BreakingPoint wins “Best Student Project” award at SIGGRAPH Asia


The student project BreakingPoint has just claimed the “Best Student Project” award at the Computer Animation Festival at SIGGRAPH Asia (December 5-8, Macao/China).

BreakingPoint, which was created as a diploma project at the Animationsinstitut at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, takes the honors for its breath-taking VFX and its meaningful employment to a convincing narrative of a woman giving birth.

SIGGRAPH Asia and SIGGRAPH are the world’s largest conferences on the theory and practice of computer graphics and interactive techniques, and the awards bestowed at the Computer Animation Festival distinguish the greatest work in this field.

BreakingPoint transforms the concept of “hysterical strength” – the display of seemingly superhuman strength in life and death situations – into a gripping storyline: In order to bring her baby into the world, a woman has to overcome unimaginable obstacles of a world flying into pieces. In order to realize the highly complex live-action short with integrated 3D computer elements, a huge team of live-action experts and VFX professionals collaborated together closely.

Martin Lapp, who worked both as director and VFX supervisor, was joined by two live-action producers, Anica Maruhn and Tobias Gerginov, VFX producer Francesco Faranna as well as a team of altogether four Technical Directing students – Johannes Franz (Lead TD), Nicole Rothermel, Marcel Ruegenberger and Julian Oberbeck. The team was furthermore supported by Filmakademie students from various other departments.

Director Martin Lapp reveals the conceptual and biographical beginnings of BreakingPoint:
During the brainstorming process I had the objective to distill a visually complex and emotional story into its essence. It was a very personal decision to translate the phenomenon “hysterical strength” into the event of childbirth and to metaphorically depict this process as a mother’s journey to reach her goal, because my sister had previously experienced a very complicated birth.

The realization of BreakingPoint was no easy feat. The production took one and a half years, and encompassed the integration of a high number of CG assets, a digital double and CG environments into the live-action material, with a few completely digital shots and shots that contained multiple effect simulations. The technical directors developed a specific pipeline tool to handle the workload. The resulting immersive visuals are being accompanied by an equally impressive sound design: the film was mixed by sound designer Tobias Scherer in Dolby Atmos, thus adding a new dimension of intensity and emotionality.

BreakingPoint will be screened at SIGGRAPH Asia during the Computer Animation Festival in The Electronic Theater that showcases the best must-see animations, VFX and scientific visualizations, along with yet another Animationsinstitut production, the 3D computer animation Child by Iring Freytag, Linus Stetter, Viktor Stickel and producer Paul Maresch. The Animation Theater, which gives an overview of further outstanding artistic output, includes even more animation highlights from the Filmakademie: Amour Fou, Pirate Smooch, Elemental and the Motion Design diploma project What They Believe.