The Fibres of Our Being

Considering Self-Control with a Symphony of Dance and Animated Movement

‘I think people try to seek control because they are scared,’ director of graduate film, Fibers, Nynne Steen Mors told us. ‘I mainly think it is because of an irrational fear of the unknown in the present and the future.’

The team, third year Character Animation and CG Arts students at The Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark, sought to make an experimental film, which uses dance to explore ideas of control. The piece questions the modern person’s eagerness to control everything, as choreographer/dancer, Jens Schyth Brøndum takes us on a journey of movement that oscillates between control and chaos. We caught up with Nynne, and animator Marion Strunck, to find out more:

The Plus: Your team sought to divert from the typical track of graduate films at The Animation Workshop? What did you find most difficult?
Nynne Steen Mors:
The whole movie was a big experiment. When we started out making the film, none of us had prior experience working with live-action or using a green screen. Neither had we made costumes in this scale or directed a dance-piece before.
Therefore, it is hard to say which part was the most challenging. Probably the most challenging part was to trust the process, and knowing that everything would work out in the end if we just kept our focus.
Marion Strunck: Conveying the vision realistically in my animation was challenging but also fun, since the stones and feathers were moved by the imaginary force, but gravity for them still existed during some of the scenes.

TP: Could you tell us a little about your team’s technical process?
The dancing scenes were filmed on green screen. The visual effects are primarily made in Houdini, and a few scenes are animated in Maya. The costumes added growth comes from a mix of puppetry and 3D animation. We made the compositing in Nuke.
MS: Most of the film’s animation is simulation made in Houdini by Rune Holst Mansson. However, there are a few parts that required animated the flying stones and feathers bending, as well as the fibers crawling out of his skin. This was animated in Autodesk Maya, with the rigs made by Anne-Mette Andersen.
TP: As a new graduate, what are your plans for the future?
I am always open to see what the future will bring. I hope that I can use all the knowledge I got from directing: “FIBERS” to work on new art related- and music videos.
MS: My goals are to become a great visual effects or feature film animator! I enjoy doing both styles, realistic and stylized. At the moment I am loving my Animator position at Framestore, a fantastic visual effects company in London.

Director: Nynne Steen Mors,
Art director: Sophie Refshauge,
Production Manager: Anne-Mette Andersen,
Technical Director: Rune Holst Månsson,
Choreographer/Dancer: Jens Schyth Brøndum,
Animator: Marion Strunck.