Q: Is this a commercial project?
A: Journey of the Waterbear is a Multi Animator Project (or MAP), started as personal project by Samuel Enslin and opened up to other artists who like the topic and want to join. MAPs can be commercial, most however including ours consist of artists who join in their free time.
Q: How is Cosmo Sheldrake involved in this?
A: Since the idea was conceived at one of his life shows, we´ve been in contact with Cosmo since the beginning. We have his official blessing to use the “Tardigrade Song” as soundtrack for our shortfilm, however, this is NOT an official music video and there are no financial benefits for either of us.
Q: Are you all fulltime professionals?
A: Most of us are working in the industry fulltime, but it’s not a requirement to be part of the team. Every team member has their own motivation to join, some want to learn new techniques, others like to develop their skills by experimenting in ways they can’t at their job. Have a chat with us to know the opportunities.
Q: How long have you worked on this project?
A: We started early tests back in 2016, but the project really started taking off 2017, when we joined Artella.
Q: Why does the tardigrade not look exactly like it does in reality?
A: We early on made the conscious decision to change the face of the tardigrade a little bit to have more of a real face. We felt that this would give us more options to tell an emotional story, without sacrificing too much of its look.
Animation, like acting, is never a one hundred percent correct portrayal of reality, there are always some artistic choices involved to tell a story.
Q: How much time do you spent on this project?
A: It depends on each artist and their own lives, there is no hard requirement as we understand that you have other things to do. Some weeks more than others, it’s the amount that each likes to put in.
Q: What software and tools do you use?
A: We use mostly Maya for animation, while 3ds Max is used for scene assembly,shading and lighting. We render using VRay. Other tools used in production are Zbrush, Mudbox, Blender, Houdini, Photoshop and After Effects. Artella is the main production management platform, with Google Docs and Slack for communication.
Q: Who can join?
A: You don´t need any particular prerequisites to join.
Apart from Maya for animation we´re also very flexible in terms of which software you use. We´re currently looking for concept artists, 3D animators, FX Artists and environment artists. If you wanna join, just apply to our project page on Artella (link here or click on the big green A)