A technical demo posted by Arman Yahin, vfx director and head of Moscow studio main road|post.
A student piece from 2006 Supinfocom graduates Gregory Jennings, Maëlys Faget, and Kevin Franczuk. Featured at Siggraph 2007.
The 12-head-tall figures are a strange mix of imposing and ridiculous — with his giant mountain-climbing space suit the dude looks like the Moebius warrior-priest figures in 40 Days dans le Desért. Perhaps this is how adults look to children — the heads are so far away.
Normally I’d say this is two minutes too long, but something about the solid, crunchy weight of the father, the balance of his movement, and the plodding pace makes the piece compress temporally. Everything is precarious, teetering on the head of a pin. I also like the velvety render treatment — it would be too much in other circumstances, but we spend so much time on each shot that it’s clearly not meant to disguise anything. A number of delicate balances, carefully found.
By the way, Everest is 8848 m high. The figure is something of a touchstone in the mountaineering world.
An interesting mix of hi- and low-fi, combined appropriately, taking a few cues from anime: when the low-poly characters are moving minimally, they’re animated stop-motion style, at a low frame rate. This pushes the feel toward comic book, and keeps it from looking too home-video. When there’s lots of action, or high-resolution atmospheric effects, the high-frame rate kicks in. Sometimes these two rates are even layered, which can be a little jarring, but overall they make it work.
Conceptually it’s pretty thin soup, though par for students from Supinfocom.
I’ve always wondered what it was about 24 fps that makes it so filmic. It can’t just be that we’re used to it. Maybe 30 fps is too close to the mundane reality of daily life, whereas when important or dramatic things happen to us our awareness and sense of time changes. Maybe we take in more detail about each moment, which quantizes our awareness in larger, longer chunks, equating to a lower frame rate.
I’d be curious to see more experimentation in this area. I know that even 25 fps feels significantly different to me; I can never take any BBC drama very seriously.
More at neurosonicsaudiomedical.com.
The guy at the end is Plus One scratching Schlomo.
There’s some 3D in there for flava, but the heads themselves are relatively lo-fi: it’s likely just time-remapped video, synchronized with its own audio track on the vinyl. Clever lads.
Wonderful color! And the limited palette allows some really excellent cel-shading. Heavily comics-influenced — the humans have Bá faces and Eisner poses; the sets are made of lots of flat landscape pieces and orthogonal pans past flat backgrounds; and the color, with broad swaths and subtle gradients, looks like Cam Kennedy‘s old Star Wars work.
It’s a bit long, and the voice work undercuts the already stiff acting and weakish plot, but the visuals carry the piece. The cel shading is used to make space for the stellar texture work, with fantastic layout and color design supporting the kind of balance of form and texture that you normally only see in expensive anime.
There’s also something interesting about the models — it appears that there’s a randomized jitter applied to all the vertices, which loosens up the silhouettes and contours, and makes it look even more like hand-painted work.
It’s all very well-considered and deliberate-feeling, and makes much of the rest of modern CG seem even more about spazzy reactionary trendiness. Fish barrel bang, I know, but there are waaaay too many fish in there, and they’re evil.
Watch Gary in HD on Vimeo.
Great characters; and really excellent texture work, in a way that exploits the advantages of texture layers and 3D space to make something that neither can do on its own. It’s obviously a merging of 2D and 3D, but it’s all harmonious and well-integrated, and doesn’t grate or jar.
This kind of syncretic style is something that I see more and more often coming from the schools, and that makes me happy, because it means 3D is no longer solely the domain of geeks with tin eyes. It’s finally a design tool, instead of a world all by itself.
I had to mute the sound; the song (while no doubt perfectly appropriate) has a choir in it. I had a bad experience with “We Are The World” as a child, and I’ve been violently allergic to choirs in pop music since.