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Less Than Human

Less Than Human Description

Less Than Human is an award winning 3D animated short film made by 8 students at The Animation Workshop in Denmark. The film is made as a bachelor project that expanded over 10 month from late august 2015 – early june 2016. On this website you can learn more about the team behind the film, the characters in the film and see artwork from the production.

The story

In the aftermath of a zombie outbreak, the zombies have been cured and exiled to secluded camps. There has been talk about rehabilitating post-zombies back into society. Steve, the journalist reporting on the case, thinks the zombies still pose a threat to society. He ventures in to one of these camps to prove to the world that rehabilitation is out the question.

Best Young Production: “Less Than Human”

Last year’s animago AWARD for Best Young Production went to “Less than Human”, a documentary style animated film created by students at the Danish school known as The Animation Workshop. The team also took home the €3,000 sponsored by Digital Production in the category every year!

After surviving a zombie plague, human society is pondering whether to re-integrate the undead, who are now living in exile camps. The press is doing some on-site research there when they come upon Andy, a zombie delighted to see actual living people again after such a long time. He invites the team of journalists into his flat for tea, which turns out great. The subsequent interview might have been quite nice, too, were it not for Andy’s dark and moody roommate, Don.

Finding an idea

The initial concept for the short film came during a train ride, as character animator Steffen Bang Lindholm was noting down ideas in his sketchbook. He came up with the image of a zombie character bathing in the sun, whereby his intestines spelled out the words “Everybody needs a vacation”. Steffen imagined how funny it would be to carry out an interview with this character. The concept became more tangible when the team watched the news and saw the wave of hostility meeting refugees as they arrived in Europe.

One particular source of inspiration was the humour and timing of Matthew Walker’s short film “John and Karen”. “Less Than Human” was created in a space of 9 months by 8 students under the guidance of professors Anja Perl and Leigh Russell and a number of other industry professionals.

Less Than Human Screenplay writing

One of the major challenges facing Steffen was the idea of taking on the roles of writer and director, seeing as he had no experience in those realms up to that point. Writing the dialogue was a hard nut to crack, and it took a long time to get something that felt right. English is not Steffen’s first language, which made it even more difficult to write something genuine and authentic.

Less Than Human Maya/Blender workflow

The students placed the focus on a Maya/Blender workflow at an early stage, mostly due to the fact that one of the team members had experience with the open-source software. Blender was used for the digital layout and the blocking of the models, while the animation was done with Maya.

They were able to organise the work process for the modelling using the two software packets, seeing as both systems can export and open .obj files. The only problem that emerged were flipped normals, which they eventually solved using a script. The team used the script to clean the geometry of every finished model, which allowed them to take care of the issue before loading the asset into the pipeline.

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Less Than Human Image

About Less Than Human

Genre Animation, Short, Comedy
Directed By Steffen Bang Lindholm
Music Anders Christophersen
Release Date 15 February 2017
Runtime 6:09
Starring Dave Dyson, Scott Keck, Lawrence Marvit
Language English
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