of trauma while exploring our lifelong passions.

“Pierre The Astronaut” became a sort of a cult film in some private groups of animators in France and abroad.  A year ago, we were discussing together what a 3D version would look like so we started sculpting the characters. At that time it became obvious we wanted to continue this adventure into a full 3D movie.

Black Holes
Black Holes

How was the look of the short developed, in terms of the production design? Can you talk about the things you did to set the style?

We really wanted Black Holes to be cinematic, both from a sound and picture perspective. We had several

movie references in mind, as well as, the work of some art directors, and production designers from the live action world : Harry Lange, Ken Adam or Joan Le Boru are one of the examples.

At the same time, we wanted the series to be unique in its own esthetics.  From there, we started creating sets as if we were crafting miniature dollhouses with our own hands, paper, scissors, and glue.

There’s a whimsical and zany nature of the animation – can you talk about arriving at that style and any challenges it posed during production?

We always have liked making our visuals untrackable. By mixing various techniques, we have been able to produce unexpected visuals and surprise the audience. People don’t necessarily understand what they are seeing, wondering if it is live, 3D or Stop-motion animation. For Black Holes, we tried our best to keep the spirit and magic of old Tchekoslovakian pixilation style movies while including modern 3D technics.

We started noodling around with visuals at home. The people from Sundance saw a few sequences. They really loved the style and asked if we could deliver a short film in 3 months…that was the challenge… to come up with a revolutionary pipeline in order to produce 12 minutes high standing CGI animated movie with only 3 CGI artists.

Black Holes
Black Holes

What were some of the tools and unique used on the production (ie for modeling, rigging, animation, texturing, rendering, compositing) that enabled you to maintain the style you’d set?

We used a lot of different tools: Lightwave 3D are Octane Render are core key elements of our pipeline. We then use software such as ZBrush for modeling, Substance Painter and Quixel for texturing, After Effects and Nuke for compositing et Da Vinci for the color grading. We do the animation with Lightwave. Some of the animation is done assisted by motion capture from home or on internet… We then tweak it in order to achieve our style.

We also used screw-drivers, clamps and power tools in order to build our own custom made computers. Speaking of which Big Shout out to all the Computer nerds who helped us to build our machines! Thanks a lot!!!

Black Holes
Black Holes

Don’t forget to support the launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund Season 1

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