New CGI music video: Remember by Charles De Meyer
Director Charles De Meyer and co at Chuck Eklectric have crafted this stunning VFX extravaganza of a music video for Raveyards using Maya, ZBrush, After Effects and meticulous motion tracking
This killer video was created by Belgium director Charles De Meyer earlier this year for Raveyards’ debut single ‘Remember’.
Due to the nature and subject of the song, the music video is a bit of a slow-burner, but the effects build, coming harder and faster, showcasing some gorgeous particle and fluid VFX.
Charles De Meyer first came to our attention last year with his award-winning video for Amon Tobin’s ‘Esther’s’ track (which you can view below. We’ll bring you more information on that wonderful video in our Meet the 3D artist post in the near future).
De Meyer graduated from Supinfocom in Valenciennes in 2005 (with the short En Garde) and has been a polyvalent freelancer making VFX, mostly for commercials, ever since. “I’ve always had a soft spot for animation,” De Meyer says.
This music video is a tribute to animation and in particular the human walk cycle – check it out, and then discover how Charles De Meyer created it below.
Watch Raveyard’s Remember
Director: Charles De Meyer, production: monodot, VFX/post: Chuck Eklectric (Charles De Meyer, Benjamin Mousquet, Mathieu Cadet, Cristophe Lebrun)
The band’s request for this video was that it be dark and creepy – and it certainly is that! “I wanted to match the slow pace and aggressiveness of the track, and maintain and build up that notion of pain found in the song’s lyrics,” he explains.
“For music videos, I try to stay solely inspired by the music itself,” says De Meyer. “It’s more a question of principle; I’d rather make videos that are tailored for the music.”
“But whether that’s a good thing is questionable; it can sometimes result in me overly playing the song (a couple hundred times is not that rare to be honest), driving most people around me (and sometimes even myself) insane. But I usually don’t stop until I find something I find suitable to the music, all while trying to stay original…”
The animator and musician
De Meyer’s background in animation means that he has a natural tendancy to use VFX and animation in his work. He’s also a musician and so he’s always been drawn to making music videos.
“I probably ‘broke’ into the industry by meeting Amon Tobin about five years ago now, with nothing but a couple of sketches and a pitch for ‘Esther’s’ under the arm,” he says.
He says his love of filming came at an early age: “When we were kids, my friends and I used to grab my dad’s Hi8 and film action movies around the house and in the woods. Actually, three of us are now working in the industry (one of them was Michel Dierickx, the DOP on ‘Esther’s’)”.
“But I really wanted to pursue that when I came to Supinfocom; we got to direct our own video shorts there as well, and that’s probably when I really wanted to become a director,” De Meyer explains.
The VFX opus
Remember took three months to post-produce, including the time needed for research and development.
“The story was set and shot, but what the effects would look like remained to be determined,” De Meyer explains. “So we tried out a lot of stuff, both in 2D and 3D.”
“I work with Maya, so I also learned more about its particle systems and fluid system (even PaintEffects for the first pain attack) which remained somewhat of untrodden ground for me.”
“A big help actually came when I discovered the free Maya plug-in SOUP from the amazing Peter Shipkov. It’s an absolute must-have collection of nodes for Maya. I used some of them to obtain the FX in the end sequence (Fluid and Particle emission), to quickly constrain objects to vertices for earlier sequences, to shatter objects, etc…”
Other effects were technically easier to obtain: “The silex-blades were polygons, modelled in ZBrush by Cris Lebrun,” he continues. “The man made of strings in the end are donuts deformed by lattices, skinned to the walk-cycle. There’s still a lot of things we haven’t seen that could be done with the simpler CG tools.”
The motion tracking was all done by hand, because backgrounds either were blurred out, or lacked detail to be tracked automatically, and then there was the ‘blood’ to consider: “With all the cream (what we used for the blood), putting trackers on the actor’s clothes would have been a mess!”
“Benjamin (Mousquet) made and rigged a dummy torso, and animated it to match the actor’s movement perfectly during his pain attacks. That torso was also used to produce shadows, the reflections of his clothes in the CG objects, etc…” De Mayer explains.
For the last sequence, the team hand-animated a slow-motion walk-cycle with a free human rig that they found on the internet. The model needed to be tweaked, but then it was ready for action.
“After I animated the camera movement to the music, we used it as a template for the 3D effects as well as a guideline for the 2D animation,” De Mayer continues.
“All the backgrounds in that sequence were made in After Effects, with the camera imported from Maya – a few tweaks were made to it so it would also export Maya’s camera shake.”
Thanks to Charles De Meyer for sharing his technical secrets with us. The future looks very exciting for this young, talented director. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with next… it could be another killer music video, could be a commercial or maybe even a movie.
Watch Amon Tobin’s Esther’s
We’ll bring you more information on this award-winning video directed by Charler De Meyer soon.
Tall Stories (UK, US, Italy)
Passion Pictures (France)
Monodot (Rest of the world)
on Thursday, June 7th, 2012 at 11:38 am under Movies, Showcase.
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Tags: Animation, CG, Charles De Meyer, Chuck Eklectric, music video, Remember, VFX, walk cycle