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Carbon Footprint

Discovery EMEA
Short Film
Release Date

To create an environmental message on our ecological imprint that we leave behind by not recycling our rubbish.

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This multi-award-winning short film was produced and conceived by Jellyfish Pictures in one seamless shot for Discovery Networks EMEA. We conceptualised the idea for the short film to give the illusion of a time-lapse documentary of an aluminium can decomposing over 50 years. Emphasising the importance of the ecological impact of leaving your rubbish behind and not recycling. We produced the short film entirely in digital except for the first shot, which opens with a man drinking a metal can then throwing it to the curb to be left behind. The film finishes with the debris of the rusty can being left behind, influencing the viewer to recycle their rubbish.

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We created this beautiful piece of animation for the Discovery Channel using a plethora of tools in approximately seven weeks, a short time frame to complete this illusion and intricate effect. With the time-lapse sequence being created using CG, our team had a lot of detail to work out with the canned drink and the environment the can was situated in. We took our own photographs of the streets of London, seeking out dirt, drains, litter and corrosion on metal. This early research was paramount to achieve an accurate representation of a decomposed metal, as metals can be difficult materials to map. These early reference images also helped with modelling as we were able to build accurate shapes and forms using 3ds Max.

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Carbon Footprint was rendered using the GI engine in SplutterFish’s Brazil r/s render system for 3ds Max, allowing us to keep to the schedule by quickly lightening the scene and adjusting the reflections perfectly. The Jellyfish Pictures compositors then took over to enhance our rendered scenes by compositing in 3D space with Digital Fusion which allowed us to import 3D scenes from 3ds Max. For the final step, we tweaked the sequence with colour-grading and created the time-lapse effect in post by offsetting frames, adding macro-lens distortion, saturating and de-saturating and animating gamma levels. Watch the multi-award-winning short film and breakdown below.


Japan Media Arts Festival Winner

Best in Entertainment & Excellence Prize


PROMAX BDA Europe Winner

Gold Award for Best Sting/Interstitial


WorldFest Winner

Platinum REMI Award for Best Animated Computer Graphics


PROMAX BDA Europe Winner

Gold Award for Best Public Service Announcement


Clio Awards Nomination

Bronze Award for Visual Effects