Thursday, June 9, 2011

Project NoName Revealed!

Project NoName (more widely known as Nintendo's E3 2011 3DS Animation Thing) went live at the Nintendo keynote on Tuesday. This is what we've been burning the midnight oil on for a while now. It was awesome seeing it live on the internet and Bokser was in the audience so we all lived vicariously through him. 

I'd like to throw out thank you's to all the people involved but I don't know whom I can talk about yet so I'll just say, "Thank you [you know who you are], for letting us be a part of this and for all your support."

The story of the how this project came about will have to wait for another day along with a clean render to put up whenever I get the clearance but I'm gonna say what I may. The clean version doesn't have that dark panel on the bottom either (it was added after it was too late for us to do anything about it...ah well).

The Pitch:Nintendo wanted a series of segments to first show off some upcoming 3DS titles and two as a bit of a show piece utilizing projection mapping. 

The Limitations:
  • Established well known IP's - As such, how characters move and what they can do is fairly well established and must be adhered to. Also, characters from one game could not be on the screen as other characters at the same time so clear delineation between segments was a must.
  • Flexibility - The segments were required to be created piecemeal so that the order of them could be changed right up till the show.
  • Projection mapping - For those of you not familiar with projection mapping, there are certain "rules" if you will which need to be obeyed for the effect to work to it's best. The main one is that you have to "color in the lines" which on a building is a fairly large are but when you have lots of panels like in this case, require creative thinking to work around. So for example, no character or main content piece can cross a panel's edge that is closer to the audience. You can come from behind a panel but you cannot start at a front one and jump down to a lower one over the edge. It's a bit confusing until you start playing with it - but it is what it is. The reason you don't do it is that it causes major distortion in the image. We did break the rule a little on the effects but they're so fast that you don't really see it. 
  • Assets - First off, Nintendo's support was great on this front and for the most part we took skinned characters and assets and added our own rigs. We only had so much bandwidth to make stuff from scratch so we had to use that time judiciously. Because of that many of the sets and concepts evolved based on what they were able to provide.

The quick facts:
  • Production time - 6 weeks
  • Preproduction - 3 weeks 
  • Resolution - 3335 x 1080
  • Animation - 5 segments ~ 18 seconds apiece 
  • Characters rigged - 12 
  • Props rigged - 17 
  • Sets - 5 
  • Pots of coffee drank - a lot 

Visuals Team (alphabetical!) - The audio and some other work was handled by some of the great people at the company I've been working with but don't know if I can mention them yet. However, I will name our visuals team and give each and everyone of them a hardy thank you for their great work. Without further ado,  Team Project NoName :
What did I do?
  • Co directed and acted as project lead and liaison with ...the people I can't talk about yet
  • Acted as art director/animation lead 
  • Segment Concepts and boards
  • Set Designs 
  • All set modeling blocking (Berenty cleaned it up along with my nasty booleans) 
  • Layout and Animation - Kid Icarus segment only 
  • Character Rigging/TD
    • Kid Icarus 
      • Pit
      • Eye
      • Gun/sword
      • Bullet particles 
      • Set rigging 
    • Mariokart
      • Particles - smoke, sparks 
      • Road modeling, texturing (cave to loop only)
      • The poka dot mountains in the back
      •  Set Rigging
    • Starfox
      • Fox
      • Arwing
      • Set Rigging
    • Mario
      • Particles - implemented the prep work Bokser did 


Nate said...

Great work guys! Awesome seeing the full team breakdown.

Unknown said...

Super cool! I loved it

Alex Puente said...

Quality stuff as always Josh, congrats!!! :)

Unknown said...

Thanks all!

Nate,are you on ME3? So excited for that one:)

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