REF is a short film I made in 2002-2004 as my master degree project in animation at Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, Poland.
I was very much into martial arts aesthetics (especially Aikido) at that time. I wanted to make a film portraying martial arts as I would like to see them - as a main and only theme rather then it being part of an action movie.
REF is just that - a fight scene between two identically looking characters.
REF was my first serious attempt at character animation. I remember being pretty much broken down when I did my first animation test in Lightwave and it was horrible. It was an absolute letdown and I wasn't really sure how to fix that.
I then rethought my approach and decided to start from the beginning when it comes to animating digital characters - from rigging. Eventually, I focused on the rigging process so much that I ended up developing and releasing a few versions of auto rigging plugin for Lightwave - Auto Character Setup.
When I got back into animating REF afterwards it was still very hard work but at least I got it where I wanted it to. Animation challenges were the main reason why the work on the short film spread over 3 years.