Berlin Music Video AwardsLACA Film FestivalLos Angeles Animation FestivalUnknown Film Festival
2.2 M views and 7000+ comments on Youtube
The music video we created for Russian singer Zemfira tells the story of Austin, the butler from the Hopescapes game, who has a nightmare.
We decided to bring Austin to life in the CG world and show his true feelings and emotions. We believed that such realism would work really well, allowing the audience to connect with Austin like never before.
We started by developing the storyboard and boardomatic with director Lesha Krupnik. As we worked on the storytelling, we realized that a linear narrative would work best in this case. It gave us the freedom to address all the problems that Austin faced in the game.
To ensure we chose the right path, we created concepts for a fully CG character. We believed this would work well, as no one had ever seen Austin and his troubles in such close proximity before. We decided to create the whole video in real-3D, mostly for the sake of visual consistency.
The video features characters of varying levels of elaboration. We spent most of our time working on Austin and Catherine, recreating them from scratch and rigging them. The video also includes Austin’s parents, portrayed as statues, the crowd at the auction, and the buyer.
We spent a lot of time working on the main character, Austin, as he was used to figure out and master the styles of all other characters.
We kept Austin’s original look and recreated his original clothes in every detail, even down to the buttons. We also created different versions of Austin’s look with varying amounts of dirt on his clothes to capture the events of the video.
Kathrine’s character was based on photos of actresses, and it took us a while to figure out how to add just the right amount of spice to her. Visualization, rigging, hair simulation, and melting of Kathrine were created by the team at ZHEESHEE.
Creating Austin’s parents was another challenge we faced. We were striving to achieve a balance between making them look real and keeping them close to the original version from the game.
We created statues and sculptures that look like his parents, as well as picturesque portraits of family members with luxurious framing. This way, the image of his parents follows Austin throughout the whole video.
Austin’s family mansion is his most valuable possession. Inspired by the Victorian era and the original house from the game, we created the mansion from scratch. The video features three versions of the mansion: the original, the burnt-down, and the model at the auction.
Animation and Simulation
This stage was one of the most time-consuming. Every scene in the video includes simulations of clothes, liquids, fire, and destruction of the floor and walls. We went through a long process of iterations with every simulation to achieve the desired level of realism. Since Austin interacts with these simulations in almost every scene, character animation became more complicated.
Lighting and Camera
We aimed to immerse the audience in the character's emotional state by using a dominant color in each scene. Thanks to our camera director, Andrey Nikolaev, we were able to direct the light and move the camera as if it were a real-life set.