UPDATED: A Closer Look at the Upcoming Animated Portal Short

UPDATE: You can keep up to date on this project from Alex Zemke's new Twitter.

The geekier side of the Internet has been fair abuzz since test shots of Alex Zemke's upcoming animated short Companionship, based on the award-winning and impossibly excellent video game series Portal from Valve, were revealed. The shots bring the protagonist Chell to life, infusing the mute, determined queen of the portal gun with warmth and humanity.

"Well, of course, the game is phenomenal, and I was obsessed with the sequel the instant it was announced," said Zemke via e-mail.

Zemke, who's had a hand in projects like the latest Smurfs film and the Uncharted games, had been looking for ideas for test animation to add to his portfolio. At the time all he was working on was facial animation and cleanup duty on motion capture. Then he ran across this graphic. The initial idea was to do a simple animation of Chell tripping into a portal and ending up caught in a constant loop of movement between them.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner