„Crossing Zombies“ is an animated short created by four students at the Mediencampus of the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.
Based on the semester topic „Animation & Games for Change“, Karoline Breitkreutz and Dominic Kühne developed a pitch for an animation where people are shown wandering around as zombies because they are only paying attention to their smartphones. It was decided to divide the short into four episodes, each of which showing a smartphone zombie dying due to carelessness.“The idea was to create a fun and entertaining animation based on a serious background.“, said Etienne Hege, who handled environment modeling and animation. After he and Julia Merkschien, responsible for modeling and texturing the characters, jumped on to help with the realization, Dominic had the idea to turn each of the team’s members into protagonists of the story.
Early on, the team placed importance on finding a fitting soundtrack which was ultimately supplied by a friend of Etienne, who is a music student.
Karoline would then go on and produce character concepts whereas Dominic did the same for the environment. Both would later supply additional character, animation as well as lighting and texturing work during production.
The whole short was animated inside Maya and then exported to Cinema 4D for the final rendering process.
„At that point, we were not thinking about submitting the film to a festival. So, there was no reason to worry about the use of a Homer Simpson graffiti in one of the environments. This turned out to be a problem, as we had to sign that we had obtained all the rights to the production. Because we didn’t receive the rights from FOX, we had to re-render that shot.“
„Crossing Zombies“ has been successfully submitted to the Berlinale through the Hessen Talents programme and will be shown to select audiences at the festival.
You can find the official announcement and a video interview with the students at the hFMA-website (German).