Recently, former instructor for The DAVE School and LightWave evangelist, William Vaughan was featured in Computer Graphics World for his creation of Tofu the Vegan Zombie.· Vaughan utilized the student body of 20 block 4 students over a two and a half month period to complete the animated short.· With extreme deadlines, a huge work load and tremendous attention to detail, the students stepped up to the challenge presented to them by Vaughan.
Vaughan explains why and how The DAVE School students became involved in the project.· Below are a few of the words he used to express their involvement in the article:
“The fourth star ascended at The DAVE School, where Vaughan was teaching. Earlier, New Line Cinema had optioned the Teddy Scares property, but the deal had fallen through. So Vaughan suggested that DiDomenico and Nannay let the students at the school create an animated short starring their Teddy Scare characters. “It was a good opportunity for them, and a good opportunity for the school, since it was such a fantastic property to work with,” he says. (Every year, the class is divided into groups, with each tasked to complete an animation project prior to graduation.) So, under Vaughan’s instruction, a class at the DAVE School created an animated short centered on the Teddy Scares, using LightWave along with Adobe’s After Effects for compositing.”
“The Long (and Short) of It Eventually, Tofu and his zombie cast became fodder for a class as well. “Tofu is very special to me, and I didn't plan on it being done at the DAVE School. The students do really good work, but I had decided that I would rather not have them make the short unless it was exactly what I wanted. But, I had this one class and knew that if anyone could do it, they would be the ones to pull it off,” Vaughan says. “And they did. I was blown away by their work.” Thus the students became the fifth star in the Tofu constellation.”
“The sheer number of assets in the short is astounding—the fully furnished rooms in the house, the fully stocked lab, the book-filled library, the food-laden dining room. Throughout, there are statues, paintings, ornate mirrors, and more; if you look closely, you can even see a replica of Vaughan’s head in a jar on a shelf and a few Teddy Scares here and there. Perhaps even more astounding is that the students were able to complete the work in just two and a half months. “The deadline was crazy, but I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity so that if we got picked up for a TV show or movie, we would have a lot of the assets to work with,” says Vaughan.”
“According to Vaughan, the students did not cut any corners in the production. “You are handed a team—one that never made a movie before—and you are at their mercy in terms of the quality [of animation] they produce,” says Vaughan. However, while Vaughan and another instructor, Lee Stringer, were devising the script, they didn't steer clear of any concept, model, or scene. “There was not a single thing that we said, ‘No, we can’t do that because the students wouldn't be able to handle it.’ In fact, it was just the opposite. We said, ‘We are going to make them handle this.’ ” Vaughan recalls.”
“Lee and I pushed them hard. We told them this was their job. We were preparing them for production,” says Vaughan. “What you see in the short is 100 percent of what they did in those two and a half months. We didn't make any changes [to the finished animation.]” Approximately 20 students worked on the short.
If you would like to read the article in its entirety, visit Computer Graphics World
To watch, Tofu the Vegan Zombie: Zombie Dearest:
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