VSFX MFA Thesis

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May 3, 2022

Thesis Pitch

Introduction

Fairytales have a reputation for being light-hearted and uplifting when in reality, their origin stories are tragic and unsettling. When adapted, these stories stray from the author's original intent, presenting an artificial, highly unrealistic view of life.

Statement

Often-times, literary texts are a self-reflection of the author, increasing the depth and originality of the story. This thesis will provide an original, creative narrative based on a thorough examination of Hans Christian Andersen's, The Little Mermaid, existing written elements. Using advanced computer graphics techniques, the story will illustrate Andersen’s origin story, revealing the beauty of life’s harsh realities.

Key Visuals

  • Photorealistic Figures
    • The Mermaid with Tail
    • The Mermaid with Legs
  • The figure will be rendered in a roughly 60-second video, revealing the five key narrative elements through various transitions
  • Five highly detailed still frame renders of key narrative elements
    • wreath, seafoam (x2), tongue, dagger
  • Reach goal: model Hans Christian Andersen bust, include him as part of the morphing/ transition process because of his deeper connection within the story

H.C. Andersen's The Little Mermaid (1837)

andersens-the-little-mermaid

Visual Component - Story Boards

Epprecht_Candidacy_Review_Presentation_StoryBoards

Illustrated by Jordan Fleming (SCAD BFA Animation ‘22)

Animatic

Previs in Unreal

Key Features

  • “skin was as soft and delicate as a rose-leaf
  • “her eyes as blue as the deepest sea”/ “dark blue eyes”
  • “no feet, but fish’s tail”
  • “adorned with a wreath of white lilies around her hair, every petal of the flowers was half a pearl”
  • eight oysters fixed on the princess’s tail“
  • “covered her hair and breasts with foam, so that no one could see her little face”
  • “gliding gait, and speaking eyes”
  • “thereupon she cut off the tongue of the little mermaid”
  • ”prettiest little white legs”/ “delicate feet/ “white arms
  • rosy mouth
  • “beautiful long hair

Color References

Epprecht_Candidacy_Review_Presentation_colorrefs

Lighting/ Composition References

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Animation References