The Festival of Lights

Yann Moriaud, a student in the Masters program in Directing at the Bellecour Schools of Art in Lyon, France, pointed us to this unusual animated film he co-directed. Notice its unique size and shape.

It was created for a famous annual event “Fête des Lumières” (The Festival of Lights) and the finished work was projected onto the side of a building. Moriaud explains:

“It is a big annual event that takes place in the streets of big french cities during December. This event gathers many creations of artists from different horizons around one theme: the light. There are many form of expression like wall-projections of classic or CG animation and live-footage, interactive experiences for the visitors and so on.

“This project is dedicated for a specific program of student experimentation, to intentionally bring a new vision to the installations. Students were constrained and informed of technicals aspects which are proper to the monumental projection.

The building’s surface for this event was impressive (about 24 meters high, 79 feet). This is why we thought about doing something imposing, huge, to catch and keep the attention of the audience and enhance the building.

So we decided to use the surface as a big aquarium where a big fish, Bobby, eats other little fishes. Unfortunately for him, his gluttony will not be without secondary effects…

We were given a free hand concerning the choice of subject and its complete design, so we felt free to propose our own vision for the event. Because of our studies and our personal desires, we naturally followed the structure of a very short 3D cg feature. We also brought in some cartoon humor with our little gags.”

We were 5 directors:

Yann Moriaud: Directing, Project management, Character Rigging/Scripting, Props and Characters Shading, Rendering.

Alexandre Spontak: Directing, Main character Modeling and Shading, Lighting, Compositing, Rendering.

Fabien Weibel: Directing, Concept, Main character Animation, FX : water simulation.

Antoine Marduel: Directing, Character-design, Secondary Characters and Props Animation.

Youssef Krafess: Directing, Secondary characters, props and background modeling.

The tools we mainly used are 3DSMAX for all the CG part and the animation, and After Effects for the compositing. Concerning the water simulation we prefered to use an open-source tool : Blender.

Here’s a bit of a behind-the-scenes video:


  • Ryan

    That’s very cool. I love seeing non-traditional uses of animation and different ways of showing it to the public. Good stuff.