NEW YORK – Nice Shoes (www.niceshoes.com), here, created the show open for Motion 2012, which brings some of the brightest minds in the film, broadcast and videogame industries together for a conference in Albuquerque, NM.
The studio was given free creative reign for the open, with the only stipulation being that it included the Motion 2012 logo. Creative director Brian Bowman presented a treatment to the Motion team, which featured choreography filmed with both a Red camera and two Microsoft Kinects. The goal was to create a choreographed film, integrated tightly with visual effects created by the dancers’ own movements.
“The dancers are representative of artists,” explains Bowman. “They’re manipulating and redefining their environments to become something more than what exists.”
Nice Shoes’ design and VFX teams pulled the Kinect data into 3DS Max to generate all of the particles. Flame artists, led by Vin Roma, worked on key and roto, while Ron Sudul worked with specific colors, including an effect produced on-set called light separation, which incorporated practical light in each frame when the green screen was taken away from the talent.
This open marked the studio’s first time incorporating Microsoft’s Kinect data. “I’ve been interested in tracker-less motion tracking,” explains Bowman. “In the past, you’d need to have a performer wear a ping pong ball suit to record motion capture, but now the technology and sensors have gotten to a point where the suit isn’t necessary. A kinematic skeleton can be generated simply by recording a body and its movement. Technology like the Kinect has inspired a hacker culture. I was interested in using the sensors in filmmaking, recording the dancers in wardrobe, while at the same time capturing the depth and kinematic data to create integrated visual effects.”