Behind the​ Scenes​ of “Beyond the Aquila Rift”​, a​ 3D animated short film from the Netflix anthology series LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS

We were thrilled to visit our client​ ​Unit Image​ in Paris, France, last January to get their feedback after they included our Multi-View Performer software in their facial animation production pipeline for one of​ ​LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS​ short 3D animated film​s​: Beyond the Aquila Rift.

 

The whole story started more than one year ago when Unit Image was contacted by Blur Studio​ and​ ​Netflix​ to produce a​ 17 minutes episode of the ​LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS series​, produced by David Fincher and Tim Miller and released on Netflix on March 15, 2019.

The intention for this episode was to achieve a highly photorealistic animated movie with ambitious dialogue-driven scenes – far from the action trailers Unit Image was used to work on. There were indeed lots of close-up shots tightly framing characters’ dialogues. Unit Image decided to take on the challenge!

This was the first time the team experienced a pipeline synchronizing both body and face Motion Capture systems. They had to get the whole pipeline running within a very short time.

They shot at Audiomotion studios and went for Performer Muti-View software version that happened to deliver the highest quality of all short-listed systems for this purpose. Unit Image was among the first clients to use our Multi-view tracking technology as they started with the Beta version. Performer MV was used in combination with DI4D system.

Performer enabled them to get the first animation results within 2 weeks. The executive team was relieved and impressed to see shots delivered so quickly : the CG team could even rework and improve the rigs. They could get a first overview of the whole production and organise the CG work internally around the footages.

It proved to be a powerful and efficient tool to prioritise scenes, sort footages, select the pieces to keyframe, and those that did not require any re-work at all. Some of the scenes were left as they were tracked and retargeted. This let them spend more time on the “Money Shots” especially those of Greta’s character. The batch mode saved Unit CG team a lot of time, letting them process multiple videos simultaneously. “Once the training was good, production could go very fast!” reports Jérémie -​(Rigging supervisor at Unit Image).

Unit Image team worked hard searching for perfection although what matters most to them, at the end, is what the audience feels while watching the movie: Are viewers moved ? Caught up in the story ? Onboard with Greta and Tom?

We had the great chance to get an exclusive preview of the film in their Paris studios and were impressed by the results, especially the level of realism achieved. The technology served an amazing story in which absolutely no detail is left apart, for a pure moment of science-fiction.

Performer Multi-View revealed to be a key asset in their motion capture pipeline. They re-used the software right after their work on “Beyond the Aquila Rift” for the trailer of The Sinking City for BigBen Interactive, a video game released for PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox One on June 27, 2019.

This inspiring client case reinforces our will to push boundaries and keep Performer solution on the edge of technology.

Unit Image​ is a 3D Animation studio, specialized in full CGI and VFX for Game trailers, Commercials and Films.
The team recently received 2 Digital Creation Genie awards during the 2019 Paris Digital Summit :

•​ ​One for Beyond, Good and Evil (E3 2018 trailer) in the best VFX in advertising category

•​ ​The other for God of War 4 (tv commercial) in the best Character/ Creature category

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