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Treasure Nest

1 Votes

Audience Awards

This film competed in
2019 Animation Shorts Film Festival



Treasure Nest is a 3D animated short following the adventures of Blue a cat-like creature in search of hidden riches. Along his way, Blue discovers a bird-like creature named Peanut who he reluctantly brings along in hopes that she will be the key to unlocking the treasure. Through the use of such programs as Maya ZBrush Photoshop Houdini Nuke and After Effects the Treasure Nest thesis group presents a beautifully hand-painted world in which Blue’s resolve is tested throughout his journey... eventually leading him to a prize of which he never expected.


Directors' Statement:

Treasure Nest was created by JAM productions, including Mike Bourbeau, Allison Botkin, and Joy Tien. The creation process was challenging and our goal was very ambitious for our limited amount of time. Our goal was to create an exotic world with a painterly style. Since the three of us like fantasy and adventure, we decided to make a short that revolved around two opposing characters that are thrown together on a treasure hunt. We were inspired by a Tom and Jerry- esque feel, with an Indiana Jones sort of adventure. Story development was the toughest part of our production. Initially, we all had subjective preferences and extremely creative differences, so it was important for us to seamlessly merge our styles into a cohesive package. Furthermore, working with a team brings about varying opinions on almost every topic, and everyone has a plethora of ideas, including our families, friends, and colleagues. While we wanted to get a variety of criticism from people we trusted, everyone has differing opinions, so it was our job to weed out what we wanted and what we didn’t want while keeping the story interesting.

The entire production lasted for a little over a year. We started storyboarding around June 2013 and that phase lasted until January. For our style development, we experimented on how to integrate 2D paintings with 3D characters. We wanted to bring a painterly touch to the style of the film while avoiding the generic look of typical computer animation. So, mimicking the render of a brush painted look (such as Van Gogh and some Impressionist artists) was our artistic goal. There were a lot of exploration and unknown areas, such as rigging characters, dynamic, special effects and animation which were technically challenging. Houdini, Maya, After Effect, Nuke and Photoshop were our primary software for making this film. In a nutshell, making Treasure Nest was like going on a journey; there were a lot of unexpected issues and surprises, however, we all gained valuable experiences from it, both artistically and technically. The impact of this film enriched us in a profound way that we will never forget.

Director Biography - Joy (Meng-Chwen) Tien, Allison Botkin, Mike Bourbeau

2013 jam


Joy Tien: 
Joy is a CG artist based in SF. Recently she graduated from the MFA Computer Art Program at School of Visual Arts, focusing on texturing/ surfacing in CG production. 

Her professional experience includes working as a 3D modeler/ texture artist/ visual development artist and storyboard assistant. Not limited to the above- mentioned area, she is also proficient at shading, lighting, and compositing in 3D animation production. She has been working and traveling to different cities, such as Taiwan, New York, Vancouver ( SIGGRAPH 2014 ) and San Francisco. 

As a visual artist, Joy considers art as a means to translate imagination into reality. Her work emphasizes the usage of color and positive spirit, giving the audience a sense of happiness and a temporary illusion of escaping real life. 

Allison Botkin: 
When Allie was little, she wanted to be a meteorologist. And an astronaut. And possibly an archeologist. Now, as a 3D animation artist, she can experience all aspects of her interests and bring them from dreams to reality. Born in Maryland, near D.C. with all of the senators and lobbyists, Allie managed escaped that stressful life of politics to do what she loves, which apparently involves sleepless nights and countless hours of work, while she completed her Master's Degree in Computer Art at The School of Visual Arts. During her time at SVA, she was awarded the SVA MFA Computer Art Scholarship for Academic and Creative Excellence. Prior to her interest in animation, Allie attended The University of Cincinnati, as a Digital Design major in the DAAP program, where she was award a Cincinnatus Academic Scholarship. Currently, Allie is working as an intern on the fur team at Blue Sky Studios.


Michael Bourbeau: 
Mike Bourbeau grew up in the New England seacoast town of Hampton Beach, NH 
where he played football, hockey, and lacrosse while also gaining interest in the arts through ceramics and architecture.

In 2011 he completed his BA at Hamilton College where he played football and studied oil painting and drawing. During his time at Hamilton Mike worked as a studio assistant for Katharine Kuharic and won several artistic awards including a fellowship to study oil painting at Yale for a summer. He also participated in a variety of group exhibitions across the northeast- including one in New York City.

In 2012 Mike began his pursuit of an MFA Computer Arts degree at the School of Visual Arts. 
While attending SVA he was awarded the SVA MFA Computer Art Scholarship for Academic & 
Creative Excellence as well as being selected as a Student Volunteer for ACM SIGGRAPH 

Mike is currently living and working in NYC where he is putting his ideas in motion as a 
digital artist for advertising studios, gaming studios, and fine artists.