This year’s theme for the exhibit was super heroes, but we had a major problem, the word super hero is jointly copyrighted by Marvel and DC comics which made branding the event and exhibit a bit of a challenge. We eventually agreed upon the verbiage “Hall of Heroes” which worked out nicely for the campaign.
The inspiration for the look and emotion of this commercial came from the comic books I collected when I was young. I contacted a former co-worker Jesse Franklin who currently works as an animator in Tokyo, Japan on the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series. His style and creative sensibilities made him an ideal candidate for this project.
Jesse started by creating wireframes of the characters in Maya which were modeled after our talent. A few revisions later, we got the 3D characters where we wanted them; half way between traditional, flat comic book artwork and their human likenesses.
Once the models were built and skeletons were rigged, it was time to begin animation and camera tests.
I decided early on that it would be great to find a park with a jungle gym that was near buildings so we could reinforce the practical buildings with computer generated models. The park we found worked great, though it required a number of calls to the Hawaii Film Office to request permission from a special city parks department to acquire our permit.
Once the edit was complete and the animation was locked, I turned the project back over to Jesse who did the finishing, composite and color correction using a combination of Adobe After Effects and Nuke.
The project turned out well and the client, agency and crew were pleased with the results. We’re looking forward to next year’s event and will continue to grow with every opportunity that arises.
Stills by Noah Tom + Screen shots by Jesse Franklin