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Trunk's Rok Animates 'Back In the Day'

Trunk Animation director Rok Predin finishes his latest animated short, Back In the Day.

London-based animation production company Trunk Animation’s ever-enthusiastic and talented director Rok Predin has just finished his latest short, Back In The day.

Set in 1980s Slovenia, the film distils some of Rok’s favorite childhood memories into a single wonderful day. The animatic had been worked up over six months ago but it was only now that Rok decided to take up Trunk’s offer to forego studio projects and take two months out to work on the film.

“It was wonderful to just dive into this project with no constraints and expectations and just enjoy exploring and playing with the software,” says Rok. “As the animatic had already set the rhythm, flow and pace for the film, the two months I had were spent like a painter enjoying the creative process, and like a ‘one man band’ I loved exploring all the various aspects of the films production, from modelling to compositing and editing the final shots together.”

The creative process and direction Rok took with the project has been captured in a making-of film, which shows the many and varied processes which go into what in essence may seem a simple look. Indeed seeing the eight-level shot breakdown of just one scene in the film gives a mere glimpse at the work involved in this gorgeous animation. His free approach took him in some interesting directions, for example rather than using the software’s standard rigging Rok chose to code custom slider driven puppet controls for the characters using Cinema 4D’s Xpresso language. This gave him options as to how he could animate the characters, it was also a direction that he probably would not have considered if working to a client’s brief and schedule.

Yet for all the talk of coding and software, the techniques take a back seat when it comes to the film’s heart and soul. The short beautifully captures a time of childhood innocence and wonder, all those lovely family moments that you remember with such fondness, as you get older. The color grading and attention to detail are a joy to see.

“It was great fun sourcing and modelling all the various elements for the film such as the fashions; toys, cars and architecture of my childhood, this also involved looking at loads of old family photographs which bought back some lovely memories,” he notes. “I was particularly pleased at recreating my beloved radio cassette player!”

The naturalistic textures and warm atmosphere of the short ensures it doesn’t feel like another computer-generated film. As always Rok worked with the highly talented Ivan Arnold who composed the fabulous score which ties the short together beautifully, as well as Chris, Marty and JM at Fonic who recorded all the foley and sound design for the final mix.

“Having the opportunity to create and support films like this at the studio is our passion,” Trunk producer Richard Barnett comments, “and with more films in production, we’re looking forward to a good few years on the festival circuit.”

Watch the making-of, below, and remember, as little Rok discovered, smoking is neither big nor clever!

Source: Trunk Animation

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