Drifandi - Animation short film


- Animation short film -

As usual, Drifandi the Icelandic horse is grazing calmly on his pasture. Although he doesn’t seem to bother, the grass looks trod down and has lost a lot of its original freshness.

When out of nothing an oak leaf falls right onto Drifandis rear and an epic journey starts to unfold.

Concept drawing of the farm and the surroundings

Final camera sequence

Final camera sequence Video


Concept Document

Although being very summarized, the concept document defines all important bits and pieces. It sets the plot, the look-and-feel, and covers aspects of the technical execution. As a complement to the storyboard it is guidance and inspiration at the same time.

Moodboard with Drifandi

3D Modeling and Rigging

For Drifandi I built a fully functional animation rig. Its bone-structure was based on a real Icelandic horse and was extended with helper elements deform the neck properly. On top of this, a simplified muscle system enabled even more realistic deformations. Additionally, the skin is able to slide over the muscle-volume, which avoids squeezing of the skin polygons. This could otherwise have lead to problems while rendering the fur. As a nice surplus, the neck and tail hair of Drifandi is controllable and yet physically simulated.

Animations Rig Video


To be honest, rendering Drifandi’s fur was tough. It took a lot of trials and benchmarking to find a performant rendering method, that delivered optimal results.

In the end, it was convenient to reduce rendering quality and apply a lot of magic during compositing. This saved weeks of rendering time. Have a look at the compositing layers below.

Rendering tests

Turntable of Drifandi

Turntable Video


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