Video and Motion Graphics

ManvsMachine “Versus” and The Making Of with Cinema 4D.

I am a huge fan of Cinema 4D, and it is pretty insane just how much the tool has grown with each new generation. I mean if you think about it, When Cinema 4D was released in 1993 for the Amiga it was a solid tool, but there is no way the software on an Amiga system could have produced anything like what is in the video below. Frankly, there were no real desktop tools that could have produced this, which just goes to show how far computer graphics have come, and how we take their power for granted most of the time. I have been working with graphic design, animation, and editing software for more than 20 years, and if someone had asked me to produce this back in 93 I would have laughed.

This video was created by ManvsMachine to showcase the new tools and functionality in Maxon’s latest release of Cinema4D. “Versus” is a CG short inspired by the dualities suggested in the studio’s own name. This is a visual stunner that not only features great CG animation, but some really solid sound design which helped inspire the video. If you have them, put on your headphones. If you don’t turn up the sound on your speakers. I’ve also include the making of video to show you how it was done.

 

Accidents, Blunders, and Calamities.

Once again student work that is blowing my mind with high-quality production values, attention to detail, story craft, and animation skills. The video below was put together by a team of 44 students at Media Design School. The students crafted 30 CG animals and blended them with live action footage to create a short black comedy inspired by the work of Edward Gorey. This really is a fantastic little short, and it truly shows just how far design, animation, film making, and illustration have come in the last 10 years. When I look back on the student animations and films that were being produced when I was in school, this makes them look positively horrible in terms of quality. Then again when I was in art school, a Mac II was about the most powerful computer you could find.

 

Coldplay’s Up&Up is a visual treat.

I’m not really a Coldplay fan, but I have to give them credit for the video below. Actually I have to give credit to directors Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia plus their crew that produced it. Coldplay just stars in it. This is a wonderful blend of vintage film, green screen work, CGI, compositing, and animation. If you love Coldplay, turn up the volume and sing along. If you don’t turn off the sound and just watch the visuals. They are pretty captivating, and engaging. In the Vimeo credits, there is a list of artists that inspired the visuals. I have pasted them below the video. Oh, and if you are curious about how many people were involved in making this, click through to Vimeo and take a look at the crew involved.

Inspired by the art of:
Victoria Siemer, Sammy Slabbinck, Karen Lynch, Sarah Eisenlohr, Joe Webb, Jeff Hendrickson, Katie Dutch, Linder Sterling, Kieron “cur3es” Cropper, Beth Hoeckel, Eugenia Loli, Mariano Peccinetti, Shang Chengxiang, Charlie Davoli, Artem Rhads Cheboha, Fran Rodriguez, Felipe Posada, Jay Riggio, Ser Sinestésico, Marina Molares, Merve Ozaslan, Julien Pacaud, Angelo Vazquez, Terry Ringler, Djuno Tomsni, John Stezaker, Richard Hamilton, Hannah Höch, and of course Rene Magritte.

A VFX Breakdown of “Deadpool”

First a disclaimer. I have not seen the movie Deadpool and probably won’t. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be impressed with the VFX in the film. Take a look at the VFX breakdown below and you’ll understand why. There is so much computer graphics, and post work going on that it makes you ask, is this a live action movie, or an animation featuring some live characters in the scenes? The movie might have been bad (this is what my friends have told me so don’t get mad at me), but the VFX are pretty damn spectacular.

“Deadpool” marks the beginning of a new era for superhero films, and one sequence in particular was key to setting the tone. This is an in-depth VFX breakdown reel showcasing the behind-the-scenes efforts by the Atomic Fiction team. The work involved creating computer generated characters, vehicles, and an entire urban environment, for the thrilling car chase that kicks off this new franchise!

Special thanks to Tim Miller, Jonathan Rothbart, our friends at Blur, and 20th Century Fox for the opportunity to contribute to these sequences.

Music Credit: Deadpool (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

© 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.
X-Men Characters and Likenesses TM & © 2016 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.

M4 Factory Trailer.

The video below shows how post production can make a video. Directed by Allesandro Pacciani this spot for BMW’s M4 is a masterful blend of live action shots, post production CG, clever editing, and sound design. The M4 was shot on a racetrack that had been specially prepared for the shoot. The environment is a refinery is all fake 3D modeling that  is highly detailed and filled with hundreds of CG lights. The lights had to be mapped and rendered on to the car in post, the track had to be stripped away and replaced in post, and the entire piece had to be finished in a way that feels real. The result is a spectacular 30 second spot for BMW. Pacciani has created a dark and moody spot that highlights the performance of the M4 as it navigates through a foggy, mysterious environment, all in a 21 x 9 aspect ratio for cinematic effect.

