The Animation Show s01e17
Titre original : The Rocks (Das Rad)
The stone people have seen a lot in their everlasting lives atop their mountain, so they're only mildly amazed by the comings and goings inside the valley below. But when Mankind begins to progress and grow, this new behavior threatens the rocks' serenity..
The directors comment... Chris: "Rocks tries to elaborate on different perceptions of passing time. For example a five year old child will experience a month as being a really long time whereas an adult or elderly person experiences the same amount of time as being much shorter. Our protagonists Hew and Kew, being rocks, are living in an extremely different timespace compared to us humans. The goal was to change the perspective on human behavior, and maybe understand where we're coming from and where we might be going a little bit better by looking at it more globally... I always like to look at human nature from a different point of view, i.e. through the eyes of non-human protagonists. I think animation is the perfect media to apply this concept, which originates from an idea I came across studying social anthropology: You study foreign cultures and their differences in order to get a better understanding of your own culture and background. This approach offers a great way to understand anew what you might otherwise take as natural, because you experienced it everyday since you were born. More directly, nowadays the possibility of mankind just wiping itself out can be very disturbing, but wouldn't necesarily mean the end of the world."
Heidi: "The main challenge for us was to make the two different techniques we used for our film fit togther. On one hand we had the model puppets, Hew and Kew, who we animated through traditional stop-motion. The model set they were sitting on was placed in front of a blue-screen, which on the other hand had to be replaced by a digital valley in the background and the rushing sky in postproduction. It was hard work to bring together the puppet set with the digital set extension. It took us a lot of time for texturing the valley in Maya and bringing the layers together in Compositing (which we mainly did with Combustion)."
Chris: "The parts I remember as being difficult were the three instances where the timescale is being slowed down/sped up onscreen and the respective shots had to be animated three times in exactly the same way, but under different light setups, so that they could be blended in Digital Fusion using a mask that was generated in Maya. Other parts like Kew's jumping required a lot of thought while building the puppets' armatures and careful animation, but their compositing was comparatively easy. More difficult things to achieve using the computer were to find a convincing sky or the shots in which there where no models, that had to be entirely generated in the computer but still had to deliver the feel of being stop-motion."