Original Animated Short Uses Hand-Drawn Illustrations, Game Engines and Puppets to Create Heartbreaking Tale; PSD to 3D Tutorials Available Now, “Art of” Book Coming This Summer
After nearly a decade in development, E.D. Films’ ambitious, experimental animated short film Return to Hairy Hill (aka Retour à Hairy Hill) will make its eagerly anticipated debut this week at Montreal’s prestigious Sommets du cinéma d’animation (Animation Film Summit). Featuring several first-of-their-kind techniques — including the studio’s proprietary 2D to 3D pipeline — the short will be featured in the official competition alongside the best animated films originating from Canada. The festival will be held in Montreal at the famed Cinémathèque Québécoise on May 9-14.
The Making of “Return to Hairy Hill”
Written and directed by E.D. Films co-founder, Daniel Gies, Return to Hairy Hill utilizes several experimental techniques developed in-house by the multidisciplinary studio, beginning with its industry-leading PSD to 3D plugin that converts 2D Photoshop drawings into stylized 3D content. The film also relied on a new VR puppet system, a new animation export tool for game engines and more. Those tools were combined with hand-drawn ink illustrations, digital paintings, paper puppet models, hand-drawn animation, traditional keyframe animation and more. The result is a unique animated short that leverages CG creation tools while creating the unique impression of stop-motion animation for the character performances.