Cinesite, a post production company based in Montreal and London, is showcasing the creature animation skills of its staff in “Beans”, a short film created entirely in-house. The mock commercial features four astronauts doing a moonwalk when they are discovered by a horrific monster. Since its release on December 11, the YouTube video has had almost 6 millions views.
London animator Alvise Avati approached Cinesite with an idea for the film. He says, “Working in visual effects, it’s usually other people’s visions and creatures that you’re creating. This was an opportunity to take some creative control and make a film of our own.”
The look of the lunar environment is based on NASA film footage and actual lunar photography. Eamonn says, “At the start, the film is quite serious in tone and then it develops, becoming more dramatic as it progresses before ending on a surprise. To support this, the environment needed to be photo-realistic. We also wanted to push the animation and effects as far as we could to make the film as dramatic as possible before the payoff.
Eamonn Butler, Head of Cinesite Animation Division says, “In terms of the creature design, we worked in a very collaborative way. Alvise brought some great artwork and ideas as starting points which we developed through modelling, rigging and animation. We brought on more talented artists as we went to help develop the look of the film through textures, lighting and compositing.”
Because the creature would be seen so briefly, it was important for him to stand out and be scary. Alvise says, “I wanted the creature’s eyes to glow. We also added bioluminescence effects to parts of his head to make him stand out.”
The Beans film was written and directed by animator Alvise Avati via Cinesite with producer Eamonn Butler, executive producers Antony Hunt, Courtney Vanderslice-Law and Peter Nagle, VFX supervisor Richard Clarke, art director Jean-David Solon, concept artist Andrea de Martis, modelling team Grahame Curtis and Royston Willcocks, rigging artist Richard Boyle, animation team Peter Clayton, Tom O’Flaherty and Adam Bailey, texture artists Nicolette Newman and Gary Newman, FX animation team Andreas Vrhovsek and Luke Wilde, lighting and compositing team Zave Jackson, Nikos Gatos, Jonathan Vuillemin, Dan Harrod, Joel Bodin and Jason Summersgill, editorial post production and sound design team William Marshall-Wilkinson and Christopher Learmonth, pipeline team Ronald Siy and Alexander Savenko.
Extra post production and sound design was done at Molinare Post, London.