#FREERENDER Amada Cafeína
Here is a special entry of our #FREERENDER program!
In the months of December 2020 – January 2021, we had the pleasure to help an amazing team of talented 3d artists from beautiful Costa Rica, attending Veritas University (The School of Digital Animation), to render their graduation short film Amada Cafeína.
“Our short film is a film to inspire everyone who suffers from panic attacks. It is a short film meant to help people to understand better and raise awareness about this crippling and sometimes ‘shoved under the rug’ condition”
We had the pleasure to interview the team leader, Greivin Hernández. Enjoy the read!
RENDERFARM.RO – Who is Greivin Hernandez? Please introduce yourself and your colleagues.
Greivin Hernandez – I am always reaching for the best, for my goals, no matter how hard it is, someone who doesn’t give up, someone who is always trying harder and harder to achieve my dreams. I’m a 3D Animator from Costa Rica who likes movies, videogames, music, karate, anime. I like to create stories and express myself through them, I also like 3D modeling and Animation. I want people to feel every kind of emotion with my stories, to identify with them and keep them in their memories forever, I want to leave my mark in this world.
Andrea Chen is a 3D generalist artist, with special interest in modeling and rigging. When Andrea was a kid, she grew up watching cartoons, but it was in 2001 with the premiere of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, that she was so impressed by this magnificent art that she began dreaming about becoming an animator.
Jose Peña, since he was a child, he liked movies, animation, and cartoons. A creative person who likes to create stories, to draw and loves technology. All these factors led him to choose a career in Digital Animation at Veritas University. Jose’s personal goals are to focus on 3D Modeling, Character Design, and Illustration. As for long-term expectations, it is to work in international companies and continue to expand his knowledge.
RFRO – What made you choose the 3D Artist path?
Greivin – When I was a child, I always liked to watch cartoons, animation movies and anime on TV. At that time, anime was very popular here in Costa Rica. In school I began to get more and more involved in the Japanese culture and anime, because of this I started to draw more and got into animation.
In high school I won a drawing competition, and it was at that time that I decided I wanted to study animation. Although high school was difficult and I repeated a year, I never gave up and decided to continue. Things got better and the last two years of high school I got good grades. Finally, it was time to decide what I will do next, and that was clear to me – study animation. It was hard to convince my family to let me study what I like, they wanted me to study something else. At that time, there was only one university (Veritas University) that offered animation as a career path, but it was too expensive for me and my family. Things were difficult, but my mother helped me find a way, I took a loan from an institution that helps students here, CONAPE, so I was able to study what I wanted.
Honestly, when I started the university, I was interested more in 2D, like the animations I always liked since I was a child. But things were very different from what I expected, it was hard. Sometimes it didn’t go well for me, but I also discovered new things that I liked. Despite all the situations, I never gave up, and now I’m graduating with the short film that we made – “Amada Cafeína”.
RFRO – What is the inspiration behind your short film and what message do you want to convey with it?
Greivin – At the beginning we already knew that we wanted something that impacted people, something different, with a message.
A few years ago, I had my first panic attack. I still remember how it feels: the pain, the thinking, everything was so real, I thought I was dying. I have a panic and anxiety disorder and I know this is something that many people are suffering from. It is hard for us to tell how it feels. You can see a person that has this, and he/she may look normal, but what they are feeling inside is completely different from what people think. Most of the situations depicted in this short film is based on a real story. It draws from my personal experience, but also on research that we conducted after we chose the topic. I created this story for people (both those who have and those who don’t have this condition) to understand more how it is to suffer of this, and to offer an insight into what people can feel if they don’t pay attention to their mental health. Anxiety is not a taboo and it is something that any of us can have.
RFRO – Can you tell us what made you choose RENDERFARM.ro for your project?
Greivin – We were looking for a render farm to help us to get our renders faster. We had a problem at first, because our render needed a lot of time to render, and we made several mistakes even when we sent them to render farm. We had in mind different render farm services, but none of us worked at that time, so we couldn’t pay what was required to render our short film. Renderfarm.ro had at that time a good discount, so we thought to render a scene in renderfarm.ro and the other scenes by ourselves. I couldn’t describe in words how grateful we are, as renderfarm.ro agreed to help us with the rest of the project as well. In every moment, the support service was awesome. All I can say is thank you, we’ll have in mind this render farm for future projects, and of course, we recommend this render farm service.
RFRO – What software and plugins did you use for your project and why?
Greivin – We used different software for the project like Autodesk Maya, Wings3D, Zbrush, Substance Painter, Autodesk Mudbox, Toon Boom Harmony, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects and Adobe Audition. For plugins we used Arnold for the render, Neat Video and Frischluft plugins for the postproduction. We analyzed different software and plugins, and these are the ones best suited for what we wanted.
