One Man Animates CG Feature w Trailer

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Old 03 March 2013   #1
Talking One Man Animates CG Feature w Trailer

Teaser Trailer for White Tiger Legend Unleashed
Director Kory Martin Juul Creates CG Feature Almost Single-Handedly




Trailer Link: http://www.youtube.com/whitetigerlegend




Santa Monica, CA, March 22, 2013 – Literally a one man army, acclaimed visual effects artist, director and black belt, Kory Martin Juul, has animated a 100 minute family martial art feature. Today we get our first glimpse at this amazing body of work.


Juul honed his visual effects skills on some big movies. You've heard of the “Star Wars” movies, the “Matrix” movies, the “Lord of the Rings” movies? He's worked on them. A little thing called “Avatar?” Yep, that one too. But transitioning into directing hasn't been easy says Juul. “Its a catch 22, you can't make a film until you have one done already.” His 2005 short animated solo effort, the Sandbox, played in festivals around the world, including a private screening at Pixar. “The short film opened doors with some high people, they all wanted to know what was next, and from there we waited. Over that same period Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda 2, the Last Airbender, and newest Karate Kid were greenlit. Clearly it was a popular subject.”

Not sitting back another day, Juul casted a group of talented voice actors, put on a Phasespace motion capture suit, and together they performed over 30 characters in the film. “Phasespace produced really clean data, quickly, without needing a huge cleanup crew. They also have a patent on active markers, which allowed me to run the system, interact with a monitor in realtime to learn where my virtual surroundings were, and to playback each character immediately for review.” This allowed Juul to move 'in character' with the previously recorded voice actor's performances, which played through speakers on set. Juul also choreographed 9 fight scenes, fighting against himself in all but one of them.

From there Juul traveled solo to China, traveling over 2500 miles by bus and train from Tibet to the border of Vietnam, to capture background footage for the film. “With the edit done, I knew all the shots, so I hopped on a plane, not speaking any Mandrin other than hello, thank you, and I'm a vegetarian. 30 days later I was still getting chicken, but I had some incredible footage.”





“Don't get me wrong,” says Juul. “Film is a collaborative process. Its most fun when everyone is working and creating together. Although this was a solo effort, it was only out of necessity. I just wasn't going to take no for an answer anymore. I was born to tell this story. I've lived it and breathed it for 10 years, and its going to help a lot of people. Feels good to be getting closer,” Juul laughs.

It took Juul 16 months to lay out the animation and edit the first pass of the film – and another two months - round the clock - to complete the 24 trailer shots. That's roughly two days a piece to model and matte paint sets, finalize animation, cloth sim, crowd sim, light, render, and composite – using Autodesk Motionbuilder, Maya and the Foundry's Nuke software. Its a feat he doesn't know how much longer he can sustain.




Juul hopes the trailer gains worldwide interest - enough for an adequate budget to be put into place to finish it. “Whether the funds allow us to open a studio, finish at another studio, or take us back to China, its all on the table,” says Juul, “the whole film is developed, we're ready.”




White Tiger Legend aims to release in 2014.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #2
A bit confused. Did he complete just the trailer or the whole 100 minute film? Either way its quite an amazing feat.
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Old 03 March 2013   #3
I'm not keen on the character models, but everything else looks great. Pretty amazing overall, considering that it's one guy making it all.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #4
I'll always have huge respect for anybody tackling a feature length production on their own, but my God, the models, rigging, and particularly the facial are unwatchable...
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Old 03 March 2013   #5
To clarify -

"Did he complete just the trailer or the whole 100 minute film?"

The first cut is an action packed 100 minutes of animation, and its all playblast. This is the first minute of fully rendered material. I was hoping 100 min of animation would be enough to get the film funded, but because it was playblast many business types couldn't make the mental leap to know what it would look like. Kathleen Kennedy said the first 10 minutes of story were great, but she had already done Airbender. There are millions of projects out there, and hundreds in development already in studios that still may not see the light of day.

Its an uphill battle for sure, but the story is there, and that has been the focus. Frankly, most anyone today can animate a feature, the tools are all there. The difference is the story, and having something worth animating. Hopefully this spreads so we can get a budget to hire, even just one person, we'll hire a rigger. Remember, each shot was done in 2 days by one person, what if we spent a week on each one with a team? What could we do with a few million?

Enjoy some behind the scenes!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXxqW_tW8xY
 
Old 03 March 2013   #6
It's a real shame that it's not voice-acted in Mandarin and sub-titled to whatever country it's watched in.
There is nothing worse than American accents in 'non-American' stories.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #7
Yeah I gotta say, nice sound track.
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Old 03 March 2013   #8
If you think you have a good story, chose a format to tell it that you can execute well.
There are plenty of other options.

The modeling and the animation are so horrible right now that they distract the viewer and noone's gonna bother watching even 10 minutes of it.

Quote: Frankly, most anyone today can animate a feature, the tools are all there.


Apparently, that's not true. The tools are nothing on their own.
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Old 03 March 2013   #9
Originally Posted by whiteTigerLegend: Frankly, most anyone today can animate a feature, the tools are all there. The difference is the story, and having something worth animating.


Oh dear me.
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Old 03 March 2013   #10
hehe, its true Kanga. The first mocap film I worked on was Final Fantasy, and none of these tools were available, there was maya and a whole lot of proprietary mel code to do anything. Unfortunately the story for that film was not as strong as the visuals. Its all about story. What I am saying is that anyone who really wants to, can animate a feature today. And I hope more people do.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #11
Originally Posted by whiteTigerLegend: hehe, its true Kanga. The first mocap film I worked on was Final Fantasy, and none of these tools were available, there was maya and a whole lot of proprietary mel code to do anything. Unfortunately the story for that film was not as strong as the visuals. Its all about story. What I am saying is that anyone who really wants to, can animate a feature today. And I hope more people do.

You worked on final fantasy?
Oh dear.
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Old 03 March 2013   #12
hahaha, brilliant. your positivity cracks me the hell up. I can't help you Kanga, but I do hope you see the film, if only to break it down. Peace!
 
Old 03 March 2013   #13
Awesome job man! Keepin tabs on this one for sure. Its nice to see something different. Dig the concept that one dude is doing this animated feature
 
Old 03 March 2013   #14
whitetiger

Why can't you finish the film on your own?

You have the tools and know how. You have the mocap. Why not finish and render it out?

What is a playblast anyways? I don't get that you have 100 minutes of animation. Can't you just hit render on it?

Here is some inspiration to just finish the film yourself.
www.mdotstrange.com
www.archondefender.com
www.jefflew.com
www.studioartfx.com

I think you can do it on your own. Forget the Hwood route.
Quote: Apparently, that's not true. The tools are nothing on their own.


True but the tools make it possible for almost anyone with drive to be able to make something.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #15
The tools have also made it possible for everyone to make another David, for hundreds of years now.

This entire discussion is beyond absurd.
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