The Approach

Animated Shorts

Graduate Researcher – MFA Thesis Project

Joshua Fry
Completed in 2010

Faculty Advisors

Maria Palazzi, advisor
Alan Price, committee member
Janet Parrott, committee member

Film Synopsis

Mixing live action and CG animation, The Approach juxtaposes elements of past experiences with the weather, the Ohio landscape, and the sea, creating an emotional and personal response to these forces and exploring their sublime qualities.

Production Notes

Computer graphics (CG) composited over video was utilized to create the effects within The Approach. The film contains two parts, the first utilizing sea creatures over the landscape, and the second bringing weather systems into indoor environments. Video backgrounds were shot in locations throughout Ohio, shooting in the flat and open areas that inspired the film for the first part, and shooting inside homes for the second. The creatures and weather systems were created using Maya 3D animation software. Each creature and weather system provided unique technical challenges, often requiring the creation of mel-scripted tools, different rigging and animation approaches, and the simulation of dynamic systems. Since absolute realism was a hard target to hit, an emphasis was put on using approaches that would make the creatures and weather systems believable entities within the shots. The main challenge for this goal came in terms lighting and compositing, having to integrate the CG imagery into the space and lighting relationships that existed within the video backgrounds.

Still from The Approach showing surreal cotton balls on the floor in the hallway of a houseStill from The Approach showing a twighlight landscape with puffy clouds and jelly fish in the sky

Festival Screenings & Awards

Ohio Independent Film Festival  |  Official Selection, Shorts Program, May 2011

Director's Bio

The Approach is Joshua's thesis film representing his MFA studies at The Ohio State University's Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD). Graduating from Bowling Green State University in 2006, Josh spent a year working on commercial production before wanting to return to learn more about animation and CG. In 2007 was accepted to the Ohio State Universitys Design MFA program. During the course of his graduate studies Josh interned at Pixar Animation Studios for lighting in 2009. In September 2010, he will complete his MFA studies after which he hopes to work in the computer animated film industry and continue to create his own animations as reflections upon experience.

Technical Specifications and Credits

Running time: 8 Min 10 Sec | NTSC widescreen (16:9) | region 0 | animated | color
Film by Joshua Fry
Music by Robert Lunn
Available on DVD and Blu-Ray