Directed by Concept Artist Izzy, and made in collaboration with a top-team of the Zoo's animators and artists, Via tells one man’s story in defining moments against a backdrop of Izzy’s beautiful, trademark environments. Inspiration comes from a poem by Rachel Cladingbowl about life’s complex journey 'via' the obstacles and events in life we experience and overcome.
From the early scribbles Via was a visual treat, rich with epic landscapes inspired by Izzy's love of nature and time spent in America. Watching Via, we travel the metaphoric path of life from back porch to canyon, boat yard to forest, mountains to city and more.
A challenge was set when Via was created: to produce an animation and tell a story without showing the characters faces. This means that all feeling and emotion must be expressed through movement and posture alone. There are subtle details that help tell the story, like a change in hair colour to indicate a change in age, or a thickening of the waist.
The colours play an important role in Via, nuanced to help tell the tale; a colour repeated in the most intimate scenes, a brightness when the son is on screen, and muted, sepia-tones as memories fade.
Even though Via's characters look 2D animated, they are in fact all 3D characters built in Maya and animated at a lower frame rate to give a more hand-made feel. This allowed Blue Zoo to use their experienced CG animation team to efficiently create the beautiful performances. These were then rendered with a flat 2D shader to integrate into the painted environments in After Effects.
Take a peek behind the scenes with our 'making of' video:
Directed by Izzy Burton
Poem written by Rachel Cladingbowl
Music by Vince Webb
Narrated by Harry Ditson
Environments by Izzy Burton
Modelling by Chris Rais, Pietro Licini
Rigging by Anthony Delliste
Character Animation by Phil Brooks, Anthony Delliste, Dane Winn
Rendering & Shading by Dane Winn
2D Animation & Compositing by Izzy Burton
SFX by John Paul Sutherland
Special Thanks to Jérémy Cissé, Nathan Wilkes
Production Manager Chantal Baldwin
Producer Tom Box