Making an artistic short film with CINEMA4D

I really liked the short film Porcelain by Erik Andersson as soon as I saw it. Great use of music, particle effects and lighting. I’ve manage ask the creator the reasons behind the short film.

1) Could you start by telling me a bit about yourself, what got you started in 3D art and how long have you been doing it for?

My name is Erik, I am 29 years old and living in Stockholm, Sweden. I work as a director/3D artist at I started learning 3D about 5 years ago when I studied TV-production. Besides 3d I have worked (and occasionally still do) as Director, DOP, Online, Offline, Producer & Colourist. It’s hard to say what got me started, I guess I’ve never wanted to feel limited, I want to be able to manage everything in the production chain, from script to grade, even though post production probably is my favourite.

2) What inspired you to create ‘Porcelain’?

At first I was doing a sci-fi/space film for an editing contest, but the more I thought about the future, the more I got into what was happening in this time and place. So I threw away about one week of work and started from scratch. One video that inspired me was John Legend – Made to Love music video.

3) What was your process for creating it, did you create a storyboard or make any sketches?

For this project it was very simple, I can’t draw, barley sketch. C4D is my sketch program. So I just opened up cinema 4d and sat there until I knew what to make.

4) I’ve noticed each scene has a different ‘organic’ model. Do theses symbolise something?

They all symbolise the decline of human civilisation. If you noticed, it says “greed” on the bullet in the beginning. Greed that threatens animals of extinction, greed to make money on animals for entertainment or greed to exploit the earth’s resources.

5) Why did you choose to make the film black & white?

Most of the film is not technically black & white, but white porcelain in a white studio makes it looks like that. I really like the clean look of it.


6) How did you find using CINEMA 4D to create this and what problems (if any) did you come across when creating this?

I love Cinema 4D, mostly because of the simulation section. Since everything is simulated on my film (e.g. wrecking ball, and all the shatters) I used a lot of particle effectors such as gravity, wind, turbulence and also ramping the timescale. The hard part was to break everything the way I wanted, cause I couldn’t watch the simulations in real time (and even when I could, the sim didn’t look the same as when cached) so every time I changed something I had to clear and re cache and that kinda slowed down the workflow when you’re working with thousands of little rigid bodies.

7) The music in Porcelain is brilliant and it goes well with the film. Did you listen to the piece of music before making the film or afterwards?

The music definitely played a big roll in this and it was chosen before I started with the project, kind of like the workflow of a music video.

8) Final question. If you were to make Porcelain again now what would you do differently?

Vray in all it’s glory, but the render times were insane (15-30min/frame), I just recently bought Octane 2.0 and I really enjoy it so far. I tried to render the head shot scene with octane and came down to 1 min/frame even though the DOF was rendered out rather then added in AE with depth pass as I did with Vray… Or I would use Vray with a render farm…


Erik Andersson