William Morris Gets a CG Update from Optical Arts

Hot on the heels of their striking “Utopia” short film released earlier this month, Optical Arts in London craft an intricate and obsessively detailed ode to British textile designer and Arts and Crafts icon William Morris.

Director Joe Jackson: “A homage to the work of William Morris’s floral designs and illustrations of the 19th Century. Here, the real-time growth of flowers is used to form a modern illuminated letter, highlighting the slower quality of manual creation.

“Morris used illuminated letters in his own publications as a rebellion against the uniformity of the new industrial world.

“Inspiration for the flower species came directly from Morris’s own floral illustrations, which were often influenced by the idea of the ‘English cottage garden’. This gives the film a Summertime feeling which is added to by the light continually moving around the structure, reflecting the sun’s movements throughout the day.

“The flowers were created using photogrammetry. Individual petals and leaves were shot using a number of different lighting techniques, so that subsurface, specular, diffuse, and transparency maps could be created and used in CGI to provide a life-like structure for each leaf and petal.

“Time-lapse photography was used to gain a more detailed understanding of how each flower opened and used to guide the animation in Houdini.”
 
"M-Morris" short film by Optical Arts | STASH MAGAZINE

"M-Morris" short film by Optical Arts | STASH MAGAZINE

"M-Morris" short film by Optical Arts | STASH MAGAZINE

"M-Morris" short film by Optical Arts | STASH MAGAZINE

"M-Morris" short film by Optical Arts | STASH MAGAZINE

"M-Morris" short film by Optical Arts | STASH MAGAZINE

"M-Morris" short film by Optical Arts | STASH MAGAZINE

"M-Morris" short film by Optical Arts | STASH MAGAZINE

Production: Optical Arts
Director: Joe Jackson
Editor: Matt Cronin
CG Supervisor: Fabrice Le Nezet
3D Artists: Ollie Harris, Alexa Sirbu, Lukas Vojir
2D Supervisor: Miguel Wratten
Colorist: Martin Pryor

Audio: Sonjay Prabhakar

Typeface: Aspect by Jeremy Tankhard

Toolkit: Houdini

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