My Name Is Betterby - Animation Test

Joint graduation project for the Reykjavík School of Visual Arts' Two-Year Programme Towards Matriculation and The Animation Workshop's 3D Character Animation Professional training course.

Programs used:
Marvelous Designer

I have always been deeply fond of Þorvaldur Þorsteinsson’s literary works. My interest in his writing was sparked at a young age when my parents first read his book, The Message Pouch, to me. In 2001, at the age of four, I was introduced to his stories about Betterby. At that time, only two books out of four had been published, and rehearsals were underway for a theatrical adaptation about the winged creature. As I was only three years old and could not read yet, my parents took care of the reading for me. When they were busy, I popped the audio book into my cassette player and listened to Þorvaldur himself read his works. I was captivated by this unique story. When the theatrical adaptation premiered at the Reykjavík City Theatre, I showed up dressed as Betterby and got to meet the actors backstage afterwards. In the following years, two more Betterby books were published, and the series has had a significant impact on shaping the person I am today.

In the spring of 2020, children's literature was the main focus at the Reykjavik School of Visual Arts. As part of the course, my class was asked to anonymously suggest a children's book that we could read together. I suggested the Betterby series for our class to read, and it ended up being chosen. It had been several years since I had read the series in its entirety. As I revisited the books, I realised that I had never fully grasped their underlying message before. The philosophical undertones were a bit too profound for a young child to fully understand. However, as I reread the series, I saw Betterby in a new light and fell in love with the series all over again, but this time under different circumstances.

I utilised the Betterby character for gaining a greater understanding of the various aspects of a 3D animation pipeline. The outcome is this short animation test. The animation industry encompasses a vast array of professions, and in reality, I am executing tasks that many different individuals with diverse work experience and specialised abilities would carry out in a traditional animation production. It took me seven months to complete this test.