Friday, November 6, 2009

CG Challenge - We made it!

The project this time was actually a bit tough for the CG guys. Computer related accidents slowed down the process and it ended up to be quite a race against time in the end. I'm not a specialist in terms of CG, but I know that making a CG movie is insanely time-consuming. I was surprised ...or shocked I should say :) by how fast the team worked in the final week of the project. Incredible! And so rewarding... because:


If this isn't cool, what is!?

Here is the link to the result announcement at CG Society. Click here!

...and here is the completed piece in HD :)

The background story:
Agent Omicron

Aging International Superstar Steve Camembert stars in the 80's classic Japanese spy show "Agent Omicron"
While not popular outside Japan at the time, the show has gained cult status in the United States and Germany.
The Fans or "Cronys", as they call themselves are drawn to its campy fun and exploration of almost precient Sci-fi concepts. The ethics of cloning, genetic manipulation, nanotechnology and robot/human hybrid rights were common themes featured on the show.
An other star of the show was Japanese American actress Aiko Givewell. She played Omicrons Techy sidekick and had quite a following among the younger male audience. in the second last season her character in the series greatest twists, turned sides and became the main antagonist.
After the cancellation of Agent Omicron Ms. Givewell stared in a very short lived spinoff.
The last stand out cast member was Thud Thompson. He was a Worlds Strongest Man Champion from Sweden. He dreamed of being the Swedish Arnold Schwarzenegger. Agent Omicron was his only acting job.

One other contributing factor of the alure of the show was the mystery surrounding the death of its star. Steve Camembert killed while filming a spectacular stunt for the series final episode.
An early edit of the show was said to have put together but it was never aired. For the "Cronys" finding this episode is the holy grail.
In early 2008 it was rumored that Michael Bay was in talks to tale Agent Omicron to the big screen. He was quoted saying that he wasn't interested in making another stupid Japanese movie for kids. So for now Agent Omicron and his crew of super spies will only live on in decaying VHS tapes and Youtube...

...And this is the making of:

It was incredibly fun to work on this project. That's definitely a team I'd love to work with again. And who knows? Maybe we will... in one of the upcoming Challenges at CGSociety or somewhere else...?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

CG Challenge - Secret Agent JAZZ! (part 5)

Time flies!

Life's been a bit hectic recently, and I didn't get to write this entry, which should have been up here like 2 months ago!

Anyways, so this is the last one in the CG Challenge Secret Agent series.

After having finished the tune, my brother asked me: "uh, we kind of need a tune for the making-of sequence. Can you put together something nice based on the main tune? Something jazzy would be cool :)"

Yeah, that's the kind of thing that tends to come towards the end of a project, right? 2 days until the deadline and we run into new ideas :)

So I sat down and slapped together a jazzy version of the main theme I composed. Here's the output:

Since there was no time, the drum pattern is a copy&paste job as is the walking bass. I just made sure that both drums and bass don't sound to synthetic, tweeking around with velocity values and adding dead notes etc.

The piano and guitar part is played in realtime, with some additional MIDI note adjustments and quantizing here and there, but I wanted to preserve an "organic" feel to the tune, so I tried to keep the recorded material as natural as possible.

The tune only needed to be a minute long, so you will notice the repetition in the second half (in the final video, the music fades out).

The guys were happy as was I, and we finally, finally made it!! Just in time.