Mac 'n' Cheese Supermarket is the sequel to the award-winning Mac 'n' Cheese short film, which helped the team refine an up-to-date pipeline for the studio's future projects
3dt: Can you tell us about your award-winning animated characters, Mac and Cheese? How did the first animated short film come about and what were the key ingredients of its success, do you think?
Well, the idea to create something like Mac 'n' Cheese started a while back, about 4 years ago now. We just wanted to create something awesome - no story, no message. Just a short ride, to enjoy without too much thinking. Focusing on directing, editing and animation, in combination with the right lighting, composition and colors; the main goal was to give the audience the chance to have a little fun before returning to work or school, just for 2 minutes. The idea was to create an internet movie for a young crowd; we hoped it would go viral but didn't expect this much publicity.
3dt: And how about the sequel - what steps did you take to ensure the second instalment reflected the new capabilities of the Colorbleed team? What success has it seen so far?
Taking into account the lessons we had learned from the first production we were able to pull some stunts in our latest production. For instance, filling an entire 3D supermarket with thousands of products and deforming the entire environment to illustrate the mindboggling trip of our heroes. This required an enormous amount of research and testing, but eventually we were able to actually do it.
At first we mainly worked on creating a suitable pipeline - not just for Mac 'n' Cheese but for all our future productions. This streamlined the entire workflow to a point where our biggest concerns were about directing our shots and finishing animation and rendering everything in time. We now use the developed tools and pipeline for all our productions. This helps us maintain continuity and a clean workflow.
Mr Probz - I'm right here is a music video directed and created by Colorbeed Animation Studios
3dt: Do you have plans to make a third Mac n Cheese in the series?
To pay for all our software and hardware we have to do a lot of commercial work to survive but we'd love to work on a full-length movie or another short film. We don't have the resources to pull that off at this point. Let's hope the near future will be kind to us again and that we get the chance to work on an independent film. I think we'll be focussing on developing some of our other ideas first before returning to Mac 'n' Cheese again, though.
3dt: Can you give us some advice for crafting loveable characters for animations?
Gijs van Kooten:
We usually look up references of the direction we want to go in, then we just start working on the characters and go back and forth on what works and what doesn't. We give it our own twist, and when everyone agrees a character is finished, we call it quits and it goes into rigging!
3dt: What should we keep in mind when concepting new characters to tell a story?
Gijs van Kooten:
Well, 'does it look good?' is high on the list, I guess. And since we're not that deep in design we don't consciously ponder the primary, secondary and tertiary shapes. I mean, we do heavily consider the readability of the silhouette, but that's about as deep as we go. We mostly look at the characters from the perspective of the final film: Will this fit the style? Will this work to tell the story? Can we rig this? Animate it? Could it express the range of emotions that we need? As such we handle the character designing process from a much more practical point of view. This process however becomes nothing more but a filter when we work with a third-party concept/character artist, though!
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