Saturday, 14 April 2012

REVERSION: OFFICIAL TRAILER





DIRECTOR'S COMMENTARY:

Mark your calendars people.  August 8, 2012.

The trailer shows your first glimpse finally of how everything is coming together in motion.

This is also your first taste of the work by sound engineer Jeffrey Alan Pitts ("Battle For Terra", Machinima.com's "RCVR") and his fantastic team of foley and audio talents.

Jeff's arrival on this project is a strange sort of affair.  REVERSION marks a sort of departure for Jeff from his usual types of assignments.  In fact, this is the first trailer he is cutting for audio.  At the same time, this trailer is sort of a follow-on to his work in animation from "LEGO Atlantis", "LEGO Hero Factory", and "Battle for Terra".

Jeff expressed a personal interest in the project from the get-go and his knowledge and experience were very helpful.  To wit, this is the guy who taught me quite a bit about video codecs and video formats.  An irony that should come from the Audio team informing the Director.  But stranger things have happened.

You can see more of Jeff's profile here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2914717/

The music for the trailer was composed by Dan Eckert who is a young and very talented songwriter and musician from Germany.  He is currently working on the final film score (which will be somewhat different to the one in the trailer).

Dan's work with Jeff here represents the first time he has had to collaborate with a Sound Engineer and what is interesting about their process was how they (and us on the visual side) worked from each other's inspirations and results to complete this trailer.  The trailer was re-cut at least three times.

The audio work is particularly interesting in that the music was delivered in stems to allow Jeff to assemble the entire soundscape by actually controlling the power of each instrument and sound within the music along with the soud design and foley work he was doing.

Admittedly there was not a lot of time available in Jeff's busy schedule to refine the trailer's audio to a level higher than what is here.  But we feel what is in here, visually and audibly, properly represents the film.

The animation is primarily the work of Anton Victor Espelita, a young talent from Baguio City in the Philippines, myself, and with adjustments made at times by VFX Technical Director Mitch and VFX artist Stefano Marcias.  The method of animation used for REVERSION is similar to one used at Blue Sky.  The main poses are based on live action video footage, which are then used as basis for thumbnails which take into account the true shape of the actors.  This is particularly important since one of them is non-human but Anton had to act out that role as well on video as closely as feasible.  The thumbnails are used for the animation and tweaks are done until we achieve good Volume and Motion.

It must be noted that using Blender's Linked Group technology, the animators (usually myself and Anton), were able to do key framing using low-res versions of the actors so previewing was very easy.

Final tweaks are usually needed though when the hi-res assets take over due to the fact the volume of the models are not exactly the same.  That and usually for VFX considerations, some animation changes occur in the hands of Mitch and Stefano.

The result, both in the trailer and the final 11-minute film is a fully integrated and collaborative output.

2 comments:

  1. Outstanding character models, music, lighting, animation. The creature and the tone reminds me of Outlander, the Morwen beast. Can't say enough good about how professional this is.

    question 1 "how many modellers and animators are working on this project?"

    question 2 "is your character animation all hand animated?"

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  2. Modeling TD here, Thank you very much for the comment and questions! There were two primary modelers on this project, Mitchell Sahl did the majority of sets, and most of the work on the Hunter/armored character. I did the Creature and the majority of props. Early on we also had a third modeler, Ravi Sampath, who did a lot of pre-visualazation work on our character concepts. The film is all hand animated through keyframe and curve editing work. This is primarily the work of Anton. Supporting work was done by Stefano and Giancarlo, the director himself. Occasionally Mitch and I would step in to clean up some things, but they did the vast majority of the work themselves.

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