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First Breath

Thesis Film
(Summer 2023)

First Breath is a short animated film that utilizes visual effects and animation to depict a personal spiritual experience; an encounter with the Holy Spirit.


Programs used include Maya, Houdini, Zbrush, Substance Painter, and Nuke.


First Breath is written and directed by Abby Spencer based on a personal spiritual experience. The film was greenlit for production Spring 2021.

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VFX and Symbolism

To continue enhancing the visuals and supporting the narrative, particle, fluid, and pyro effects are being developed to create essential symbolic elements and imagery. (Image by Gen Li)


CG Character Development

Certain techniques within the CG character pipeline will be utilized to develop characters depicting the soul vs the literal flesh. To do this the character designs, textures, and CFXs are primarily symbolic and intentionally developed to enhance the visual representation of spirituality.



Lighting is utilized multiple ways throughout the film, to develop effects, drive the narrative, embody certain characteristics, create symbolic imagery, and fill the environment.

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Multiple resources were utilize to ensure the organization and efficiency of this production. With multiple contributors, it was important to ensure clarity throughout the pipeline. Tools such as Slack and SyncSketch were utilized to communicate between team mates and provide thorough feedback in both a remote and in person setting.

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