Radiant is a 3D thesis film set in Indonesia, telling the story of how light guides a grieving granddaughter to discover that she can revisit the charm of the shadow puppet world that her late grandfather showed her in the past.
ABOUT THE FILM
The story is inspired by my fascination with Indonesia’s shadow puppet performance, wayang (means shadow in Javanese), an art form that is popular in Javanese and Balinese culture.
I like how dramatic folktales and mythology events can be expressed simply through the play of light and silhouettes.
Kyky Yang, my talented friend and story artist, helped me in refining the rough idea of the story, as well as translating it in storyboard form.
This storyboard was crucial as a guide in providing guides for layout and camera staging during the previs stage, making sure that the camera directs the viewer’s eyes to help the story flow smoothly and making sure that each shot has a purpose to the story.
Working together with Anne Chen, the visual development artist, we created two different worlds: real world & shadow puppet world.
We want the house to feel as an extension of grandfather’s identity as a shadow puppeteer who is passionate for his art.
These are the concept art that Anne created for the real world, which consists of Art Room and Living Room.
The goal is for the sets that we build to feel generational, artistic and traditional.
These are the world that Anne design for the shadow puppet world.
The goal is to have a world made out of simple cutout shapes that contain intricate and decorative patterns.
The granddaughter's character concept art and texture callout for her outfit.
MODELING & SET DRESSING
I was in charge of modeling and set dressing for sets and props in 3D, using mainly Maya and ZBrush.
The sets then went through multiple iterations to fit the purpose of the story and actions of character. In modeling the sets and props, I made sure that the sets feel believable by avoiding straight continuous edges, adding deformations and asymmetry.
It is important o create sets that feel believable and cohesive. I utilized the camera to guide how I set dressed the assets to make sure that each shot is appealing. Making sure that the placement of objects is purposeful to the story, as well as highlighting the objects or characters that hold the key point of the shot.
I learned how to take the imperfections of a material in the real world and accentuate those qualities when surfacing the assets to ensure that they reflect the personalities and history of the characters and sets, as well as making them stylized, but still believable
Look development also plays a huge role for the shadow sequence world, because the silhouettes and intricate paper details of the design depends on the use of alpha maps and level of opacity.
Creating color script as a guide for lighting
Light is an important element in the film, as it guides and reflects the character’s journey in the film.