Created as part of the 18th edition of the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film, Rollin Safari is a hilarious animated short created by the students of Baden-Wuerttemberg Film Academy. Featuring humorous obese animals, the animation offers a different perspective of the lethal combat from the wilderness.
The initial idea was to present a high-speed chase of a hunter in pursuit of a fat, rolling dear, and Philipp Wolf, the producer, loved the idea so much he decided to replace the hunter with another animal as well. In the end, for a bigger variety of hunting scenes, Savannah has been chosen as the place to host the action.
Rollin Safari – Initial Concept
The production concept was started by Kyra Buschor and Constantin Paeplow and when the idea of bloated animals was set, Annie Habermehl joined the team and started developing the short clips. Thomas Hartmann did shading, lighting, rendering and the water. Sascha Langer and Christoph Westphal did the rigging, while David Kirchner and Markus Kranzler did the dust effects.
Rollin Safari – Characters
In order to bring the idea to life, the team had to make compromises. The animals had to appear as they would be in their natural habitat while exaggerating the action without ruining the seriousness of an attack. “It was a huge challenge to walk along that line. It was an important part of the storytelling that they didn’t behave like an animated animal until the attack and punchline,” explains Wolf.
Rollin Safari – Software
The film is mainly animated, rendered and lightened in Maya, while Zbrush and Mudbox were used for the details. A lot of texture painting was done, especially with regard to the general setting – which is why the plants and grass are painted flat and arranged in layers, one behind the other. The ground and the stones were modeled and textured just like the animals. Everything further located from the camera was painted as one, great picture and subsequently projected behind the scenery.
Rollin Safari Animation ( FMX 2013 )
“Honestly, the biggest challenge was the timing,” Wolf explained. “Where to place the punch line to get the biggest response? We figured out the timing issues using the animatic, then the next technical challenge was rigging the spherical animals, as they had to be quite flexible in their movement. We needed to have the ability to move the whole legs along the spherical body. The solution was to leave off the spine and place the shoulder-attachment right in the center of the sphere, so they could rotate around it.”