Nikita decided to use an urban setting for the clunky characters’ adventures, which resembled the neighborhoods in which Nikita had grown up in Moscow, Russia, and Mainz, Germany. The hulky figures appear surprisingly homogenous in these environments, which were created using Projection Mapping. The beautiful lighting moods, atmospheric effects and sunsets were created using traditional lighting methods with the Visible Light option enabled. This creates a photo-realistic look.
In the midst of this world of high-rise apartments and parking lots full of rusty containers, cars and motorbikes, Nikita and his team created a home for Redbear Easterman, a gigantic Indian with a complete head dress who is full of irony and wisdom. In addition to the ugly cat, he is another main character in the story and symbolizes order amidst all the chaos. Even though ‘Ugly’ is a film project that is meant to be presented at various festivals and submitted to competitions, it has already evolved to being much more. ‘Ugly’ has its own Facebook page where the team regularly posts previews and test videos, and where Redbear Easterman makes cameo appearances. This is also the perfect place to get a better look at the burgeoning world of ‘Ugly’: the production diary is open for everyone to see and you can get an impression of just how creative the team is. The use of dynamics is illustrated in dozens of clips and you can see the extent to which dynamics is used: animals and humans hang from strings and virtual springs, characters on slides pile up when they reach the bottom. Characters try to run on treadmills, run and fall spectacularly, ride bikes or hop onto motorbikes and race around parking lots filled with jumping cars.