Thursday, October 7, 2010

A KAFFA - Graphic Research -


The starting point of this movie was the concept of
"reading in the coffee cup " in french "lire dans le marc de cafe"
It was a known tradition back in  Mediterranean countries .
and it goes way back . 

Basically its turkish coffee that you pour in a cup .
Its advised that you drink it (if you want your divination to work on your behalf )
and then tip it over and wait .
15 minutes later, you tip it back and admire the
coffee stains that got stuck all over your cup .
Thats the part where the " reader of the cup" trips over those graphics and creates a 
whole interpretation to what he sees.


Ive always been fascinated by this tradition that so many people took too seriously.
I was more impressed by the beauty of the graphics  from the stains .
Once we formed our group (Lionel Caruana ,Bastien Martin and Aurelien Gueroult who was later replaced by 
Margaux Demont )  we started developing the idea further.
We wanted to be able to transform this ritual into something greater than it is .
Its something to have some bored women perform this ritual on their balconies in the morning 
but to have an actual leader of a city depend on its interpretations  in order to better impose his rules ,
that took the tradition on another level.
a more serious one .

We took our search further into megolamanic leaders that are obsessed with their principles 
and that defend them to the end .
We came across famous leaders like Alexander , Napolean , Hitler , Edi Amin ... 
all which had one point in common . 
Obssession with a threat , a menace .
An Obssession that ended up taking over them and ending their reign.
From there on we decided to personify this paranoia by using a second character
that represents all the extreme flaws in his personality .
This character we named "the other "interpreted the stains and made them darker then what they 
really are.
Each stain he interprets, carries a different threat and  imposes a regulation on his people .
Naturally , his people whom we decided will stay blinded puppets until one of them dies, wake up and act out. 
Their revolt only troubles the leader more , and by erasing the stain he thinks hel save his city once again .
Only then he finds himself face to face with all the illusions he himself created. 
Delusions and reality are merged . His people which are represented by crabs in his illusion finally come together to eat him alive and with that destroy him and his entire city.


One thing we knew we wanted was a 2d illustrative style that allows 
us to experiment with  textures to give a handmade look and feel.
Lionel  , one of our talented group members was able to take his 3d technical researches further and 
allowed us to recreate a 2d representation with fidgeting  borders like in real 2d animation. 

We fed on a lot of 2d animators and illustrators like Caroline Leaf, Alberto Breccia , Toccofondo ,
the great Shaun Tan,Marco WAgner... Artists like Egon Schiele,Gustav Klimt, Reza Abedini, Friedensreich Hundertwasser were of great inspiration for textures , colors and compositions.
and ofcourse we were highly inspired by German Expressionism; the "Clair obscure "graphic treatment of their movies Metropolis, the Cabinet of Dr caligari, M le maudit  ..Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove was also a huge inspiration for the study of character development and so on ..

So finally we had to lay out our restrictions to maintain our intentions :

-Animation was going to be in step , and baked to give the impression of having it in 8 frames per second (like in real painted animation ).

-Very few elements were modeled in 3d .
Most of the environments that I painted were reprojected in 3d by using the process of cam mapping .
And others were later added in the compositing process.

-We withheld ourselves from using any realistic stock shots and did every animated textures by hand using sand , acrylics on water , ink , milk ..anything we laid our hands on that we filmed with an Hd camera.

Here are some researches for character designs , and graphic style ..

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