Back in July ¡MAYDAY! released a new album called Believers. After having worked with Wrek on Tom Hanks several months prior, he and ¡MAYDAY!'s manager Andrea gave me the chance to work on some animation for the track On That Jack. The track is an anthem singing the praises of Jack Daniels. I bounced around with a few ideas, the first one I tried, was I wanted to lay pointillism animation over live action footage. Inspired by Michael Halbert's Jack Daniels portriat.
I realized after several iterations this was not going to be a viable option, it was just taking too long, so I went back to the original Jack portrait that is on all the bottles.
I wasn't feeling the painted effect though, so I elected to go with solid colors, keeping the style a little more cartoony, and more of a nod to the old portrait.
Once all the portraits were done, I rigged them up in After Effects, and started animating. I put in some live action at the beginning and end, so we could actually see the Jack bottle.
After finishing the first version, I sent it off, and Wrek said they wanted to add some live action, and would it be possible to lay some of the animation I'd done over live action. About this time I began to realize the pacing was really lacking. I went and watched other music videos from a lot of artists, and for a track like this I realized it needed to feel faster. So I rendered the whole thing from 4 different camera angles, and then put together a version that cut between the angles, to pick up the pace. After Wrek sent a rough cut of the live action footage, I put what I had on top and moved it around to fit in the live action shots. Now the whole thing was starting to come together more. One of the last changes I made was to change the lines "We on that Jack, we on that Jack again." I had originally had it slowly forming an M over the course of the video, but Wrek said they weren't feeling that.
He asked if it could be changed to a karaoke type look, with a bouncing skull over the lyrics.
This turned out looking awesome (The dude knows what he's talking about.) After that he and Bernz decided they wanted to add some more live action footage. Which they shot while on the Something Else Tour. When I saw the final product I was blown away. They had taken some somewhat cohesive elements, and combined them all together seamlessly. The pacing works great, and the animation doesn't distract, it serves to support the song.
I learned an intense amount about editing music videos, also working and iterating based on specific feedback. I love the final product and I can't wait to do more in the future!
I've been working on rigging and animating a character Jonas Georgakakis posted on Polycount.
The rigging was fun, full biped with an IK FK switch, space switching on his face and head controls, and a minimal facial rig. I'm liking the Walk and Run, but the Idle isn't there yet, once it's done I'll post all of them on the main news page!