Festivals: GLAS Animation 2017, Berkeley, California / Animafest Flagey 2015, Belgium / Animafest Zagreb 2019, Croatia
A short animated film about the weather – inspired and informed by chaos theory and Lorenz attractors, romantic landscape paintings and the minimalist polygonal look of early computer simulations.
From inception to completion, making "The Approximate Present" took me about one and a half months of full-time work.
The idea that emerged from the premise to make an animated short about the weather was rather simple: using the basic notion of chaos theory (the slightest variation in initial conditions will eventually lead to an unpredictably different outcome) as a narrative structure.
For the film's look, I knew from the outset that I wanted it to be stylized, minimal and solid (for lack of a better term), somewhat reminiscent of early flight simulators. At the same time, I strived to convey a certain sense of place and emotion, drawing inspiration from my own experiences of various weather phenomena. The way different weather conditions can completely change the appearance and mood of a landscape has always held great fascination for me – a fascination I tried to express through the film's images as good as I could. That's why I spent a lot of time on the lighting, colors and post-processing. For reference, I looked at romantic paintings of landscapes and dramatic, overly saturated skies and clouds, for instance those of british painter William Turner.
Finding the right music to go with the images I envisioned was another important part of making "The Approximate Present". After listening to what must have been hundreds of tracks, I came upon "Flicker" by Origamibiro (which they generously share on freemusicarchive.org). I immediately knew I had found the right track. Besides being a simply beautiful piece, I think it matches, or even mirrors the film’s structure really well.
For modeling and animating, I used Cinema 4D, and After Effects for additional animation, editing, color grading and FX. The visualization of the Lorenz attractors – the butterfly-shaped lines – was generated and exported using Processing.
Music: Origamibiro - Flicker (origamibiro.com)