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Lilium urbanus: The perfect kickoff to Cities Week


When the topic of urbanization came up at Scientific American several weeks ago, I knew of the perfect short film to feature. The animated short 'Lilium urbanus' has won accolades in numerous film festivals for its impeccable animation and stunning visuals. What begins as an empty, open field is eventually filled with our urbanized landscape - and the entire process mimicks an emerging bloom. It is simply breathtaking.

When I asked the films' creators about their inspiration, Anca Risca and Joji Tsuruga gave me the following explanation:

"Living in NYC is our biggest inspiration. There's constant construction and change on every corner. We embraced the idea of urban growth and saw it as something uncontrollable, having a mind of its own. Like a growing flower, a small town constructs larger buildings and becomes a flourishing city with skyscrapers for leaves, airport runways for petals, and airplanes for seeds. Our goal was to show that a city is like a living being, constantly growing, changing, and spreading."

The film was created using both Autodesk Maya for the 3D elements, and Adobe Creative Suite for compositing and texturing. It was completed by Anca and Joji as part of their BFA thesis film at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Take a few minutes, and enjoy the stunning depiction of nature meeting urbanization that is so brilliantly depicted in 'Lilium urbanus'.


Lilium Urbanus from Joji Tsuruga on Vimeo.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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