A Dutch peasant family in the 12th century is given a piece of land on the marshy clay grounds to build their farm on. Will they manage to keep their feet dry?

The animation was commissioned as part of an interactive historic walk for primary school children in my hometown in the Netherlands, to depict the history and foundation of part of this town.

Comment by Dan Pasto on August 6, 2018 at 11:06am

I love the cows! Excellent tails!

Comment by StopmoNick on August 6, 2018 at 7:31pm

I love the design of the characters.  All of them, the people, the cows, the worms!  Good sets and props too.  And very well animated.  And I really like that quick shot in the night time as the peasant carries a bundle of sticks in the town.  Actually, each time I watch it, I find more to like.   

Comment by Pete Pipkins on August 7, 2018 at 1:21pm
Hi
Lovely animation, it's just so simple and peaceful, full of observational detail, it's brought a smile to many of my friends today :)
Comment by Roos Mattaar on August 8, 2018 at 9:01am

Thank you so much for all the positive comments! :)

The cows weren't the best puppets to animate, but I knew I only needed fairly limited movement from them and went with that, making the most out of their tails!

Thank you so much Nick, that means a lot. It was my first time animating 5 puppets at once (well, plus two worms in one ;) ).
I really wanted to put some evening and night time shots in there, as most of it is pretty bright daylight. It was really nice to have a shot focussing on only one puppet. Having the bundle of branches making the puppet top heavy didn't make it easier to balance him, since I made the puppets quite small and light so I could use pins as tie downs (the soil/ground surface is made from rubber kneeling pads). But it worked out in the end!

And thanks Pete, that is really lovely to hear! Brings a smile to my face too. :) 

Comment by Simon Tytherleigh on August 10, 2018 at 6:27am

Great stuff, Roos, as ever from you!

Comment by Adam Taylor on August 15, 2018 at 9:01am

Nice job Roos!  The characters look great!  They remind me of Kurt Weiler's puppets.  What was your favorite part?  

Comment by Roos Mattaar on August 21, 2018 at 3:03am

Thank you Simon! And thank you Adam! Ooh difficult question. To be doing/making, or of the final film? I really enjoyed to be doing the whole thing, after having worked as an armature maker, model maker and animator on other projects it's really satisfying to make a complete film again. I did love experimenting with materials and textures for both puppets and sets and I had a lot of fun painting the sky backdrops. Although a bit less when I realized how often I would have to re-paint it..!
It was fun to work out the forced perspective as well, building the scenes in front of the camera and making it work with the lighting and little details in the sets. I had a limited space for the wide landscape shots so I used different scales which worked quite effectively.

Comment by Twin Tales on October 18, 2018 at 1:31am

This was awesome!

Comment by Geoff Clark on October 18, 2018 at 8:35am

This is great! The direction made it easy to understand what was going on. The design of the characters, including the wardrobe clothing, really was able to set the piece in its time period. 

   Can you describe how this movie has been received? (Did it meet its goal, was there some good feedback from the people who commissioned it?) 

  The faces of the characters is something I wish I could emulate, the chiseled, sculptural look. I would never design it that way, I'm way too literal. I'll hopefully be able to switch gears and try that sometime. 

  Kudos on the great piece.

Comment by Roos Mattaar on May 18, 2019 at 2:52am

Ah damn I never saw these comments, thank you Twin Tales and Geoff!

Thank you for the feedback Geoff. I think the movie met its goal. In the setting it was made for there was an introduction added in 2d animation. Only thing was that the script of the introduction seem to contradict some of the story I had been given and based the animation on. The people who commissioned it were very happy! I had the chance to be there at the opening of the historic walk it was part of, where the QR code pole was opened that was placed in the part of the town this video is telling the history of. 

And thank you, that's cool to hear that you enjoyed the chiseled look. I often felt like I was designing characters too literal and I'm never good at making interesting designs on paper, but I've been trying to experiment more with different materials, and in this case trying to keep their designs simple because of lack of time and budget! (not very good at the 'keep it simple' in general though...)

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