Making of: Jugu 'Infatuation'
'Infatuation' was an interactive music video for singer-producer Jugu (jugumusic.com), which was unfortunately shelved due to technical issues. This is a breakdown of my work on the video's animated segment.
Early concepts for the animated Jugu character aimed for a retro style, drawing reference from the 1930's classic 'Betty Boop'. As the project evolved, the video took on a darker minimalist look, and Jugu's character design evolved accordingly.
The animation was a mix of 2D puppet and hand-drawn techniques. First, a turntable of character assets was created. These assets were used heavily in the blocking stage, to get an idea of action and pacing. From there, rough digital drawings were done to flesh out key poses and inbetweens. These were then traced over with proper line work and paint, as well as puppet assets where suitable.
The biggest visual effects challenge was generating shading and shadows that would place Jugu convincingly in-shot. To achieve this, the plate footage was motion-tracked in 3D, then planes were placed to simulate Jugu's position and nearby objects. This allowed a 3D light setup that would throw convincing shadows on the plate. Jugu's animation was also set up in separate layers for each body part, allowing tight control in generating specific shading across the character.
The Final Result
It's a shame the project couldn't go live, but it was a great experience working with such a talented team. Big thanks go to William Hwang and Jeff Mimery for heading the project, Paper Cranes for the amazing footage, and of course Jugu for the fantastic music track.