How Sebastien Phillips used 3D animation to raise environmental awareness

Sebastien Phillips

Working under pressure on a design challenge from Junkee, animation legend Sebastien brought in a whale of a performance – and we do mean that literally.

“Plastic as we all know, it just floods our ocean and kills a lot of our wildlife,” says 3D Design and Animation graduate Sebastien Phillips, who’s passionate about climate change awareness. “The fact that I can have an influence on this idea of plastic-free beaches using my skills, it means the world to me.”

Sebastien Phillips

One thing we’re constantly pushing at Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia, when speaking about animation courses and careers, is the ability to use the skills and lessons we teach you to change the world. We want you to harness your passion and make a practical difference for the better. Essentially, we want you to embrace one of our key values, to Be Good. Sebastien has taken that philosophy and run with it, taking on a design challenge from Junkee to amplify his environmental message. 

“What inspired me was my passion for film,” he explains. “I wanted to know how they created these things and one day for myself to create my own. There are over a billion coffee cups that go to landfill every year in Australia. So I thought, ‘Imagine if a whale could talk to you and tell you that this is a huge problem. What would that encounter be like?’”

Since leaving us, Sebastien has founded his own video production company. He’s well equipped to map out a project on short notice and methodically work through the steps that’ll bring it to life. “The first thing I do is concepting and storyboarding, and then show that to friends and actors who are all involved, and start filming,” he says. 

Sebastien Phillips

Once Sebastien has coaxed some excellent performances from his cast, who had a lot of fun on set, it’s time for the design work to begin in earnest. “Back to the edit suite and I had to create this thing in less than a day,” he explains. “I literally sat behind the computer for about 18 hours straight, did an all-nighter.” In particular, he spent more than 10 hours on the 3D whale… but it was worth it in the end. 

Of course, we can’t take all the credit, but Sebastien’s good enough to give us a shout-out: “Some of the technical skills I learned from Billy Blue were 3D Design and Animation, which I used heavily in this promo. It was a real challenge but I was able to do it in the end. I feel accomplished and excited to show people and hopefully get at least one person to think about reusable products.”

Sebastien Phillips

If you’d like to create 3D design videos that make a difference, check out these links:
Diploma of 3D Design and Animation 
Bachelor of 3D Design and Animation


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