MPC pulled off a stunning bit of 3D magic in a promo for Nintendo's Fossil Fighters Champions, a new game for the handheld DS videogame system. Working with Interrogate Director Vesa Manninen, an MPC team led by LA-based VFX supervisors Ryan Knowles & Ross Denner created a one-of-a-kind speech featuring a young boy rallying his platoon of dinosaur-like creatures (Vivosaurs) for battle.
Fossil Fighters Pre-Battle Speech opens on a live-action shot of the young boy standing in a stark desert environment, dressed in a king's crown and sword, lecturing his unseen troops. The camera pans to the side, revealing the colorful behemoths looming gigantically over him, panting and rapt, ready for battle. At the conclusion of the fiery speech, the camera goes wide, and the boy's army of titanic Vivosaurs tramples toward the screen in a roaring, frightening stampede.
"The Vivosaurs were a brilliant job from MPC," noted Manninen. "The closer frontal shots from below are just amazing. This is the best overall quality in 3D I've ever had in one of my films - and this was not an easy job. Truly amazing."
Tasked with creating an epic shot that retained the hearty feel of a child's fantasy world, MPC sought a balance between real-looking dinosaurs and Vivosaurs that retained the key characteristics and colors from the game. "This film is a warlord fantasy of the inner boy living inside all of us, filled with a getting-ready-for-battle feeling," stated Denner. Manninen added that "the story is from a child's point of view, so we see what the child is imagining and it looks amazing. It's also contemporary and cinematic, sympathetic and genuine. The size differences between the boy and dinosaurs are really important."
MPC worked closely with Manninen from previsualization through finishing on the six-week, 24-vivosaur project, handling all VFX work, character concept design, 3D modeling and texturing, 3D rigging, lighting and animation, compositing, dust and particle FX, head replacement, telecine, rotoscoping, tracking, on-set VFX supervision and finishing. By setting up a system that allowed updates of shaders, lighting, models and animation automatically without compromising the render passes or comp elements, MPC was able to finish the project on deadline.
"The test was delivering MPC's high level of quality on an impossible deadline and being able to accommodate last-minute changes," added Denner. "With the efficient workflow we set up, we were able to meet all client needs and the hard deadline without a problem. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of all the team involved."