The production of our 3d animated short Fish for Life is based on a very complex workflow which requires a lot of teamwork. Lets take a look in detail.

Pre production

At the beginning everything revolved around the story. So, the four of us came together to develop the plot of our animated short. Shortly afterwards the storyboard was made. At the end of the summer semester 2017 we presented the animatic of Fish for Life.

Then Lisa created the concept art, using pencil on paper and later Adobe Photoshop. In the meanwhile, Victoria started with the sound concept and Lukas did the research for water animation.


In the summer of last year, the sculpting and modelling process started. Kerstin sculpted the model of our main character Manolin in zBrush with great detail. Afterwards, she did the retopo in Autodesk Maya. So, we get a low poly (the retopo) and a high poly version (out of zBrush) of the same model. The low poly model is very important for a faster progress in animation and rendering. The software could not handle such big data. To get the clean and detailled look the high poly model will be projected onto the low poly.

Giving the model its texture we use Substance painter (and in some cases Substance designer). With Substance Lisa is able to paint directly on the model. Afterwards, the exporting texture maps build the foundation of a complex shading network in Maya.

For the animation we use Maya. For the stormy shots, Lukas prepares the water animation first. Then Kerstin or Lisa animates the characters. After the animation we have to ligthen the scene and define the camera.

Post production

We will start with the postproduction this summer. Therefore, we use Nuke (compositing), Houdini (vfx), DaVinci (color correction) AfterEffects (adding special effects), Photoshop (matte painting) and Premiere (final cut).

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