RFRO – Can you tell us more about your creative process?
Greivin – After many variations in the script, we began with the storyboard, the character and the environment design. My colleague José Peña worked on character design, and I worked on environment design. With this, we were able to make the storyboard. We made a 2D Animatic and then we began production.
The story did change for the better during the production process, our tutors helped us make a better short film. I modeled and textured the environment and their props, and Jose modeled and textured the character. Not only did the story change, but some parts in the character too, like the hair, as first we thought in spheres for the hair, but we talked and concluded that we needed a more stylized hair. With different references like Tim Burton and other fan arts, I worked the hair in Zbrush and made a stylized hair for our character.
At that point, our colleague Andrea Chen contacted us to join the group, so she started to work in Rig with Esteban Rodríguez. Esteban is the one that we contacted to rig our character, so he helped us, and Andrea finished the Rig for our character. We began with the animation process; I did the acting to work based on it. We wanted to work fast but without a loss of quality, so the three of us worked in 3D Animatic, and the basic poses to work after in the deeply process of animation. Being only 3 in the group, meant a lot of work and a lot of time that we couldn´t afford in this process. So, we asked for help, and this is where José Pablo Granera and José Muñoz joined. They kindly accepted to help us in the animation process and then we began with the scene that will be in rotoscopy later. All of us worked on the second scene in 3D, so we finished this scene fast to rotoscopy this scene later. Andrea and José Peña oversaw the 2D process, while José Granera, José Muñoz and I worked in the 3D process. Both processes were difficult, we never worked in 2D before, using the music video “Take on me” from A-ha and the short film “En el insomnio” from Virgilio Piñera as references for this part, we did some test before the animation process. Andrea and José Peña had to learn how to work in Toon Boom and how to work with rotoscopy, all of this in a short period of time while the others and me worked thoroughly in 3D animation taking care of each little detail. This was the first time that I worked with fluids and bifrost. One of our teachers in the university, Pablo Soto, helped me work on this. So, I experienced for the first time how hard is to work with fluids, to give the correct direction to the fluids and how much it takes to render a fluid that takes less than 10 seconds on the screen.
While we were working on this, Andrea also worked in lights with Carlos Romero, a collaborator who helped us with the lighting. We started with a render test, and saw the render had a good time but a lot of noise. So, we increased the settings. Now, the render was amazing, but took a lot of time to render. We had problems with this even on the renderfarm, so we had to find a middle point to render and not waste all the funds on one scene. We made mistakes with this, but renderfarm.ro helped us in spite of the mistakes we made.
The postproduction process took more time than we expected, we rendered at 12fps because we wanted to have a look in twos, so the teacher Micsy Vargas helped us to find a faster way and we could work on this in the postproduction. One problem that we had is that we needed to render again some scenes by ourselves, draw again some things, learn to use plugins for the noise and effects and more. Eventually, everything went well, and we finished the short film. As for the sound and the music, we got help from AD HOC Producciones, an amazing couple from here in Costa Rica, that helped us with the foley and the music. For the voice, we decided to use my voice (Greivin), so we went two times to record the character voice.
RFRO – We are so glad we were able to help you with the render stage for your film! Can you tell us a bit about your experience in working with us?
Greivin – Summarizing everything, we wouldn’t have been able to finish our short film without renderfarm.ro
We had a lot of troubles in the render stage, but renderfarm.ro helped us with everything, with our project, with the communication, with their render farm, with everything. We totally recommend renderfarm.ro, their customer service is the best customer service that I received in my life, and they just made me a loyal client if we need a render farm in the future. If you render with renderfarm.ro you will become a loyal client too, they’re not just a render farm, they’re your friends.
RFRO – What is next for you and your short film?
Greivin – For me, to fulfill my goals, my dreams and continue fighting for them. I want to create more stories, more animation, more material that people can use, material that people will never forget. I want to leave a mark in this world.
We already sent our short film to some film festivals, we hope to be recognized and to share this short film with more people. We want people to watch it, to identify with it and/or share it in order to create awareness for the life that each one of us has and not underestimate the anxiety and panic disorders.
Mental health is not a taboo, anxiety and panic disorder are not a taboo, anyone can have it and we need to care more about this.
RFRO – Thank you Greivin for taking your time to do this interview. Your film scope is noble and it sheds light on a topic that is sometimes pushed away or totally ignored. We are happy to be part of your journey!
If you want to find out more about Greivin, Andrea and Jose check out the links below :)
#cinema4D #motiongraphics #freerender #givingback #animation #slowvisuals #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Panic #AnxietyDisorder #PanicDisorder #Animation #ShortFilm #3DAnimation #2DAnimation #CostaRica #LatinAmerica