Berlin Music Video AwardsLACA Film FestivalLos Angeles Animation FestivalUnknown Film Festival
2.2 M plays and more than 7000 comments on Youtube
A music video for a Russian singer Zemfira telling a story about the butler Austin — main character of the Hopescapes game — who had a nightmare.
We decided to move Austin to the CG world and show his true feelings and emotions. We believed that such realism would work really well, allowing the audience to come as close to Austin as never before.
We started thinking through the storyboard and boardomatic together with director Lesha Krupnik.
The more we worked on storytelling the more we realised that linear narrative will work the best in this particular case. It gave us the freedom to address all the problems that Austin faced in the game itself.
We suggested that we create a fully CG character — we believed it would work really well because no one ever saw Austin and his troubles in such close proximity before. In order to make sure we chose the right path, we started with creating concepts. As a result, we decided to create the whole video in real-3D, mostly for the sake of consistency of the visuals.
The video reveals characters of different levels of elaboration. Most of the time was spent on Austin and Catherine, as we recreated them from scratch and made rigs for them. In addition to these characters, the video features Austin's parents in the form of statues, the crowd at the auction and the buyer.
We spent a lot of time working on the main character Austin as we used him to figure out and master the styles of all other characters.
We decided to keep Austin’s original look and recreated his original clothes in every detail — even the buttons. In order to capture the events of the video, we also created different versions of Austin’s look that had various amounts of dirt on the clothes.
We tried to base Kathrine’s character on photos of actresses and it took us a while to figure out how we can add just a bit of spice to that simple girl. Visualisation, rigging, hair simulation, and melting of Kathrine were created by the guys from ZHEESHEE.
Another challenge was to create realistically looking parents based on characters from the game. We were striving to achieve a balance between making them look real and keep them close to the original version.
Besides statues and sculptures that look like his parents, we created picturesque portraits of family members and gave them luxurious framing. This way the image of parents literally follows Austin throughout the whole video.
The most valuable thing Austin owns is his family mansion. Being inspired by the Victorian age and the original house from the game, we created the mansion literally from the scratch. There are three versions of the mansion in the video: 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 of the video has a simulation: clothes, liquids, fire, destruction of the floor and the walls. We went through a long stage of iterations with every simulation, aiming for the desired level of realism. Since Austin almost always interacts with these simulations, the creation of character animation has become more complicated
Lighting and camera
There is a dominant color in every scene to immerse the audience into the character’s emotional state. Thanks to having a camera director Andrey Nikolaev on the project, we were able to direct the light and move the camera as if it were a real-life set.