Ply Torthienchai

The World From Oblivion

Bachelor of Design Motion Capture 3D animation Character Animation Video Realism

A 3D animated short film, set in Black Mesa, inspired by Japanese Isekai.

My intention with this project is to investigate and research how to modify inherently realistic motion-capture data into movements that are more cinematically entertaining while still retaining the sense of believability and cohesion. In order to answer the question: "How do I map realistic human movement onto 3D animated characters that vary in visual style (from surreal to hyper-realistic) while avoiding the uncanny valley”.

The World From Oblivion is a passion project that I have been writing about, on and off, for the past 4 years. My series takes inspiration from Japanese anime though it’s episodic format, overarching storylines and most noticeably; the isekai genre present within the medium. In short, my story takes place in a world where human players are trapped inside of a video game, the only means of escape is to defeat a series of high level dungeons. The interesting twist to my rendition of this genre is how all games, ranging from fantasy RPG to modern shooters, are merged into one singular entity. In this world the audience is able to witness medieval knights, equipped with modern rifles, fighting alongside sci-fi soldiers welding medieval-styled fantasy magic. This of course results in an interesting clash of various conflicting and contrasting art styles, and by extension; animation and movement. Following the theme of being inside a video game, one of the main stylistic features of the story is incorporating gameplay mechanics from vastly different video games. The consequence of having such a design is the difficulty incorporating these elements in a convincing fashion. For example, a character can break into a sprint, flash into a double jump, before dodge roll landing into a DPS LB. This is something I realised that was lacking in the isekai genre, as they would only use it as an excuse for fantasy elements rather than taking the advantage of the fact that the story takes place in a video game.

In this chapter of the series, a group of players are sent to investigate a dungeon set in Black Mesa, a fictional research facility belonging to the Half Life series, in order to obtain information about a speculated hidden high-level trial that lies within the facility's depths. Little did the squad know, the HECU present within the area vastly out-number and out-level them. The short follows one of the Echo 3-1, as he attempts to fight for his life and escape the underground research laboratory.

I only managed to tell a short snippet of chapter 8. Which shows Echo 3-1 stealth killing HECU units. Initially wanted to focus on a full blown gunfight, but felt that some prior context was needed for the story to make sense. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I only managed to complete the intro sequence and was unable to produce any content related to the gunfights. However, with that being said, I am proud of what I was able to produce, and I have undoubtedly increased my skill set as a 3D artist.