Studio II Pitch

After working with a team for Studio 1, I will be working alone on my Studio II project. My plan is to create a short depicting a blobby humanoid character ascending a seemingly infinite staircase around a tower. As they ascend the tower, they shed their skin (which will initially be a fleece-esque fabric texture) and reveal a glowing white layer underneath. As they shed the last of their skin, the tower collapses, leaving only their stairs.

Shot 1 starts on a high angle of the tower and pans down to reveal the character, who begins walking up the stairs.

Shot 2 is a medium shot of the character coming around the corner, revealing the skin peeling off. Shot 3 is a wide shot of the tower with midday lighting.

Shot 4 uses a low angle to look down on the character as he looks down on his hands, which are peeling. Shot 5 uses the same composition as shot 3 but with a nighttime storm lighting setup.

Shot 6 has a nighttime silhouette lighting style to show a lightning strike on a tower, which makes it start to crumble.

In shot 7, the character peers off the edge of the stairs while the tower collapses. The stairs, however, remain standing and defy gravity.

The final shot, shot 8, starts on a close up on the character’s face and zooms out to show them continuing to walk up the stairs.

Inspiration and Significance

This short is about upheaval and the destruction of the past as a prerequisite and consequence of personal growth and change. Visually and conceptually, it draws from the Tower card of the standard Waite tarot deck, as well as the paintings of Sung Hwa Kim. The tower is representative of the search for enlightenment, the peeling of the character’s skin is representative of the irrevocable changes that happen during that process, and the lightning and collapse is representative of the need to let go of the past in order to move forward.

The tower card in the universal Waite tarot deck.
Sung Hwa Kim, “You’re the beginning and end of all things.”

Concept Art

As previously mentioned (and drawn in the storyboard), I intend to have a blobby humanoid figure rather than a realistic human shape. The vague shape I am going for is shown to the right.

I also have a sketch for my plan for the cobblestone tower.


I plan to primarily execute this in Maya and render it in Arnold. The rig and minimal character animations will be done with Mixamo.

Character & tower model: end of week 2
Textures completed: end of week 3
Tower collapse effect: end of week 6
Skin peel effect: end of week 8
All lighting completed: end of week 9
All renders completed and composited: week 10

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