Bertie the Elephant is a final year degree film created by Chris Turner and Zak Boxall at the University of Hertfordshire. It follows the story of a baby elephant returning a lost toy to its owner in the city at night. This film stars Jennifer Lewis, and was a collaboration of many talented artists at the University of Hertfordshire. For the roles that myself and Zak could not cover, such as rigging, animation, simulation, freelancers helped us out. The film consists of 15 visual effects shots ranging from cleanup to full cg integration.Chris Turner: Responsible for all 2D aspects (Compositing, roto/prep, matte painting, grading)
Zak Boxall: Responsible for all 3D aspects (modeling, texturing, lookdev, groom, lighting, rendering)
We spent a few months on the pre-production process, planning out narrative ideas and narrowing down how we were going to tackle both the production and post-production. We looked to the work of various filmmakers and post houses, most notably The Mill and their SSE campaign which depicts an orangutan experiencing the city of London at night. We were intrigued by the look and colours of the city at night and the doors it opened in terms of a unique visual style. We opted to shoot in a few locations across London, with a crew of 5 in early December. We shot interior scenes in Brighton. The visual effects process spanned 5 months, and was a huge learning curve for all of us.
The film was released at University of Hertfordshire’s Animation Exposé on May 25th 2016 and was awarded “Best VFX Short”.