Hollywood, CA -- Pre-vis house Persistence of Vision (POV) has launched a new Multi-Media Content Unit to supply POV’s creative services to producers of TV commercials, video games, webisodes, music videos, and other, non-feature film content. Initial projects from the unit include those for Microsoft, Snail Games, and Nike.
Pre-Vis (short for Previsualization) is the term for a detailed animated sequence, created during preproduction, which is used to test and prove-out complicated action sequences and camera moves in order to save time and money during live action production. Pre-Vis is the next generation of digital prototyping for entertainment and advertising. POV specializes in creating a computer animated version of its clients’ content quickly and inexpensively, allowing content producers to experiment, revise, budget, schedule and eventually produce their own projects with huge cost savings.
Said David Dozoretz, POV president/founder, “Previsualization can best be described as a collaborative process that generates preliminary versions of shots or sequences, predominantly using 3D animation tools and a virtual environment. It enables filmmakers and content producers to visually explore creative ideas, plan technical solutions, and communicate a shared vision for a highly efficient production process. During the recent past, we’ve discovered that it’s not just major motion pictures that are taking advantage of the benefits of PreVis. Commercials, video games, music videos, web content and other mediums are also incorporating the Pre-Vis process early within their production pipeline to derive better results in a shorter amount of time. This is the reason we felt the time was ripe for us, now, to launch our new Multi-Media Content Unit.”
For “Halo 4,” POV worked closely with the director and creative team to craft exciting sequences worthy of the “Halo” name. Using customized versions of the game assets provided by Microsoft, along with original assets created by POV, detailed animations were created for each shot of the action sequences and edited together with music and sound effects. These videos were used to budget, schedule and shoot the first live action long-form ever done for the “Halo” franchise.
Stewart Hendler, director of the “Halo 4” trailer, said, "We were incredibly lucky to have POV's creative expertise in the prep of ‘Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.’ Their amazing team helped us visualize and execute the kind of heart pounding sequences fans have come to expect from the ‘Halo’ brand—all the while working to maximize our tight timeline and resources, so we could put as much on the screen as possible."
The almost four-minute trailer also reveals an October 5 online premiere date for the “Halo 4” episodic series (five episodes will be produced, with a new episode appearing every week.) The “Halo 4” console game will be released on November 6. Over the past 11 years, the "Halo" franchise has generated billions of dollars in revenue and was a key driver of the success of Microsoft's original Xbox video game console. Since then, Microsoft has released books based on the "Halo" world, graphic novels, toys and other licensed products. Fans of the franchise, who number in the millions, call themselves “Halo Nation.”
On behalf of client Snail Games, POV worked on location in Beijing, China, to provide the Pre-Vis work for a TV spot starring international action and movie star Jet Li. The spot promotes Snail Games’ upcoming video game entitled “Age of Wushu.” For this project, POV set up motion capture and virtual camera technology systems in Beijing, and created an entire digital blueprint for the action and effects heavy commercial spot.
“Age of Wushu” is a new 3D MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) centered on martial arts and magic, in which players can be the crouching tiger. In the game, players have the opportunity to take part in physics-defying combat. With eight different factions, including the character of “Shaolin,” players can utilize the martial arts style that fits them best, with rich 3D graphics providing an unparalleled gaming experience
Earlier this year, POV provided the Pre-Vis for a 30-second TV spot for Nike, called “Jumpman.” The spot was so successful that Dozoretz was encouraged to formally launch the company’s Multi-Media Content unit. “Jumpman” is a stunning, effects-heavy 2D interactive web commercial campaign for Nike, featuring basketball player Chris Paul. Designed for online customers to dynamically experience a Nike product launch, the unique ad campaign allows online users to interactively participate in the commercial by operating a camera, ensuring that each viewing would be unique.
Under the direction of Paul Hunter of Pretty Bird, the production team created an impressive set-up, comprised of the largest single array of Red Epic cameras ever to be used on a commercial. An array of nine arc-mounted cameras, moved once, for a total of seventeen camera positions with a single camera overlap, were used. The Identity FX team faced the daunting task of creating a one-thousand frame-length final product, comprised of the seventeen individual camera positions that captured up to twelve green screen layers, per camera, in a 170 degree arc. At the conclusion of this shoot, a total of 11 hours of 5K footage were captured over two and a half days.
Due to the very complicated nature of this shoot, POV was instrumental in pre-visualizing both the live action and the technical aspects for this project, including determining how many cameras to use and their placement, and then choreographing the storytelling for maximum effectiveness. The entire set was built in the computer first, including all of the actors, props, and set pieces, as wekk as the cameras themselves. POV performed further tests of the stereoscopic rendering, proving out the concept of the interactive experiences to ensure that no two viewings would ever be the same.
Regarding “Jumpman,” Director Paul Hunter said, “Persistence of Vision is one of the most efficient and fastest Pre-Vis companies I’ve ever worked with. All of the artists there are extremely knowledgeable about the filmmaking process, and they really helped me to realize my vision for the ‘Jumpman’ project right away. They worked quickly designing and outlining the sets and how we would set up the cameras. Once they put up the wire frame, they were really fast in helping to illustrate the storyboard and the structure. I was able to fine tune everything with the agency, and the client signed off very quickly. I don’t use Pre-Vis for every project, but it’s a great tool for determining camera movement and motion control, and to anticipate in advance about how those things are going to work. I’d say that Persistence of Vision knocked it out of the park for us on ‘Jumpman.’”
Source: Persistance of Vision