Mind-bending series entering production on its third season combines live-action and CG animation using iPi’s markerless motion capture software.
Los Angeles creative studio Bemo continues to leverage its advanced markerless mocap solution, iPi Motion Capture, for the extensive CG character animation on comedy series Dream Corp LLC. Airing on Adult Swim, the live-action workplace comedy series set in a neglected Dream Therapy facility demands a fast-paced production pipeline and extensive motion capture technology to create the mind-bending animated sequences that distinguish between the show’s dreams and reality.
A huge hit for Adult Swim with a rare 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, the show’s third season was announced ahead of the premiere of season two. Dream Corp LLC is created, directed and executive produced by Daniel Stessen (John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant are Executive Producers) and produced by Bemo, with seasons one and two currently available on Amazon Prime and YouTube. The show’s third season is slated to begin production this summer.
Watch the video below to see a sample of how motion capture is incorporated into the show’s narrative:
Brandon Parvini, Designer/Animator for the show and a long-time iPi Mocap user, explained that the show’s production moves very fast and a flexible, real-time motion capture technology is critical to a post production pipeline that also includes Cinema 4D, AfterEffects and Zbrush.
Parvini notes that a typical production starts when they see the first rough cut of an episode. Much of the show’s creative is made via “shorthand” between the animators, the editors and Stessen. The team studies the tone and shot selection and determines a reaction plan for each episode to see where there are opportunities or references to a character or figure that will need to be created. Much of the time the team knows only a day before if motion capture is required. Sometimes requests require capture that same day.
“We’re given a rough notion of the creative direction for CG character development based on all the creative parameters that exist,” Parvini says. “We are pretty much run-and-gun. While the edit is still being locked down we are moving into 3D animation and solving tech and creative asks that come up. The moments where I need a capture, I pull out the Kinect, place it on a stool and capture action right there at my desk in roughly a 4x4-foot space.”
He adds the strength of iPi Mocap is its ease of use and smooth integration with Cinema 4D, the studio’s central 3D application. “iPi Mocap doesn’t require a lot of fuss and setup to get rolling with recordings, which has made it a durable and irreplaceable part of our pipeline arsenal. Having a motion capture solution that is accurate and also works easily in our production pipeline, encourages us to take risks and immerse ourselves in the creative process so that we can create a more jarring and visually engaging experience for everyone.”
Version 4.1 of iPi Motion Capture was released in December 2018 and features several enhancements to include real-time tracking for multiple depth sensors (connected to either a single computer or several computers connected via iPi Soft’s Distributed Recording feature), as well as automatic synchronization of action camera videos based on flash detection.
“iPi Mocap is designed to enable artists to go from creative idea to production with technology that is affordable and accessible without the need for expensive greenscreen studios and sensor suits,” says Michael Nikonov, iPi Soft Founder and Chief Technology Architect. “Our real time tracking function lets customers preview motion tracking results transferred to a 3D character at the time of performance, which optimizes workflow for fast-paced productions like ‘Dream Corp LLC.”
With the launch of iPi Motion Capture Version 4, iPi Soft introduced a perpetual license model. The perpetual license is not time-limited and includes two years with full support and software updates. iPi Motion Capture Version 4 is also available as a subscription-based model. Prices range from $165 to $1995 depending on the version of software (Express, Basic, Pro) and duration of subscription. Additional information on iPi Soft license and pricing is available here.
Source: iPi Soft