Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Industry Indent: Double negative

Established in 1998 Double Negative, or Dneg for short, have worked on several exciting projects both for
major studios, Harry Potter, Skyfall, Man of Steel, etc. and independant film makers for films like Shaun of the Dead, Paul, Attack The Block, etc. 
They have won an academy award for Inception, as well as four VES awards (three for Inception) and two BAFTA awards, one for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and the other for Inception.

Their pieces range from Character animation (Paul) to vehicle animation (Rush) and crowd animation (John Carter), again another diverse range of work that thrills me when I see it.
Double Negative was another studio that visited USW in 2013, and gave a fantastic talk on their involvement with the animation of the Tharks in John Carter. Specifically they talked about the crowd scenes featuring the Tharks, such as the gladiator ring scene with the White Apes... Who are petrifying!
For all those who paint John Carter with the 'flop' brush, I urge you to watch the film again with fresh eyes, the VFX are glorious, the realistic character animation on the Tharks is fantastic, and how they solved the whole four arm idles is brilliant. The film itself is well worth the watch just for all the Thark scenes, as you can see the heart and soul poured into the characters, each bringing a believable human aspect to the film. If you believe the story has influences from other Sci-fi hits like Star wars, then read the origins for the script, as the book 'John Carter of Mars' was produced early 20th century, and is in fact the stem of the other Sci-fis!
Anyway, I'm detracting!

In fact this talk was the one to get me into rigging, due to the sequences they showed of all the facial animation, and how the deform shapes, and underneath muscles, were triggered by controls. However the main appeal of this talk to me how they interpreted the motion capture data for four armed characters, describing how the arms were arranged for dominate and recessive actions. This blend between motion capture and realistic key-framed animation is what drew me towards the studio.
I approached the team after the talk and I was very fortunate... and very cheeky as I asked... to arrange a visit to Dneg late last near when they were in full production of a film I cannot mention because of reasons... However I am very excited to see it in the Cinema!!

If you cannot tell from my typing, I have been very inspired by the realistic animation Dneg has produced over the years, and cannot wait to see more!
See you later,

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