Twice Upon a Time 

Short film

Writer and director: Vojin Vasovic
Character design, art director: Nikola Stepkovic

Environment Design and matte Painting: Almu Redondo
Animation: Snezana Cubrilovic
Sound design and music: Vladimir Kerkez
Narrator: John White
Production: To Blink Studio, Collapse Films, DAT
Supported by: Fim Centre Of Serbia, Ontario Art Council, European Short Pitch 2015


Twice Upon a Time, there was a king with split personality who lived in ambivalent times. One half of his represents a Nordic barbaric king from the early Middle Ages, a crude but fearless warrior. The other half of his is from late Baroque, a man of graceful poise and manners. They share their conscience, but have opposing wishes and desperately want to get rid of each other. 

Director Vojin Vasovic and Art Director  Nikola Stepkovic set off to represent this vibrant duality in a buoyant painterly style with a constant split screen that would separate both timeframes. The lighting and shape treatment was to be very different in both worlds, bringing to the surface and following the king inner world in each occasion.

I joined forces with Art Director  Nikola Stepkovic to help design a few locations and create mate paintings and textures that would later on be projected into a 3d space in Maya and composite in Nuke.

Proof of concept shot done by Art Director  Nikola Stepkovic

The style withdrew from picture books and traditional media to achieve this loose and painterly look. The team worked in a great set of brushes and a very clever combination of 2d cards and projected textures on simple volumes with a very specific lighting to create this illusion.

I helped with the design of the castle, inside and outside, the opening sequence, a wide shot from the forest and the dragon attack. I did color scripts helping to define the use of color with a very limited color palette and two distinctive atmospheres for both time periods. 

Matte Painting and Layouts 

Final shot after Nikola's work in Maya and Nuke.

Color Script and Matte Painting - openning sequence

Matte painting, textures and color key - dragon scene

Color exploration, Matte painting and textures I did creating all the layers that would later on be projected in Maya.

Final shot after Nikola's work in Maya and Nuke.

Other concepts gallery

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