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Ringling Short, ‘Legend of the Flying Tomato,’ Now Online

CG animated thesis film from Ringling College of Art and Design follows the tale of red-headed Frida, the legendary luchador El Pirana, and a mysterious taco salesman.

Ringling College of Art and Design students Michael YatesAurry Tan and Sharon Huang have released their senior thesis film, The Legend of the Flying Tomato, online.

The CG animated short -- which presents the tale of red-headed Frida, the legendary luchador El Pirana, and a mysterious taco salesman -- took roughly nine months to complete.

“Once a victim of bullying, Frida finds a hero in the legendary luchador El Pirana. However she finds herself at her lowest once more when she's ridiculed during the biggest wrestling match of her life. Through an unexpected meeting with a mysterious taco salesman, Frida learns that she must find strength in herself to overcome her demons.”

The majority of CG work was completed using Autodesk Maya 2014, and the team also relied heavily on Pixologic’s Zbrush and The Foundry’s Nuke.

“The biggest technical hurdle was definitely the hair and cloth on select characters,” Huang comments about the filmmaking process. “Finding the fastest and cheapest method to get the best quality result was a labor of love. We tried many methods and techniques before coming to the solution of using nHair with hand animated overlaps. The film was rendered entirely using Pixar's Renderman Studio18. It was our first time using all RMS shaders and RMS lights but we were very pleased with the results.”

The Legend of the Flying Tomato has been selected into the National Board of Review, the Guanajuato International Film Festival, the Golden Egg Film Festival of L.A., the Asian Film Festival of Dallas, and is in the running for many more worldwide.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.