SUSPECT Takes on Back-To-Back 3D Stereoscopic VFX Projects
Press Release from SUSPECT
Daddy Yankee 3-D music video
As 3D enters the fast track to dominant media format and studios race to establish their credentials in that realm, SUSPECT recently put the finishing touches on two major projects that do just that. Working in collaboration with Elastic People Director Carlos Perez via El Cartel/Sony Records, SUSPECT's team rallied to show off the studio's advanced stereoscopic 3D VFX capabilities in the latest video - and first 3D project - for Latin Grammy Award-winning recording artist Daddy Yankee. Following directly on the heels of the music video SUSPECT then focused their unique stereoscopic abilities on a comedic :30 spot featuring super star LA Dodger's outfielder Andre Ethier.
"One of the things that make SUSPECT unique is that we're able to leverage the sensibilities of a specialized design boutique with the high-end power of a full-blown post facility," noted SUSPECT EP Rob Appelblatt. "We really brought all of our forces to bear on these two projects, positioning ourselves in a whole new way by utilizing every tool in our kit across the stereoscopic discipline, from conceptual design to set extensions to combining live action and CG to precise retouching. Producers and directors constantly tell us that, rather than having to run around completing projects piecemeal, they're looking for a shop that can help them through the whole 3D post process, and they know they can come to SUSPECT for exactly that."
For the Daddy Yankee project SUSPECT leaned heavily on their design team - led by CD/Lead Designer Hoon Chong - to create dynamic concepts and designs that maintained the sophisticated, sleek and clean vibe of Daddy Yankee's latest album. Perez, who has worked with Daddy Yankee for years and knew exactly how far they wanted to push this project creatively, didn't hesitate to go with SUSPECT after seeing their pitch.
"Aside from the full-service aspect, we won this job on the strength of our design capabilities," noted Appelblatt. "Hoon intrinsically understood Daddy Yankee's desired aesthetic." The video, Descontrol, is set in a funky black-and-white geometric world ideally suited for the dynamic 3D format. Throughout the video, a shower of triangles, spheres, and other shapes bursts toward the viewer from clean and spare backdrops. Meanwhile, Daddy Yankee performs as an array of dancers, funky robots, and a mysterious woman burst from the screen in settings ranging from the surface of the moon to minimalist white environments.
Perez shot the 3:38 video in stereoscopic 3D with SUSPECT supervising the shoot and collaborating constantly with the director to ensure the film would maximize the 3D effect. Stereoscopic film supervision required a whole new skill set including placing people in appropriate locations, gauging the correct distance between the camera and objects, and gathering data sets for the specialized lens conversions. "You don't just place everything in front of the camera like you normally would, and just turn it on 3D and everything's cool," noted SUSPECT Lead VFV Artist/VFX Supervisor Tim Crean. "You really have to put some forethought into every shot."
Using the raw RED Camera files from the stereoscopic shoot, SUSPECT reassembled them in Flame and combined the live-action footage with CG environments and objects, a technically challenging undertaking requiring the entire SUSPECT crew to closely collaborate on nearly every detail. 3D post is far less flexible than 2D, with layers and intersecting spaces needing to closely coordinate with the live action elements and talent.