Critterz: First Animated Short Film Created in Collaboration with OpenAI's DALL-E
In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the launch of OpenAI’s DALL-E - writer, director and creator Chad Nelson and Native Foreign’s Nik Kleverov, in collaboration with AI specialists at OpenAI, released the new animated short film, Critterz. The film is the first-of-its-kind as its imagery was entirely generated with DALL-E while simultaneously applying standard Hollywood filmmaking techniques including animation, voice casting, facial performance capture, music, sound mixing, and more. Critterz is available to watch at critterz.tv.
The film is an animated science documentary turned comedy that introduces an unexplored forest inhabited by mysterious little Critterz with unforeseen personalities. The narrator takes viewers on an investigative journey into the isolated forest filled with never-before-seen Critterz when all of the sudden, the narrator is surprisingly interrupted by the Critterz themselves.
Critterz includes the Blu the Red Spider, the lovable gruff Frank, and others set the record straight.
“Filmmaking has been a passion of mine and DALL-E helped realize my creative vision,” said Creator, Director, Writer and Producer Chad Nelson. “With DALL-E, now anyone can be a creator telling a new or reimagined story. Critterz is just one example of what’s possible and I hope that this inspires others storytellers and creators to do the same.”
OpenAI’s DALL-E creates realistic images and art from a description in natural language. In this project, DALL-E was used to generate all the background settings and characters. This enabled the creators to produce hundreds of visuals per day, making it faster to visualize their creative products. Once the stills and characters were created, animators and designers were brought in to make these 2-D environments into a 3-D world.
“It’s been magical to watch Chad’s creativity flow from his brain, through DALL-E and onto the screen with so much heart,” said Natalie Summers, Communications and Artist Relations at OpenAI. “Critterz is a vibrant example of how artists can use AI tools to unlock ideas that were once out of reach because of budget, time or resources.”
“The production process is always evolving,” said Nik Kleverov - who himself is Emmy-nominated for his work on Netflix’s Narcos opening sequence. “Critterz is the first film to showcase how Generative AI can enhance Hollywood’s creative process, improve decision-making and ultimately help creators bring their ideas to the big screen.”
Native Foreign served as creative agency and production company on the project, bringing in Emmy award-winning animators and more to bring the vision to life.