James T Campbell





Charged is a animated short film about a solar powered rooster.


The animation was created for a film festival in which you are given 10 days to make a short film. For animated films you can plan certain elements such as backgrounds and models. No animation or rendering is allowed. All up the entire process took 12 days if you include the preparation work. I’m happy with the final result but lots of things could be improved if I had more time.

I could quite easily make some major changes to the animation and rendering to improve it, but I feel it should stand as it is. This was all I could physically do in the time allotted and to improve it feels wrong. You see animation and films on the web all the time and you have no idea the time it took or the number of people involved. So this is a true representation of what is possible by one individual in 12 days.

One thing you learn in production under such tight deadlines is giving things priority. Unlike live action where you shoot the world around you in computer graphics you have to create that world. To be able to meet the 10 day production time all the backgrounds were still frames rendered from 3d scenes and moved in compositing. The clouds were built up from 4 single clouds and composited together to look like a storm. All the compositing was done in After Effect.

All the animation and rendering was done in Blender with heavy use of the linking system. All the 3d models referenced master files to allow updating of rigging and any problems that needed to be fixed during production. The biggest problem, however; was with the rendering system and a major issue that has gone under the radar in the software for some time became obvious. When using ray-traced lights you can soften the shadows. This does, however;  introduce faceting of polygon faces on otherwise smooth surfaces.

Copyright 2013    James T Campbell