'Tiny Worlds' films imagine miniature litter-busting force on London's streets

Soho-based VFX studio Rushes has created a fantastically fun series of short films that imagine what it would be like if a miniature workforce dedicated to removing rubbish operated on the streets of London.

Rushes' CG team began the project early this year, deciding on three scenarios involving a bulldozer, submarine and logging truck that would form the basis of the 'Tiny Worlds' trilogy.

While the overall look and feel of the films is realistic and believable, the team decided that, rather than creating photo-realistic effects such as smoke, water splashes and explosions, they'd use 2D hand animated elements for those elements.

"We quickly realised that if we had decided to create the effects in a photo-realistic manner, then things like the torpedo impact would end up looking more like a Chinese firecracker, rather than the dramatic explosion that we wanted to show," the studio explains, adding that it resulted in a more "stylised" feel to the piece.

Rushes was also faced with a challenge when it came to animating the submarine's interactions with the live action footage of the puddle. Eventually, the team chose to build the puddle in 3D and recreate the reflections that were seen in the original footage. This meant the ripple simulation could be generated in Houdini, and then blended together in Nuke.

The Tiny Worlds project builds on Rushes' impressive portfolio that features work for clients including Mercedes-Benz, Moonfruit, Barclays, Toshiba and more.

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