Artist showcase: Kanta Mochida
The teaser video of the 10th New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival held in November 2023 was produced by Kanta Mochida, a filmmaker, video director, and visual artist from Japan. This one-of-a-kind film festival, dedicated to animation, is held at the New Chitose Airport Terminal Building, the gateway between Hokkaido and the world. Learn more about the artist and the concept behind this playful and cute short film.
About the project
The New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival first opened in 2014 as “a film festival that can be held only at the airport, and that can be transmitted throughout the airport”. The event celebrated its’ 10th anniversary in 2023. Kanta Mochida was commissioned to produce the opening teaser video for this special occasion.
“The concept of the video was to replace the winner of the film festival with the apex predator. There are various animals, such as lions and eagles, but this time I used a crocodile as a motif”, he explains.
Being a video director first, Kanta doesn’t call himself a 3D modeling specialist, although he learned the basics of 3D CGI at college and has worked with 3D CGI and DCC tools for modeling and animation for almost 11 years. His primary software is Cinema4D, which he can use for modeling, animation, and rendering. He discovered Shapelab in September 2023 and has been experimenting with the VR software since. The characters and models in this project were all modeled in Shapelab.
Watch the trailer video below:
About VR modeling and Shapelab
When asked whether he prefers 3D modeling in VR or on desktop, Kanta says “I like modeling in VR because I can make the most of my artistry.” There are several reasons he used Shapelab for the production of this video. Shapelab allows him to work with his hands and add a clay animation feel to the work. He can easily and quickly create the desired shapes, that are otherwise difficult to achieve with existing modeling tools. According to Kanta, Shapelab’s standard tools are sufficient to create high-quality 3D models, and he particularly enjoys the Tentacle tool.
Still, 3D modeling in VR could take a little getting used to, but Kanta advises beginners to keep going for a short period of time to get more accommodated with the tools until using them feels just like modeling with clay, which adds a lot of fun to the process.
Kanta enjoys working in virtual reality because he can make use of both hands when modeling. The left hand can be used to rotate the 3D model while adding and subtracting polygons, which feels very realistic. According to him, the only challenge with VR is wearing the VR headset, which might become uncomfortable for long sculpting sessions, but Kanta is looking forward to the evolution of head-mounted displays.
About the workflow
About the process, Kanta says, “Some parts were modeled frame by frame to give a stop-motion feel. Some of the specific areas were modeled in Shapelab, such as the animation of the festival’s logo at the end of the teaser. The main character, the crocodile, was modeled in Shapelab and rigged and animated in C4D. Houdini was also used to create animations of the crocodile and the airplane inflating like balloons. The final result is the output with OctaneRender.”
Watch the making of video to learn more about the process:
About the artist
Kanta Mochida was born in 1991, and graduated from the Tama Art University Department of Information Design, Media Arts Course. He’s a video writer and freelance generalist, who mainly produces live-action images and 3D CG. In addition, he also creates interactive art and installations as an attempt to expand the media of the output of the video work. He’s keen on exploring how digital and real space connect.
Check out Kanta Mochida’s website: https://kantamochida.info/
Follow Kanta Mochida on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kantamochida/