Actually, it was quite challenging to see what the end result was going to look like. For a long time all you have is just a bunch of material from different sources..."
Through decades a Finnish fashion house Seppälä has designed and manufactured clothes for Finnish women. A film directed by Rane Tiukkanen and illustrated by Piñata celebrated both the artistic side of the fashion design process and the unique look of newest Seppälä Women collection. The core idea of the film was to capture the essence and mood of various fashion styles of past decades - but in a modern way and add some surreal twist to the mix.
"First we approached different fashion styles through visual looks that go well with a certain decade, but there was a huge amount of different things going on for a fifty second film. It was a mess. So we started dropping some elements and ended up with just few looks that blended very nicely together.", says Mikko of Piñata. "In the end the final look we decided to use for the film was very flexible and gave us freedom to illustrate a lot of our original ideas, but keep the film consistent and balanced the whole way."
After director Rane Tiukkanen and the artists at Piñata had finished searching the right kind of look, storyboards were already drawn and Tuomas could start sketching the backgrounds for the wider scenes we have in the film. "There were some 3D elements involved and we were going to shoot live models against the backgrounds, so I had to plan every shot and location quite carefully. First I drew some rough sketches in my notebook, scanned them, put them on perspective and gave the instructions for Mika and our 3D artists. After that I could start the actual painting process", Tuomas sums up.
Artists Turkka, Timo and Jani took the job of modeling and animating various background elements that were needed to bring life into single shots. "A live model or two against a still background looks quite un-interesting, so we needed to make some small camera movements and animations here and there", says Mika. An aviation themed setup, a city in space and a neo-gothical railway station were modeled and mapped with painted textures and mattes to fit the look of the film.
A big part of creating constant flow to the film were the fashion sketches Mikko drew with an inky brush: "The idea was to find an element of contrast to the pastel watercolor tones we have on the backgrounds, but still link it to the clothes and worlds we are seeing during the film. This also emphasized the design process of Seppälä, so it's a key element in the film."
The painterly look was finalized when all the elements from the studio shootings, the fashion sketches, painted backgrounds and 3D objects were composited together. Piñata teamed up with TRIX and Olli Leppänen came to assist Mika for couple weeks in compositing of some of the shots.
"It was quite challenging to see what the end result was going to look like. For a long time all you have is just a bunch of material from different sources, and you have to do a certain part of compositing process first before you can move on to another and add some more of the magic. " Mika reminisces. "Here the somewhat precise storyboarding and planning of different shots beforehand really paid off."
Rane concludes: "The project was very interesting for me also, since the process of creating effects and animation digitally was quite new to me. I can't say that the final result is exactly what I had in mind when I first talked with Piñata. But creating a film this way is a living and evolving process with various artists interacting and collaborating to create the best result with given resources. That's the beauty of it".
Artists: Tuomas Korpi, Mika Rantala, Mikko Vormala, Jani Toikka, Turkka Loimisto, Timo Hämäläinen