poster_smallThree unlikely friends meet after facing difficulties in their lives, the frog who is unable to play the banjo, the rat who is imprisoned in an animal testing lab, and the dog who has never seen anything beyond his owner’s junkyard. On the way, they fight a villain and partake in a high-speed car chase all to find the land of their dreams…

cowboy

About The Film

The Story

55647-wind-willows-celebrates-30th-anniversary
The Wind in the Willows (1983)

When I started this film I was inspired by “The Wind in the Willows” and similar whimsical stop-motion animated films, and I started experimenting with a similarly shallow depth of field and of course anthropomorphic animals.

frog
The frog with a banjo on a log

But once I got started it turned into a much larger project and I animated this film over the course of two years in my spare time.

The story, like most creative work, developed through a combination of conscious replication of similar work and unconscious osmosis of real world situations

like this:

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Van with a paramotor strapped to the back on the highway as inspiration for the flying bus in the film

And I’ve always taken a liking to the old VW T1 “Hippie Bus”

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A great picture of a cross-sectioned T1

Here are some pictures from the film:

The Creation

Here I’ll be explaining some of the effects I used in the film and I will be including some project files.

Frog Forest – Grass, Log, and Rock

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Just simple grass with a simple shader and a tree log with a low poly rock.

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Eye flashback effect

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The camera zooms into the body to transition to a flashback.

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Animated growing grass and flowers

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Growing grass and flowers at night. Made by animating the hair size for the particle system.

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Animated bubble-blowing effect

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2000 Bubbles being blown from a particle effect.

 

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Flying through clouds animated

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The camera flying through the clouds, loopable.

 

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Expanding ink drop effect

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An expanding ink drop effect. Out of context, it looks more like a ball of plasma.

 

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Bus landing on the beach

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Indentation appearing in sand using shape keys and Dust using a smoke simulation.

 

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Credits Pop-up effect

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The pop-up effect in the credits using the simple deform modifier.

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