Seems Mr Tom Six has begun work on the sequel to his mad scientist centipede creation extravaganza. I knew this was coming, but was wondering quite how well the first film would be received. If you could see the stats on my blog you’d be amazed how much my traffic spikes when The Human Centipede is released in a new area of the world or every time it receives news! So plenty of interest and success which is great to see.
That’s the shop, not the band, pop-pickers.
Recently I was called upon by Pretzel Films to aid them in the creation of an animation for the ladies clothing shop Oasis. We see a girl walking along changing clothes to suit her environment, the time of day and such, focussed on the idea that there is a pair of jeans for every occasion.
My input was the background images, drawn mostly by hand, then animated into the background based on a rough edit provided for me. The girl was not filmed against a green or blue screen, allowing the director, Jake Dypka a greater freedom when it came to lighting, however this did mean Jake ended up doing a lot of rotoscoping. Fortunately he was using the new rapid rotoscoping tools in After Effects CS5, which I’ve yet to look into. It was an enjoyable piece to work on, being something that provided enough creative leeway to not be restrictive.
Update: The film was viewable on Oasis-stores.com but is no longer part of their marketing. However, it is currently sitting on youtube apparently. http://bit.ly/a2ID0h
During the past 5 weeks or so I have been working on some VFX shots for Strike Back, soon appearing on Sky 1 and Sky 1 HD. Trailers and teasers have appeared on TV and inevitably Youtube and pals. Myself, Sascha Fromeyer and Ashley Hampton, have been beavering away on all manner of things.
I’m looking forward to watching this. All of my contributions to this are in Episode 5, so I know what happens in that and the final episode and have no idea what happens at the start!
Strike Back is based on a novel by Chris Ryan, set in the Middle-East and filmed in South Africa. It’s a hostage situation and my God… it’s cool. Watch it.
After what seems like an eternity of promising it’s on its way, the VFX reel has arrived. A fair amount of this is new to the site. Some of the new content relates directly to previous posts on TV shows that have been on in the past year.
Finally I can say this is practically where I want it to be. There are a couple of niggly bits to do with the background footage which I may tackle if and when I get the spare time to do so, but for now I’m going to say it’s done. Thanks ever so much to those who have given me feedback on this one. I’ve been working on it on and off in my spare time for over a year so it feels like time to move onto something new now and get this into my show reel.
This is a breakdown of a short sequence made for an ITV drama called The Fattest Man in Britain. The taxi has a rig following it that holds the camera in a fixed position above the taxi, looking down on it. Unfortunately this kind of rig needs stabilising and in this case 2 cables were run to the front of the taxi. A slight issue there is that the 2 cables were now visible in 4 separate shots.
I tracked each shot in Syntheyes bringing the 3D data into Softimage. Simple 3D geometry was put in place with camera projected textures, individually airbrushed so that the wire was removed in each. When rendered and comped with mattes, the cables were no longer an issue.
Last night, a new 3 parter started on BBC 4 for which I did the title sequence. It’s a tunnel of disembodied electric items roughly in order of when they came about or at least became popular. I put this together in a 3d composite in After Effects, made out of many many photographs, timed roughly to the music (Human League. Who could predict that?) Three versions of the sequence exist. Each is the same bar the ending which is themed for the 70s, 80s, and 90s respectively.
The show itself was interesting stuff. A technology obsessed family has their house converted to a 70s theme with no central heating, one bathroom and nary a modern gadget in sight. As the week goes on they are allowed such luxuries as a freezer in the kitchen, a colour TV (which promptly breaks), and a teasmade (yes that’s spelt correctly). Next week is the 80s, then the 90s the following week.
In my opinion this show works best as a study in family social behaviour rather than a trip down memory lane. The target audience of BBC 4 is old enough to remember all of it. Living in the 90s wasn’t that different technologically speaking to now so I’m interested to see how the family sticks together as they get closer and closer to the current decade.
Check it out on iplayer if you fancy and be sure to have a nose around the supporting website, made by Illumina, the same company I put together the title sequence for.
Film 4’s Frightfest was on again this year at the Empire in London’s Leicester Square.
I was one of a few freelancers lucky enough to work on Tom Six’s ‘Human Centipede’, a thoroughly odd concept for a film. I briefly mentioned this in a previous post, incorrectly referring to it as the Human Caterpillar. I guess a caterpillar does seem slightly cuter than a centipede! The rough premise for this is that a surgeon, previously separating siamese twins for a living, is now collecting people to build a centipede where each person’s mouth is stitched to the anus of the person in front. Yup. You read that correctly.
My part in this was to fix a few things in After Effects that couldn’t be sorted on set. The lady above is having her teeth removed in order to facilitate the passage of waste from the person in front. In that instance is was up to me to remove teeth from the 3 shots involved. The rest was mostly tracking stuff, and a few blood spatters, but there were a couple of time consuming shots involving animating a load of rain drops on a car window. The shots were filmed out of sequence on a night when it genuinely was raining, but some were missing the obvious rain drops one expects from having just driven through rain. The best bit about this was Tom Six saying something like “Rain from a rain machine always looks shit. Nothing like rain,” a statement I highly agree with. Lovely guy. The kind of person you wouldn’t expect to come up with a film about stitching people together in a chain.
BBC iScience, which had already won the award for most interesting project I’d worked on, won the 2009 Royal Television Society Award for a television program for use in schools. I didn’t know this was up for an award so it’s a pleasant surprise! Here’s what RTS had to say:
“…a well-produced entry which stimulates, challenges and moves students to engage in both hard and soft science in a way that would definitely add value to the classroom experience.”
Presumably this Prof. Tanya Byron saying this as she hosted the night.
For a look at clips of the show, click here. I did all the cel-shaded animations, DNA mutations and anything involving little molecules flying about, colliding, causing pollution and so on.
I remember many of the science programs at school being old OU recordings on wonky VHS tape, played via ageing Ferguson Videostars. iScience trumps these on many levels, so the award is a well deserved accolade. I actually did all 3 sciences at school in GCSE and still learnt things producing work for this show.
Last night was the Television BAFTAs, this being the time of year when shares in sequins go through the roof. The Best Drama Series Award went to Wallander, produced by and starring Kenneth Branagh.
So how does this relate to me in the slightest? I did a couple of VFX sequences in that I’ll have you know! All being well, one of them will be in the show reel I am currently piecing together. There was a lot of fog at one point, some of which is 3D fog created in XSI’s ICE engine then composited in After Effects, the aim being to cover up gaps in the smoke machine’s efforts.