The Hunchback and the SWan    Lead Animator  2016-2017                 
The Hunchback and the Swan is a tale of friendship adapted by Director Dotty Kultys from the popular folktale published by the storytelling laureate Taffy Thomas MBE, who also provides the narration for the film. The project was mentored by Peter Lord at Aardman, were the premiere screening was held. The hybrid process is a unique blend of hand crafted elements with digital compositing and animation in a paper cut out style. I jumped at the chance to be a part of the project and it has been a valuable and enjoyable experience throughout. Taking on the role as Lead Animator I have had the chance to expand my creative and technical abilities as well as overseeing and assisting the rest of the team.
I initially joined the project as an animator in Jan 2016, given my previous experience using After Effects for cut out animation I quickly advanced to helping develop the pipeline. The characters, beautifully designed by Dotty Kultys and Beatriz Pinto (title sequence characters), were a welcome challenge, figuring out how they would move and express themselves, and how I could design a user friendly rigging system that would enable that with-out breaking the rules of the rigid paper cut out style.
Once Animating began I was made Lead Animator, this was such a rewarding experience. It gave me the responsibility of some of the most complex scenes involving up to 12 characters at once, a full character turn around (in cut out!), wings and water and much more. It also pushed me to drive up the standards of the animation being produced as the head of the team. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Dotty and the rest of the team making this charming short film. Keep an eye out for it on the festivals circuits in 2017
Update - FMX Conference    May 2017                 
Had a lovely time in beautiful Stuttgart Germany at the International VFX conference FMX 2017.  
Me, Dotty and my right hand animator Sam Cardhall presented the film and discussed the joys and challenges of adapting a folk tale to screen. It was nice to reveal how much research, testing and commitment was required to achieve the simplicity. I got to meet some incredibly talented forward thinking people and revel in the new directions animation is taking. A huge thank you to the FMX team for looking after us so well! 
See the programme here and Dottys write up
Tasha Howe  |  +447969530113  |  |  Bristol & Manchester, England, UK

All content © Natasha Howe 2016 and may not be used with out prior consent

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