A short animation film directed by ZEPE
A horticulturist, an engineer and a biologist all work in a remote biodiversity research and protection centre deep in the middle of a forest. They live in a greenhouse-type building, charged with pollinating a vast area of wilderness and conducting research with a view to creating and differentiating vegetable species. The day-to-day existence of this small team goes calmly and routinely until, one night, the stars realign and all the beings that inhabit the area around the trio become uniform and dangerously aggressive towards their neighbours.
A is the horticulturist. Tall, gangly and ungainly, he is in charge of looking after the plants created in the greenhouse plant nursery. Absentminded and forgetful, A likes to take things easy and nap occasionally. However, he has a loud snore that annoys his teammates, particularly B. Of the three characters, he’s the one who has more direct, physical contact with the vegetable world, which sets him apart from B’s methodical doubting and the scientific certainties of C.
Burly and fat, he zealously carries out his daily mission to check that all the apparatus in the greenhouse is working properly. In contrast to A who procrastinates, and C who speeds ahead, B is given to reflecting on the meaning and purpose of his work. So, he’s constantly uneasy and assailed by doubts that lead him to fancying something is not quite right in that colourful and harmonious setting.
C is the biologist. Highly strung and hyperactive, C is a workaholic dedicated to the cause of species diversification. Trying to mould the chance designs of diversity using his biotechnology tools, C lives in the isolated silence of the laboratory where he spends his days. At times, he is so engrossed that he forgets night exists and he’ll fall asleep hunched over his microscope.
THE CYCLE combines traditional animation and 2D and 3D animation techniques and processes, but instead of the techniques characteristic of 3D images, the attributes and particularities inherent to drawing are retained.
Seemingly simple and two-dimensional, the characters and settings are nevertheless extremely complex.
The characters, constructed in 3D, are changeable in every one of their components, which allows a closer approximation to the appeal and visual world of drawing.
These technical concerns are prevalent from the modeling of the characters, the creation of blend shapes, skeleton building (rigging) and structure deformers.
Post-production is also tackled in a non-conventional way, using filters, dynamic textures and differentiated shadow treatment to give settings and scenery a life of their own; specifically via subtle changes in light, colour and matter.
We intend to use innovative articulation of the space, dramaturgy and animation techniques, and various processes and technologies on this production.
Original Concept & Creative Director: José Pedro Cavalheiro (Zepe)
Screenplay: Regina Guimarães e José Pedro Cavalheiro (Zepe)
Animation Director: Rui Gonçalves
Layout: Rui Gonçalves
Layout Assistant: Inês Caldeira
Production Managment and 3D Modeling: Luís Soares
Shading, Lighting and Composition: Luís Soares
3D Modeling: Beatriz Lopes
3D Character Rigging: James Thompson
3D Animation: João Dias
2D Animation: Joana Teixeira, Luís Soares
Editing: Luís Soares
Music: João Lucas
AIM – Animation Studios