Back to Gaya was the first entirely computer animated feature film produced in Germany. It was made by Ambient Entertainment in Hannover between 2001 – 2004. Looking back it’s amazing what our small team of less than 100 people max was able to achieve. Especially when you remember the state of technology at the beginning of the century: CRT monitors, no production managment software (well … apart from Excel), no rigging and animation toolkits… all tools were custom-made in house.
This movie was my first professional animation gig in the industry and I was lucky to get to work on one of the main characters in a team of two right away. Most of the animation is keyframe based, however the animation artists were able to motion capture their movements for certain shots.. For example, the “candy paper” shot is based on my own performance in a mocap suit. The “balloon” sequence was the first I worked on for a feature film and in particular the “Hahah, and does the gayan hero has any idea how I gonna land that thing?” shot being my first at all.
The “moron” shot was based on a performance by Moritz Bleibtreu in “In July”. The “hanging upside down” shot was one of the hardest to animate because I was of course lacking any reference. Still, I like how the body mechanics turned out in this shot.