Bridge of Birds

— Animator / Modeler / Rigger / Voice Actor

Maya / Zbrush / Adobe Creative Suite

Spring 2016 (continuous)

Bridge of Birds combines topics of Chinese mythology, dreams, and death of family. I was responsible for the bulk of animation, modeling, and rigging on the project. Ralph Kim was the technical lead on our project, while Will Crichton covered the rendering process, including creating his own render farm for our project; Michael James was our compositing and lighting magician. The original narrative of the Bridge of Birds stems from a dream my grandmother told me long ago about crossing a bridge to "the other side". The bridge of birds come from the Chinese folktale "The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd" in which the a bridge of magpies serves as a path for the two separated lovers to see each other. After my grandfather passed away, I wanted to combine these elements together to honor his passing and his relationship with my grandmother and me. We took references from old Chinese markets and the "Qing Ming Shang He" painting, which are displayed on panels behind the market to simulate the busy market scene from the original painting. This is still an ongoing piece; we plan to revisit the piece, clean up animation and modeling details, and fix any discontinuities.

Process

I experimented with interactive fluid simulations in Maya. We wanted the clouds to disperse as characters walked through them. The simulation did not make it into this version of the project, but we plan to incoorporate it in the final iteration.



Ralph wrote a script that created duplicates of an animated model for each frame within an editable range. It helped us construct a bridge of birds that could disperse at the right moment; each bird was offset so that every bird appeared unique.

Documentation