EF-1: Life

EF-1: Life takes a closeup look at two archetypical opponents of nature: leopard and impala.

The animals' instinct-driven movements are framed into 8 scenes, like sculptures in motion: darting off for the hunt, sensing the danger; while colourful streams of energy flow through skin, muscles, veins, and nerves.

With the range of Energy Flow Stories touching on many different themes, LIFE observes the most fundamental, biological cycle of energy: hunting and feeding, survival and death.

Inspiration

Driven by instincts and the drive to survive, observations of wildlife animals bear an everlasting fascination. In a closeup study of anatomy and behaviour we wanted to make bare biological transformations of energy visible.

Read the introduction to Life on The Creators Project

Technical Approach

The visual structure of EF-1: Life began with naturalistic 3D models of the leopard and impala; their skin, muscles, nerves and veins, which were animated by hand to recreate the natural movements.

For each of the 8 sculptures in motion, we developed a visual effect that emphasises the instinct-driven actions and reactions of the animals.

Each animation clip is created in a custom animation system that extracts data parameters from the movement, such as the tension in the individual muscles.

This data then drives the visual effects: streams of colour reveal the muscle power under the leopard's skin; oxygen flows through the sleeping leopard's veins. The motion, form, and colour of the creature become one.

Measuring the tension value in each individual muscle, displayed in b/w.
The tension value drives the speed of the colour flow in this test render.

Look Development

An overview of how many iterations of work go into the development of the visual style of the characters, environment, and lighting.