In Circle Line, London-based Adam Wells depicts the life cycle of a creative individual, and its accompanying compromises and heartbreaks. At least, that’s my reading of the short; I’m sure there’ll be other interpretations, too. In common with Wells’ earlier shorts Brave New Old and The Rest is Science, Circle Line shares a preoccupation with the inherent beauty of mechanical processes (especially moving sidewalks in this film) and physical routines.
I invited Wells to share with readers how he achieved the film’s distinctive look. He writes:
The project is CGI, but there are no character rigs. I use ‘point level’ animation on 2D planes, working directly on the postion, frame by frame. CG animation is often compared to puppeteering, and a lot of traditional animation lovers are put off by the asthetic. I am trying to build something that is fully CG and looks it, but is built from a more traditional technique, which is why I make such liberal use of stretch and smearing. (This does not require fancy CGI calculations, it’s just drawn polygons.) It’s a technique I have used for my larger project Risehigh.