Blind Revs Up for THQ
Press Release from Blind
Blind's THQ spot
Blind recently launched a concept-to-completion thrill ride of a trailer announcing THQ, Inc.'s new MX vs ATV Alive videogame. The expert crew at Blind handled all production, editorial, post, and oversaw the sound design on the direct-to-client project.
Inspired by classic Hollywood chase sequences, MX vs ATV Alive Announce is a thrilling, :60 ride through a stylized Motocross race course. From the throttle-twisting, gear-adjusting starting line to the ramp-jumping, airborne finale, the spot follows a pack of adrenaline-fueled riders as they tussle through the spiraling, bumpy course, knocking one another off one by one until a lone hero - Supercross champion James Stewart - remains as the victor.
Drawing from work-in-progress box art and website design concepts, Blind created the trailer's distinctive look. "Even though the final piece is very stylized, we had a mandate from THQ to maintain a foundation of Motocross authenticity," noted CD Erik Buth. "From the outfits the riders are wearing, to the motion of the bikes on the course, we carefully studied every element of the sport with the goal of creating something that even the most hardcore fan would view as authentic. If they wanted to, fans could go out and actually buy any of the gear featured in the spot."
To create this realistic effect, Blind focused on two main elements: modeling and animation. The studio modeled and textured the riders and bikes to look as real as possible, recreating actual Motocross gear - helmets, goggles, shirts, pants, boots, even the gloves. Once those assets were in place, animation began. Infusing the sport of motocross with drama and over-the-top action was an inherent aspect of creating an entertaining game trailer, but Blind stayed loyal to the underlying look and feel of the sport throughout. "The dynamics of Motocross are very specific," continued Buth. "We studied hours of race footage to get the signature moves right." Blind incorporated Maya, ZBrush, Cinema4D, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Avid and Flame at various points in the three-month production process.
"Since this was client-direct, rather than through an agency, we had a lot more responsibility to manage the story and the look of the piece than we normally would," stated Blind EP Dave Kleinman. "Early on the guys at THQ made reference to a Russell Athletic piece Erik had done a couple years back, so that set us up right away with a great working relationship. It felt like a true partnership, in which we were equally engaged in making the trailer as strong as possible."
The spot launched Jan. 8, at Supercross' first event of the season. Visit the MX vs. ATV Alive website at http://www.mxvsatv.com/.
Spot Title: MX vs ATV Alive Announce
Air Date: Jan. 17, 2010
1/8/11, AMA 2011 Supercross, Anaheim 1
Client: THQ, Inc.
VP Creative Dev.: Evan Hirsch
VP Creative Services: Bob Benjamin
VP Global Brand Mgr.: Mike Lustenberger
Global Brand Mgr.: Ali Bouda
Project Manager: Mike Kelleher
Prod/Post Company: Blind
CD: Erik Buth
EP: David Kleinman
Producer: Brad Herbst
Head of Production: Amy Knerl
CG/FX Supervisor: Hatem Ben Abdallah
Art Director: Steve Pacheco
Lead Animator(s): Diego Seferian, Christian Argueta
3D Animator(s): Steven McClellan, Tony Castro
Particle Animation: Jason Kim, Raymond King, Pasha Ivanov
3D Lighting Artist(s): Pasha Ivanov, Raphael Protti
Modeler(s): John Ployhar, David Mooy, Pasha Ivanov, Ryan Taylor
Texture Artists: John Ployhar, Ryan Taylor, Justin Young, Jordan Carroll
Rigging: Tony Castro
Rotoscoping: Lin Wilde
Compositor(s): Lawrence Wyatt, Ryan Kirkwood, Daniel Chang, Chris ONeill, Jason Lowe, Joe Todoran, Maithy Tran, Eric Zunkley, Ivan Cruz
Pre-viz: Diego Seferian, Chris Marcet
Designer(s): Erik Buth, Steve Pacheco, Lawrence Wyatt, Hatem Ben Abdallah, Kate Mrozowski
Storyboard Artist: Vincent Lucido