Mjk provided me with the story outline and ideas for the video. The basic story line is a four move check-mate in a game of chess. All of the players (except for the Queen) would be a characterized version of him. I hired my friends at Nexus Digital Studios to bring their portable3d scanning equipment to capture a full digital version of my lead character. We all met up at the designer Paul Franks studio to get a full body scan and detail head scan of Maynard. I then used the excellent retopology tools in Zbrush 3 to rebuild the high resolution geometry into something useable and get it ready for texture-mapping , rigging, animation and what-not in Maya.
Modeling – Zbrush 3/Maya
Animation and rendering – Maya/Mental Ray
3d tracking – Boujou
Compositing – After Effects
I only had a little over three months to complete the video, including concept work and creating the set/characters, so it meant having less than a day to finalize each shot. It was fairly confusing for me at times dealing with so many characters at once. The final video time is four minutes and 20 seconds.
Some of the animations came from pre-made motion capture files, which I then copied, spliced and reworked until it I had what I needed. Probably would have been easier to hand keyframe in most instances in this case. :) I will go the full motion capture route from now on...
The animation will be released as a DVD single and on iTunes, but for now I can only show it in the low res and low frame rate version of YouTube:
I’ve started on a second video for another song on the abum – this one is proving to be pretty challenging for me…but fun as hell!
Big thanks to my assistant Dean Deakyne and the Gnomon Workshop for all of their help!