Varvara Solovyeva

USO (Unidentified Swimming Object) 


Congratulations to Digital Design Major graduate Varvara Solovyeva whose animated film ‘USO’ has been selected in competition for the International Programme at the Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF 2023). 

‘USO’ was Varvara’s graduating film for her Bachelor of Design in 2022. Varvara is currently undertaking her Master of Design studies at the School of Art and Design. 

International Program #4 – MIAF 

USO (Unidentified Swimming Object) is a short 3D animated film about a diver traversing the deep ocean in search of sentient beings. 

‘Through the creation of USO, I explored this question; “How can I effectively portray inter-species communication within a comedic 3D Animated short film”. My research led me to create a self-ironizing Animated sequence that investigated Interspecies communication on a wide range of character-interaction examples. 

The term “Inter-species” became the fundamental driving factor behind my project’s outcome. I felt that in order to illustrate such a wide term within my film appropriately, I needed an equally wide cast of creature character representatives to distinguish as the “Other Creatures” to my human Diver. For this film being relatively short, I decided on three such creatures – a peculiar crab, a giant fish, and an amorphous shapeshifter entity I have dubbed “the Jelly”. The Diver meets each creature in turn as he swims through deeper and deeper water – with every meeting revealing a distinct communicative dynamic between the Human and the Inter-species.’  Varvara Solovyeva 

Centre for Design Research
Te Kura Toi a Hoahoa
School of Art and Design

Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau,
Auckland University of Technology


Susan Hedges
Mandy Smith

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© Centre for Design Research, AUT University 2021