The Pickup Truck animation
Interview with Marcus Litterer
Modelling and VFX Artist
Still In Motion: What did the process of modelling the truck look like?
Marcus: We started with reference images and modeled it step by step to make it accurate to the original truck. If a client has existing models for the product, we utilize those and optimize them for animation.
Still In Motion: Tell us more about the animation! That was really fun to watch.
Marcus: Yes, the animation process was really fun. We used the Craft Director Studio plugin for 3DS Max, which takes pre-rigged models and turns the interface into a video game. You can control the animation in real time with a controller or keyboard, plus you can do burn-outs, turbo boosts and drifting.. It automates the process and gives you way more control than doing it manually with keyframes.
Still In Motion: On top of that, you did the VFX for it too. The smoke from the burnout and the crash, plus the fracturing effect of the wall-crash.
Marcus: Yes. The idea was to make an unbreakable truck; to have it smash through this big concrete wall and come out without a single scratch. We were going for a low-down, tough, western/country feel. Morgan picked the music to give it the feel it needed.
Still In Motion: Thanks for sharing!
Interview with Morgan Maclennan-Smith
Scene Assembly Artist
Still In Motion: You did the shading and texturing for the animation. We especially loved the look of the chrome and the headlights.
Morgan: The headlights we're a bit of a learning curve. It's all about modelling in all the details that make a headlight work. What makes a realistic headlight is having reflectors, glossy metal or chrome, plus the bulb, as well as the environment shining in. It reflects everything. At night, what makes the headlight effect look the way it does is largely due to the reflectors.
Still In Motion: Very cool! What was your favorite thing about the project?
Morgan: It was composing the shots and doing the camera-work. I'm taking a fondness for DP (director of photography) work. I also was responsible for the look-development, which is deciding the color scheme and overall style of the piece. I typically do the scene assembly for projects, plus the visualizations for the animations, and I'm growing into the role of DP work and look-development.
Still In Motion: Thanks for sharing, Morgan!