Robot Courtship
April 22, 2015

Robot Courtship

"Artoo in Love” is a short film that follows intrepid, droid-hero R2-D2 as he tries to find love in San Francisco. After courting a female mailbox and defending her against intruders, Artoo discovers that she is betrothed to his arch-nemesis, a dark droid. Crushed, Artoo treks across San Francisco in the name of love. 

The film debuted on March 28, 2015 at the Sonoma Film Festival prior to a screening of DreamWorks’ new animated film “Home.” It is from Autodesk Engineer and Designer Evan Atherton.

Atherton shot a portion of the film at UC Berkeley using RED Epic and Scarlet cameras, as well as a DGI drone and Movi free fly gimbal for aerial shots. 

He used several Autodesk tools to create and control CG assets in the film, including Maya for 3D camera tracking and shadow replacements; Fusion 360 to model parts the pink droid; Inventor to design and 3D print props like the umbrella holder or to drive the Haas milling mating to build custom rails for a servo motor as part of the internal structure of the droid; and Delcam software to control the droids. 

Atherton also enlisted help from two professional VFX artists to bring the taser and rain scenes to life. 

The film's creator, Evan Atherton, is a mechanical engineer and designer in Autodesk's Office of the CTO and a mega "Star Wars" fan. In his free time, he can be found in Autodesk's Pier 9 Workshop making movies.