Nikita Diakur

Nikita Diakur is a Russian-born filmmaker based in Germany. His most distinguished project “Ugly” (2017) has won multiple awards at international film festivals. It was followed by “Fest” (2018) that screened on Adult Swim Online and started its festival circuit in Oberhausen, Zagreb and Annecy. The signature technique used in his films is dynamic computer simulation, which embraces spontaneity, randomness and mistakes. Diakur is regularly giving talks and workshops at Festivals and Universities and has been artist in residence at Q21 in Vienna.



Developing an Ugly Idea

The talk will focus on the process and development of ideas leading to the final “Ugly” look and approach to animation. Animation in Ugly is a combination of puppeteering and dynamic computer simulation and varies between physically accurate and broken. The Ugly characters are ragdolls built from interconnected dynamic body parts. To enable the characters to interact with the environment, the body parts are fixed to animated controllers via simulated strings. Animating like this feels closer to real-life filmmaking: Like a real actor, the computer follows the action set by the animator and produces results that are organic, unexpected and personal.