We’d worked with Ore Okonedo (Head of Music Videos @ Caviar Content London) before on videos for Ben Howard and Glass Animals, so he must have known Ruffian Post to be the people to handle this wild promo idea from directing duo, Dent de Cuir, set in a video game world. Initially the idea was to license an already-created game and record someone playing it and then composite Darwin into that game - however, we quickly saw that wasn’t going to be the most premium option, so, we just said - how ‘bout we build a game instead? And that’s what we’ve done!
Using Unity game engine and unity3d.com/ (a game development platform that has been used to create many popular video games and apps) to create the CG environments and props instead of what we’d typically use for 3D animation, we were able to make the entire video look like a modern video game one might play on his/her PS4 or XBOX. In order to create the first-person perspective (we are seeing it from Darwin’s angry girlfriend for much of the video), we used Leap Motion Control / Leap Motion SDK to animate the first-person hand movements of the girlfriend character. If you haven’t seen what the leap is before, do check it out and check out how we use it in the behind the scenes - it’s amazing! leapmotion.com/ The Leap Motion is basically is a little camera/sensor you place in front of you (connected to your computer) and it motion captures your hand movements. Much of it is all brand-new technology and Leap Motion SDK is still even a work in progress, but we contacted Leap and got their blessing to use their technology in this new and innovative way. developer.leapmotion.com/. For the bespoke characters in the video (some are obviously designed, like the lawyer and the tent girls), we used Mixamo mixamo.com to design the way they look and are dressed and were even able to sit with Darwin a little bit on the shoot day and he helped to design his own girlfriend!
A green screen shoot is not a new concept - nor is CG animation. However, what we’re most proud of pioneering, is the way we’ve integrated the live action footage of Darwin into the game world. We spent countless hours creating scripts and codes and engineering new ways of using our regular programs (like Adobe After Effects) with brand new technologies (like the Leap Motion SDK) to bring the two worlds together.
Our little team of 4 worked tirelessly for 35 days straight / 14-16 hr days on this gem. We did all of the VFX, shoot supervision, the edit, and the grade and online and under Christopher’s leadership and with his unparalleled eye for beauty and years of directing and VFX experience, we, altogether, completed a journey (and a film) that makes us very proud.