The Dutch Maritime History Museum, OneBigAgency, and CCCP approached us at SuperHeroes to make a campaign for the new launch of the museum’s exhibits. In that campaign is a microsite, as well as a new Facebook page with an animated video addressed to none other than Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The brief was simple enough: make an animation with the visual style of cutouts, and pacing reminiscent of Monty Python. The one catch: we had two weeks to design, animate, and revise this 2 minute long video.[vimeo http://vimeo.com/29478879 w=640]
I was in charge of the 3D modeling/lighting/animation, as well as some of the 2D animated scenes. Our new intern, Raymo, did the other bits of animation as well as the sound design, and our freelancer extraordinaire Oscar helped us block out the designs when we were in a time crunch. René Klinkhamer oversaw the animation as Art Director, and also helped space out all the shots in a concise and manageable way that would work for the 2 week timeline.
The 2D design was pretty straight-forward: your usual set of found images then treated to work together and to get that cutout feel. I’d say one of the biggest challenges was actually getting an old map that was high-res enough to look good when viewed up close (and this is after being mapped onto a sphere). After that, the paths that the ships would take had to be drawn and animated in After Effects, then brought into C4D as an animated texture. To get the ships to sail along the animated path, I drew splines and projected them onto the sphere, then tweaked accordingly and keyframed every 10-15 frames. The icebergs were also placed in the C4D scene – anything else was added in AE.
Screencap of projected splines, with some lights added to remove unwanted shadows (no GI on the renders given the production timeline):
For the end shot, where the camera flies through the globe and reveals the flags and museum, the setup was much simpler. First I made the flags quickly by using a cylinder and a plane with the Flag displacer on it. After that I made a Polygon Selection on the spots on the globe where I wanted the flags, then followed that up with a Mograph Selection. The last step was to set up Shader Effectors (with falloff) for the flags and museum to pop in, and then just a quick keyframe here and there: done.
Screencap showing the shader effectors and flags in place.
Here’s our studio wall filled with sketches: