The Making of Blue Moon Brewmaster’s Inspiration
The first step was to create an animatic. This is always a very important and creative process. It defines timing, camera moving and framing.
The animatic was done entirely in Maya and After Effects. In Maya, we didn't use any footage, only basic models and rigs. I always prefer this approach for the previsualization step as it gives us the freedom to easily re-time each shot according to the agency and client's feedback. Finishing the animatic and getting approvals took us two weeks.
Once the animatic was approved, we shot the first and last shots (the kettles and the background outside the window were added in post) and the whole sequence in the second shot, with the hand opening the book and turning the pages four times. Everything was shot in stop-motion, using Dragonframe.
We used a motion control rig to move the camera by small increments for every frame. That allowed us to shoot multiple passes that later we composited together to achieve a clean plate before starting to add CG elements on top.
We also shot a tracking pass that I used in SynthEyes, creating a camera for import in Maya and After Effects. In this pass nothing but the camera was moving.
Next, we tracked each page, since all the elements had to sit convincingly on the pages and react to their action.
I manually tracked each page in Maya, using the clean plate of the book as a backplate for the camera, which came from SynthEyes.