"Autumn Thieves"

3 min.

small version (320x240; 9MB)
medium version (480x320; 11MB)
large version (640x480; 30MB)


This is a 3min short I did for an animation class during my last semester at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco in May 2003.

Autumn Thieves grew out of an animation exercise our teacher, Alan Sperling, gave us. We were supposed to show a character walking up to an object, re- and interacting with it and ending the exercise so that the whole thing had a little story.
I had the idea of a thief stealing something and being cut up by the security lasers. With that idea in mind, I started constructing a story around that specific scene and after a few weeks of long hours, Autumn Thieves was done.

The fact that the music is in sync with the animation was a happy accident. I always listen to music while I animate and during the making of Autumn Thieves, I was listening to a lot of jazz. Once I was done with the rough cut I watched it while the piece “Autumn Leaves” by Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderly was playing in the background. To my surprise, a few scenes happened to be in sync. I then started to test it with other jazz pieces, but “Leaves” had a laid back feeling to it, which added contrast between the music and the animation. I then tweaked the animation and re-edited the short in order for it to precisely match the music.

Taking hostage of a lot of computers at school helped me to render everything in about 2 days. Animation and rendering was done in Maya. Since I focused on animation, I kept the sets and props very simple. I wanted to avoid a clean computer look, so I used the GI Joe lighting script by Emmanuel Campin.
The thief and the guards are the models “Hogan” and “Milt”, which are provided by the school.

I remember lots of pizza and not enough sleep, but I had a blast animating the whole thing. Looking at it now, there is a lot of very stiff animation, but I still like the story and the editing of it. I might go back to it and update the animation, we'll see...

If you want to see more of my work, feel free to go to my animation page.


P.S.: thanks for all the great comments and feedback!

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