So far, it’s been an incredibly enriching and exciting journey for us working towards bringing our very own vision of Wanda Løper to life. We’ve communicated across countries and have had many meetings and work sessions in Trondheim. We have raised development funding that enabled us to unite people who all contribute to this project with their own talents and skills to turn it into something special.
In October last year we gathered in Trondheim for a week of testing, to build and shoot miniature sets and shape Wanda into a real three dimensional puppet. All these elements have now been assembled and animated digitally. Bearing in mind that we only had one week to make all this happen we have achieved our goal; We can give you a taste of what Wanda and Wanda’s world will look like. Along the way we’ve discovered alternative ways of solving technical challenges. Above all, we have realized that it takes a great team of individuals who are ready to face the challenges that this exciting experience brings.
Our goal is to tell a story with a unique visual expression and voice, seen from the view of a girl’s eyes; full of mystery and magical moments. Animals come alive in the form of hand puppets, leaves and grass are made of paper, witch shadows turn into mothers. This project aims to be a celebration of all the beautiful imperfections - because Wanda is perfect with all her imperfections.
There’s still a long way to go before we can show a finished short film but we’re all excited to make Wanda’s world come to life. That’s why we hope that this film will get enough interest and above all funding to go into production. Fingers crossed!
A lot has happened since our test shoot back in October. Initially, the plan was to make Wanda by photographing the different body parts from a lot of angles and then animate her by using these photos as kind of a 2.5D approach. This turned out to be difficult because the lighting and perspective would never properly match, making the character look flat when comped in with the set piece shots that were live action. Also, we would have had to compromise a lot when it came to animating for example running scenes. That’s why we’ve decided to do the character animation in full 3D so we can better integrate Wanda in the set pieces and have more flexibility for the animation.
For the facial animation we quickly made some variations of Wanda’s face and stored them in Softimage’s shape manager so we could blend between them.
So far we just have a quick proof of concept character but when the project moves along to the next step we´ll do the whole procedure from scratch starting with a better 3d scan to preserve even more of the handmade look.
In October 2012 the Wanda team gathered in Trondheim to work out some of the technical challenges and to visualize two of the short film’s scenes. The results will be used to apply for the final production funding. Also, it will help us to estimate the budget costs and timing. It was a busy but very enjoyable week that resulted in lots of beautiful elements that were shot individually and now have to be animated and composited.