At the beginning of the spot there is a clever tag, “This content is Rated M”  appealing to those who know BMW. There spot is steeped in BMW’s racing heritage which helps sells the power of the car to the intended audience. There is a video game quality to this that will appeal to a younger audience that aspires to own an M4 as well as an established audience that still plays games like Forza and can afford the car now. Solid advertising without the need for a single voice over or hard sell line.

The IKEA Home Tour Series – Digital Marketing Done Right.

It's about to get all real on this office space.

It’s about to get all real on this office space.

A few months back, I received an email from IKEA for the IKEA Home Tour contest. The team was coming to Kansas City and they were looking for entries. All you had to do was make a short video of your space in need and send it in. So, I busted out the iPhone shot some down and dirty footage of my sad basement office space, cut it together, sent it in and thought “That’ll be the end of that.” Much to my surprise, we made the finalists for the area, and to my surprise again, we are one of the two chosen. Today, the team arrived to shoot video, check out the space, and plan out what they are going to do with the space.

This post is not about the makeover though. It is about how IKEA continues to take excellent advantage of digital media as a marketing tool for the brand.

HomepageIf you go out and look at the Home Tour site, you see a polished website that leverages video, a blog, social media, product placement, and tips to extend the IKEA brand. With each short video, product that is used in the redesign is featured and linked back the IKEA page where the product lives. The Pinterest section leads back the dedicated Pinterest board where recipients have posted their images as well as the team, and there are hooks to related boards, all of which drives back to product and enforcing the IKEA brand. The design blog takes you to a curated section with short right ups and videos from the Home Tour teams progress. And then there are the videos.

Video is the fast growing consumed media on the web, your phone, and in other digital spaces. It has rapidly taken over because of its ability to tell a story in a short digestible bite, and the ability to link back to longer form content if needed. In addition, with prices on gear falling, the availability of high end editing software, a DIY maker movement, and the ease of sharing content, it is possible for a skeleton crew to put together  a solid bit of video work that has tremendous impact. The crew at my house today consisted of 5 people. 2 of them were producing the video. This is the same crew on every makeover, doing each shoot. They have a limited budget, and tie frame, but they are creating solid work with definite reach and penetration for the IKEA brand, which brings me back to the fact that IKEA gets digital marketing better than most. I’ve posted a number of articles on what I KEA is doing in the digital space and this is just one more.

To date the team has produced 203 video segments according to the numbering on the site. Pretty impressive when you think about it. 203 videos that average 3 minutes in length. 203 videos that show the problem, the fix, and then go through and talk about the IKEA product used. Think of it as a long form commercial that is less about in your face selling, and more about how IKEA helps you solve a problem.

That is a winning marketing solution and another winner from IKEA’s marketing division.

The Nature of Louis XIII.

When your Remy Martin, and your Louis XIII cognac costs around $3500.00 a bottle, you can afford to pull out the big boy budget for your next ad. This spot for was produced for Fred & Farid for Remy Martin, and trust me it probably cost a small fortune to produce. You have a big name star, a ton of VFX and post work happening here, and an end product that is top notch. Now go out and buy a bottle of Louis XIII so Remy Martin can pay for this.

Agency: Fred & Farid
Production: Moonwalk
Producer : Gaspard Chevance
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Director of Production: Fabrice Damolini
Studio VFX : Benoît Holl
VFX Supervisor: Stéphane Allender
VFX Production: Christophe Huchet
CG: Thomas Mouraille
Modeling: Sébastien Haure, Kadeg Boucher
Tracking: Peanut
Rotoscope: Florian Sanchez
Compositing: Sergeï Lourié, Jeanne Loyer, Loïc Caer
Lighting: Thibaud Floutier
General: Corentin Provost, Rida Simmou, Guillaume Gaussuron
Matte Painting: Thomas Mouraille, Benjamin Bardou
After Effects: Quentin Letout, Maxime Cordier
Etalonnage: Magali Léonard
Coordination VFX: Nicolas Huguet
Datalab: Nicolas Daniel, Jean­Martin Mossu, Léa Latassa, Pauline Royo, Elodie Doudoux