Modern Warfare 3 – Mission Control Screen

David Sayeed of Animated People arranged for me to interview with a company who deal mostly with computer game motion graphics. My previous work has not really been in that area so to sweeten the interview we decided I would mock up a Modern Warfare 3 style video clip. The clip was used to demonstrate my wide range of skills in After Effects and SynthEyes, I set out to demonstrate that I understood the look and feel for their work and to show my technical knowledge and work methods that allow for swift changes to be made and for shots to be re purposed quickly. The company was very pleased with the extra effort put in, they understood that the framework for the project had been put in place and that with more design time I could easily produce the work they would require.

The video below is a presentation of some of the steps involved in creating the above piece. Please view it in full screen mode for best results.

I also created a pdf document which outlines the important steps I took in creating this clip, you can view it here

Westfields Christmas 2011 TV Advert – Breakdown

The video is a presentation of how two shots were cleaned up and some of the processes I used to speed up my work.

Each toy was brought to life by three puppeteers that required removing in post production. This did involve selectively keeping parts of the background in place or patching in areas that were always covered by the puppeteers as the set was being moved about slightly during each take. Most objects were tracked very roughly to give me the basic motion, this motion was then attached to my mask. this workflow meant I only had to concentrate on how the objects changed shape whilst in motion and not be concerned with the movement.
The shot of the teddy bear that runs towards camera was stabilized first. I tracked the teddy’s movement using Mocha by drawing a shape around his larger areas that had the bulk of the main movement (his head & body). This was imported into after effects and was used to stabilize the plate. I then created my roto’s on a layer above, as the teddy was stabilized I did not need to concern myself with scaling and movement of the mask as much as if it was the original shot. The masked layer then had the inverse stabilization applied (via some scripts) and used as a mask to cut the original footage out. If there had been stronger motion blur on the footage I might not of done it this way, because the footage is stabilized the masks are not moving as much as they really would have so the built in after effects motion blur will not be as strong. I did however apply a gentle reelsmart motion blur to the final matte to help compensate for this.

Mocha Pro – Arm removal

This was a job completed at Be Animation

Work required
This is just one example of the removals that were required in this advert.  I used the imagineer products to speed up rotoscoping and the process of removing any rigging.  We were not exactly sure how much of the drawn Nesquik bunny would cover the rigs so I was removing as much as possible in each shot to give more flexibilty later.  Any matte runs required per shot were rotoscoped and rendered as individual passes. 

Composite Breakdown – Nesquik “Catapult”

We start the scene with the original clean background, next the bunny is placed into position and tracked to keep him in place during the camera move. In the 3rd still the bunny has his tones applied and the photo of the tree branch is placed in, the background has been defocused at this point as it is secondary until later on in the shot. We have the 3d box placed in and the branch has been “relit”. We then see the pack is integrated better some cast shadows applied and some subtle colour bounce from the yellow pack onto the branch has been added also.

Composite Breakdown – Nesquik “Tents”

We start the shot with the clean background of the tent, next we have the animated monster he was matted into the scene using a procedural matte as the shape changed often. In the following image a lamp is placed into the scene (this was shot on green screen). Next we see the clip of the children leaving the tent, you can see the green screen was not lit well and not so much help to me. I found myself keying and treating different areas to try and achieve a matte that I was comfortable with. Unfortunately it was not really giving me the results I wanted in all areas so I dropped back to rotoscoping a lot of this shot where I felt it was necessary. It had much motion blur and feathering which I wished to keep that I was not achieving from keying. Overall though I feel the time spent produced a far more pleasing matte to extract them from the screen. We finish on the final composite.

Composite Breakdown – Nesquik “Locked Out”

We start the shot with a clean background. The window on the left of the door needed cleaning as it was reflecting a lighting rig. From the takes they decided to use one set for the boy and girl on the right of the frame, and a different take for the 3rd boy. The boy and girl were roughly masked out trying to include as much of there shadows as possible and placed into the scene. Next we have Quicky (the bunny) placed in with his tones, a bowl and spoon were positioned to match his animation. The clip following you can see the take that had the preferred shot of the boy on his own. I decided to use a mixture of keying techniques and rotoscoping to extract him from the shot. For example I keyed the white in the hair area and also the sides of him, where as the spoon was rotoscoped to hold a better clearer shape. I knew he would be passing over Quicky often so the matte had to be very tight. You can see the matte that was used to cut him from the shot. The boy was then placed over Quicky.  Finally a shot of the fire engine was cut out and placed in and a digital camera zoom added to complete the shot

Composite Breakdown – Nesquik “Locked Out”

This advert required alot of rig removal due to the fact the wrong kind of remote fire engine was sourced by the film company. It was meant to be a wireless remote control. In this shot you see the red wire leading to the remote control, one on the rear raising it into the air and one on the front to pull it forward as it often did not move very well. To make matters more complicated the shot was not held but free roaming moving towards the shot. The 2nd shot shows the scene after rig removal, next followed another problem. The client felt the cat flap was large enough to fit the children thru and hence not needing the fire engine so the door trap needed shrinking, also the white rope of the fire engine was traced so it could be more visible. Next the bunny had his tones applied and placed in behind the boy. Some rotoscoping of the fire engine was required to place it in front of the bunny. Finally Quicky had his hands placed over the red engine and occasionally over the boy. Various other shadows were painted in to help integrate him better.

Composite Breakdown – Nesquik “Catapult”

We start with the original shot. On the 2nd slide the 3D box has been tracked into position (the shot originally had a loose movement to it). Next we have a branch that was art worked to fit the scene attached to the tree, the box has been placed behind the branch and integrated more. The earlier scenes of the advert had some really nice artifacts from where the sun was shining thru the trees, we wanted this also in this shot.  The 4th slide shows the start of this light being placed in, various masks and colours added to replicate the earlier shot. Following this still we have the 3D ball placed in and also some light painted onto the tree and box. Finally there is a lensflare.

Carlos Bar Fix

This was a job completed at BEanimation

This is a section from a product sequence that was used in a chocapic advert.  You can see the original shot (labeled “Before”).  The chocolate was substituted with blocks of shaped wood and unfortunately you can see the corners so it does not look like a juicy solid chunk of real chocolate.  The main problems are highlighted in the red circles, the corners and lack of clear product label.  The original shots were shot on high speed film and lasted over 10seconds each, I have sped them up here.  I created the final shot with a mixture of methods.  The logo was artworked then tracked and masked into position.  The new corners were a created from other takes that the client preferred the look of, and also new artwork.  Where we used other takes these had to be retimed and repositioned to match my new hero shot, and again any new artwork tracked and positioned into place.  You can see the final shot in the video clip.

Nesquik – Code Yellow

This was a job completed at BEanimation.

Work required
Required rig removal (shots 1,2,5,7,8,and 9).  Shot 6 the CG google view required a clearer pack than what was supplied to us there was no time to ask them to change it so we tracked in new artwork, this included a larger basket.  There were also changes made to the white house to give the roof a feeling of some age without making it look to tattered.  Shot 11 had some cosmetic work done to tidy up the fingernails of the young girl (hand painting new nails), also the skin was smoothed to remove blemishes. The text wipe on the toy was done during post.
The rest of the shots required the bunny to have his tones applied and integrated into the environment.  This is done with rotoscoping, and drawing of cast shadows and contact shadows.
Worked with clients during a 2 day post to make any changes they required.  Master tapes were created onto a digi-beta.

Shot 11 breakdown