Cranks - 2006

Cranks from jacques khouri on Vimeo.

Title: Cranks
Length: 1:35 min.

Work completed: February 2006
production schedule: Twelve weeks

Director, creator: Jacques Khouri
sound: Robin Beauchamp
Advisor: Christoph Simon

Project type: Short animated film

Synopsis: It is the story of a crank toy trying to finish a race while helping and asking the aid of others.

Tools: Autodesk Maya, Apple's Shake
Hardware: HP Laptop + render farm at school

Challenges: This film was animated during my studies at SCAD under the context of a class called Short Short. The biggest challenge was to produce a short animated film within ten weeks. Thanks to Christoph, I learned to improve my story telling skills by keeping thing simple and working on efficient visual cues to sell the idea. As well, at the time I was having quite an ordeal with girls and was just sick and tired of relationships. I kept wanting to write a story to bash my Exes but decided to be more diplomatic and went with the idea that we are all like cranks and we just have to find the right combinations to work. Some of my influences were Feric, my sister who would buy me mechanical toys from around the world and of course my two Granddads who were themselves watchmakers. Their studios were full of little clocks and gears. And, thanks to the great "Maurice Noble" and those old Warner Bros.' "Coyote and Road running" cartoons For the Background design.

Technically, because of time delays, instead of doing traditional drawn storyboards, I quickly jumped to the animatic stage in CG3D. Then I did some composting tests and rigged up the character while designing them directly in Maya. The biggest challenge was the rendering. It was the first time I was using multiple passes to composite lighting and shading.

Initial test for look

turtle_test from jacques khouri on Vimeo.

Frame shots: