Gray Elegy

Gray Elegy, 2015

A buoyant character struggles with hazards in a cloudy gray environment in this animation inspired by the Dylan Thomas poem Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed.


The look of the entire animation is shades of gray.

Technical elements: motion capture with cloth

A character that is made of cloth is walking in a space, there is a wind blowing the cloth. Small birdlike pieces of cloth fly in and the character brushes them away at first, then they gradually manage to take small nips from the cloth. During this activity, large piece of cloth blows in and forms a second character.

One of the birdlike things manages to get a fairly large piece nipped out of the first character and that character stumbles and initiates physical contact with the second character.

The two characters begin interacting, the first character is resisting the second’s grasp, they become violent and are on the ground. Their movements are unclear, it could be considered somewhat sexual at times then violent at others. Ultimately the first character is overpowered and gives up. Its physical qualities collapse into cloth on the ground. With this the second character also looses its physical qualities. The wind picks up and blows both pieces of cloth away, possibly revealing the title, definitely revealing the credits.


– Michael Walsh

– Maribeth Maxa


Fragments of Motion Capture data from two dancers were used to drive physical simulations of cloth, smoke, particles and fluids along with geometry for all the 4 “characters.”

A clip of some of the original choreography can be seen here:


Character List