The Xbox Series X debuted with a pretty impressive Power Your Dreams launch trailer last year - especially considering the current global restrictions making it harder to film. But it ended with a impressive result, in which we've now been given some behind the scenes details on how it was all made possible.
Moving Picture Company recently released a post detailing some of the creative decisions behind the video, and how the visual effects artists made it possible. Fabian Frank, the VFX supervisor on the short film, explained how the project was "created in its entirety through lockdown", using Unreal Engine to render the environments seen in the trailer.
Frank also talks about they brought the actor Daniel Kaluuya to life using 4D capture footage. Since a "full motion capture shoot wasn't possible", the team had to come up with creative ways to bring his performance to the screen.
"Luckily, we were able to scan Daniel in real life and get 4D facial capture footage of his performance, which we enhanced with rigs and key frame animation. The body performance was fully key framed, as a full motion capture shoot wasn’t possible.
We applied high-res micro and scanned details to recreate an intricate digital double of Daniel and used highly comprehensive rigs and muscle simulations for the hands. MPC’s hair pipeline based around Houdini was utilized to recreate this incredibly detailed, photoreal Daniel."
The post highlights a lot of technical aspects behind making the trailer, with some neat visuals and videos to truly delve into the process behind everything. It's particularly interesting to see some of the challenges the team faced, such as rendering Daniel's eyes, and scaling him in certain environments. Sometimes it can be easy to forget the hard work and labour that goes behind these projects, so this is definitely a fantastic insight into how it transpired.
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