Issue: April 1, 2009


BTRY creative director and co-founder Mike McDougall discusses the creation of the sequence and how technology helped the team reach their creative vision.


How did you come up with the idea for the Pause sequence?

Mike McDougall: "Pause is an exploration of concept and design within Broadcast and Film. From :30 commercial spots to feature film projects, Pause examines the creative and technical approaches of industry leading studios and agencies.

Taking this as a starting point, I wanted to portray what lay between the frames - a forensic search for answers, an almost pornographic description of a crime scene. I wanted to ride a thin line between beautiful and grotesque - a metaphor for the creative process itself. The creative process turned flesh with all its bumps and bruises."

You used Eyeon's Fusion for project development?

McDougall: "I took my style frames and projected them onto deformed primitive shapes done in Fusion to help explain the actual environment space. The spatial relationships of the organic forms in Pause were very abstract, so as a director, Fusion helped me explain these forms for the modeler.

"Because of the success of this process we decided to use projection maps as a starting point to help develop UV maps and procedural textures for the objects."

Why did you decide to finish the Pause project in Fusion?

McDougall: "In all my work, I find I have moved toward Fusion as my only finishing tool, because it offers the most complete package for what I need. Fusion's flexibility with higher bit-depths is incredible. Node-based composting is much more 'artistic' to me. I find I can version and try new ideas much quicker in this environment. And the overall polish I can get out of Fusion is far superior to what I normally expect from other design animation packages."

Why do you prefer to use Fusion for compositing?

McDougall: "For all the above reasons. I think the field of motion design is maturing rapidly and I feel we need a few serious tools to help bring our concepts to light."

You once called Version 5 of Fusion "the Holy Grail of extracting cameras" - why is that important for your work?

McDougall: "I had been searching for a solution to be able to move between 2D and 3D freely, integrating live-action, design and 3D elements. Inferno had a pretty good solution, but I didn't happen to have a few hundred thousand dollars kicking around! Fusion 5 solved this problem for me."

What do you love the most about the work you do?

McDougall: "I love the freedom of ideas - both visual and conceptual."


Produced by BTRY
Ron Gervais - Creative Director
Michael McDougall - Creative Director
Dave Greene - Visual Effects Director
Steve McArdle - CG Director
John Black - Cypher Audio
Special thanks to - Natasha Nicholson