Vladimir Vlasenko is a director and visual effects (VFX) artist in the Ukraine who likes to include elements of sci-fi in his films. He explains the influences and skills that brought the atmospheric animation Triangulation to our shortlist.
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What is your background?
I am a director and VFX artist from Ukraine. I have been making short films and animations since 2011. So now being a video artist is my work and my life. I was always interested in science and fiction so in each of my works, I try to do a little bit of sci-fi. In Triangulation, it could look more abstract but it’s still scientific.
Where did you get the idea for your film?
Actually, I remembered a time when I was young and I found in a cabinet of my father an old Soviet magazine – if I try to translate the title, it was called Young Scientist, something like this – and there was an article about quarks. It was from earlier in the 20th Century, so quarks in science was just a theory. I was so impressed by this idea about there being some small particles. In 2016, I suddenly remembered this fact from my life, and I tried to to make a film that recreated my imagination from when I was young about quarks and how they could look.
What do you do to follow your interest in science?
I graduated from technical university where we learnt lots about physics and about chemistry. I keep my connection with my friends from university in scientific work, so I get the latest news from them. Furthermore I read articles about new directions in science, and I often read Wikipedia to know more about quarks, about string theory and other ideas. It’s so cool to know how the universe works for real.
How did you translate the ideas of quarks and strings into visuals?
It’s a hard question. My work, particularly in visual appeal, could consist of a lot of assumptions. It’s my imagination of how it could be, but not the reality. I think no-one can explain how the subatomic world would really look because we have only theory, we have never seen a quark. I tried to show waves and strings and separate particles how I see them in my mind, because everybody could see what they wanted to see.
What methods did you use to create the animation?
I made it with Autodesk 3D software. I always use this software. It is actually very simple to do the polygons, dots and lines. The main task in this film was the lighting setup to add an artistic look to simple surfaces. After rendering, I spent more time on color grading. I tried to show the film with an atmosphere, a little bit noir, that would give a feeling of the severity and the enormity of the subatomic world. The color grading and film effects add the right mood.
Why did you make the film?
I did it because I can, because I wanted to. I didn’t make this film for any special purpose. I saw your festival on the internet a couple of years ago. At that time, I didn’t have anything to show, but in 2016 after I made this short, I saw your festival again and sent it in. I am very glad you like it.
On my vimeo channel I have many works, some with more graphics, and those videos have smaller numbers of views and likes than Triangulation. I think people like that this film is something mysterious they don’t understand.