Monday, January 14, 2013

The Backwater Gospel

I recently came across the animated shot film The Backwater Gospel, a story of death, hypocrisy and the power of fear in a small God-fearing town directed by freelancer Bo Mathorne,. Within seconds I'd fallen in love with the visual style - it's not often you see 3D models in short films that are so unique. To me it's reminiscent of the work of Jamie Hewlett but with a much darker, scruffier edge.


Fortunately there's a making-of video. Mathorne's drawing style is really fantastic and expressive, though what I find interesting here is the structure of the models. They seem to have been made largely out of angular or completely flat planes that have been arranged one on top of the other - the ragged sketching style of the textures dictates the shape of the final asset, meaning that the outlines of the models are similarly sketchy, giving the unique artistic effect. The amount of detail in the models and props is astounding.

The compositing, shown towards the end of the video, is surprisingly involved - I still don't really know much at all about compositing, and although I have no idea what the technical process here is, it's still a useful insight.

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