This bad boy was the one that started off New Media Ltd. Fort Lean reached out to me to do a music video: then they asked me to do two. I had some untenable ideas, asked Ryan and Abby if they wanted to partner up, and we made this messed-up two-part interdimensional karaoke horror. Amazing experience. After this, we joined up as New Media Ltd. LLC style!
Left: I made this whole extensive action-adventure plotline and storyboard for the animation which, of course, totally didn't work. You get excited, you know. Only thing that remained, if I remember right, was Maya addressing her own huge face.
Right: initial concept for the monster. It's like The Thing with shapely legs, I guess. We went a different direction.
Here's the initial sculpt of the monster. We went faceless with him, and aimed to give him a texture like that of General Tsao's chicken.
Learned quite a bit for this project: knew we had to sell her with close-ups, so spent quite a lot of time working on the texture. I'd made a short using 3D scanned clay sculptures already, so knew that would work, and had theorized that a scanned face could work. Done some tests. But intercutting with live action and the actual actress was a big risk. Spent a load of time trying out different looks and feels, so she looked both perfectly lifelike but also 3D printed. Needed to be in some blurry middle of the two. Right in the creek in the bottom of the Uncanny Valley. I think that's how I put it at the time.
Some initial light tests of Maya's face.
The Tentacle. Made the base with foamcore taped together (looked like a vertebrae), dolloped hot glue on for suckers, and then wrapped it in latex. Final paintjob was high contrast as the lighting was to be so colorful.
Test of the Tentacle. Had it rigged with fishing line. Would wrap right around Maya's leg. So fun.
Test for the To Go Container gag, with Abby's brother, Pete, clearly enraptured. Marco Cousins, the mad scientist behind this, is under the table puppeting it. We ran through a lot of concepts trying to get this thing to work. He ended up creating a beautiful rig.
Live action shoot in my apartment. Broke a longstanding rule to never let a film crew in my house, but we were moving out anyway. There's probably still some gaff tape inthere somewhere.
Sometimes, you're wearing creepy black latex gloves and chopping off fishheads during the day, and then showered up and drinking coffee and doing CGI all night.
Final frame! Our crop took out the Jeff Koons balloon, what you gonna do. Man, wrapped that animation in a wall-to-wall week of no sleep just about. In order to pull this project off, I had to learn pretty much everything involved, from the scanning to the lighting to the render. Before this, I was almost more of a hobbyist, trying to learn 3D animating while working as an art director and propmaster: this project catapulted me headlong into the wild, beautiful world of professional 3D animation.