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    School of Visual Arts, Master of Fine Art, Computer Art Program Thesis Film, 07/2014.  

    CREDITS: design, modeling, texturing, shading, look development, lighting, compositing, color grading.

    Brief Synoposis: 

    Treasure Nest is a 3D animated short following the adventures of Blue a cat-like creature in search of hidden riches. Along his way Blue discovers a bird-like creature named Peanut who he reluctantly brings along in hopes that she will be the key to unlocking the treasure. Through the use of such programs as Maya ZBrush Photoshop Houdini Nuke and After Effects the Treasure Nest thesis group presents a beautifully hand-painted world in which Blue’s resolve is tested throughout his journey... eventually leading him to a prize of which he never expected.

    Treasure Nest was created by JAM productions, including Mike Bourbeau, Allison Botkin, and Joy Tien. The creation process was challenging and our goal was very ambitious for our limited amount of time. Our goal was to create an exotic world with a painterly style. Since the three of us like fantasy and adventure, we decided to make a short that revolved around two opposing characters that are thrown together on a treasure hunt. We were inspired by a Tom and Jerry-esque feel, with an Indiana Jones sort of adventure. Story development was the toughest part during our production. Initially, we all had subjective preferences and extremely creative differences, so it was important for us to seamlessly merge our styles in to a cohesive package. Furthermore, working with a team, brings about varying opinions on almost every topic, and everyone has a plethora of ideas, including our families, friends, and colleagues. While we wanted to get a variety of criticism from people we trusted, everyone has differing opinions, so it was our job to weed out what we wanted and what we didn’t want, while keeping the story interesting.


    The entire production lasted for a little over a year. We started storyboarding around June 2013 and that phase lasted until January. For our style development, we experimented on how to integrate 2D paintings with 3D characters. We wanted to bring a painterly touch to the style of the film, while avoiding the generic look of typical computer animation. So, mimicking the render of a brush painted look (such as Van Gogh and some Impressionist artists) was our artistic goal. There were a lot of exploration and unknown areas, such as rigging characters, dynamic, special effects and animation which were technically challenging. Houdini, Maya, After Effect, Nuke and Photoshop were our primary software for making this film. In a nutshell, making Treasure Nest was like going on a journey; there were a lot of unexpected issues and surprises; however, we all gained valuable experiences from it, both artistically and technically. The impact of this film enriched us in a profound way that we will never forget.


    Joy Tien

    Modeling/ Sculpting/ Texturing/ Lighting/ Compositing/ Matte Painting/ Concept Art/ Look Development/ Set Design/ Camera Layout ​

    Allison Botkin

    Technical Direction/ Editing/ Compositing/ Particle Systems/ Story Development/ Production Pipeline Organization/ Environment Dynamics/ Character Rigs/ Character TD


    Mike Bourbeau

    Animation/ Character Simulation/ Character Design/ Technical Direction/ Modeling/ Sculpting/ Additional Compositing/ Editing ​



    Music/ Sound effect 





    2016 Supernova Outdoor Digital Animation and Art Festival, Denver, Colorado 



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