The digital storytelling studio Infectious promotes the popular tech conference TED as it heads to Bristol
The 3D short aims to promote the TEDxBristol conference , with the theme ‘the world around us’ and talks on the topics of creativity, innovation and sustainability.
Infectious was responsible for nearly every aspect of its production, from concept generation all the way through to post. The project was completed mainly using 3ds Max 2012, although SketchUp was also utilised for some asset modelling.
The team wanted to keep things simple, explains digital artist Matt Wade: “As 99% of the materials in the animation were procedural, to fit in with the clean simple style we pursued, we had no need to use Photoshop for any detailed maps and only used it for some early colour studies and concept art. All the post was done in After Effects – although, due to the short time frame involved and the style of the animation, we tried to get as much right in 3D as possible to limit efforts in post production.”
Working to a tight schedule, the studio employed as many time saving techniques as possible. This included the use of John A. Martini’s Key Transfer script for 3ds Max.
“As all the animation in the film was fairly straightforward,” says Wade. “We were able to copy and offset key frames over multiple objects with a click of a button, saving masses of time and allowing us to focus on making the thing look pretty.
“All the crowd members popping-up were animated using this script, and the 400-or-so computers seen rotating round would have taken us some time without it, so we were very grateful to have it.”
Due to the film’s simple style, the team encountered few major technical challenges. However, the most challenging part of the project was the most unexpected. “Maintaining the style was, in itself, the hardest aspect of the project,” Wade explains. “We found ourselves actually reducing some of the quality and detail that we usually add into projects, as it just wasn’t working with the style.
“This is a hard call to make after spending time modelling assets and animating elements to a high level, to then be told they look too good! In the end, it was the right call. The whole film works very well together, due in part to not compromising on the original style we set out to create and believed in.”
Infectious is due to launch a new website in October, although in the meantime you can see more of its work on Vimeo.