Imagine what Director Tim Burton would do with an idea about a tin boy who comes to life when he’s struck by lightning and you’ll have a fairly accurate picture of Brian Taylor’s work-in-progress, Rustboy. The Scottish graphic designer began the project in 2000 on a beige Mac G3, but has since moved on to a PowerMac G4 [867Mhz], using the now-defunct software package Infini-D for 3D modeling, animation, and rendering. He also uses Photoshop for compositing, blurring, and other effects. “I think people find the fact that I use Infini-D pretty odd,” says Taylor. “It’s a rather cheap old programme which doesn’t even exist anymore, but I know it so well it’s difficult to move on to anything new. It does the job and it does it well.”

“The film will be produced using modest, affordable home software without the benefit of high-end 3D packages usually associated with films of this nature. This is part of the challenge, to see how professional a result I can achieve with a shoestring budget and a bit of imagination. I’m Mac through and through; a total Apple person. I have used a PC before—I did some artwork for a games company—and they were using PCs, so I tried to get into it, but I hated it! It’s hard to explain why, but Macs just look and feel so much nicer to use. I’m not much of a tech-head when it comes to computers, so the Mac’s ease-of-use allows me to concentrate on being creative without the need for a degree in rocket science.”

He continues: “I come from a design and advertising background, starting out as a designer, then over the years getting into traditional illustration, and then computer illustration when the Mac came along. I had tried animation as a teenager—stop motion, plasticine, that kind of thing—but could never get the results I wanted.” He began working on Rustboy while still employed as an illustrator in Dundee, Scotland; however, a patron has provided financing for the project, enabling Brian to quit his job and work on the film full time. When finished, Rustboy will be a 25-minute film.

Rustboy.com is an exhaustive online documentation of every step of the way. “I didn’t know the first thing about creating a Web site when I started it,” says Brain, “but with the help of my trusty Mac, I organised the domain registration and Web hosting online, designed and created the site, and had it up and running in a couple of weeks.” The site includes weekly updates, concept art, story boards, streaming video, and a “making of” section. Be sure to view the intro sequence clip which features a wonderfully dark score by New York composer Erik Nickerson.

Taylor’s determination to create an amazing-looking CG film with very little resources has caught the attention of the people at Pixar, Square Pictures, and Weta Digital (the effects company behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy)—and has even generated job offers from some of the industry’s top players, but he has turned them down.

Thanks to Brian for his kind permission to reproduce images and clips for TheScreamOnline readership. All content is copyright 2002 Brian Taylor.

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