Producing a television animation series pilot in Maxon Cinema 4D 9.521 is not something many animation production companies have done and subsequently, a lot of the functionality needed for this project had to be made up on the spot. This is also very true because at 3-D Revolution Productions we like to squeeze the absolute maximum out of any software - and then a little more - so when we hit a brick wall, we simply break through it.
The morphs that form the basis of the facial animation (pre-set facial shapes) were created by Daniel Bacchiocchi, Oliver Wuensch, Fabian Rosenkranz and Clement Vaucelle according to Boris de Leeuwe's morph sheets. Fabian Rosenkranz then also wrote a special script for Sanji's robotic facial controls.
A special plugin called OpActiveRec was written to facilitate lipsyncing and facial expressions in a stop-motion way by Cactus Dan and Daniel Bacchiocchi. Early tests showed, however, that the resulting stop-motion style facial animation did not sit well with the smooth body animation and a custom facial animation script (xpresso) for an interface on top of the existing facial expression system was written by Oliver Wuensch. This script worked with the system devised by Cactus Dan and Daniel Bacchiocci, but facilitated smooth facial animation with a slider interface and function-curvable keys on the morphs.
For practical, smooth animation, proxy rigs were built by Daniel Bacchiocchi. The animation data was then transferred to the final rigs using CloneAnimation 2 - also written for the pilot production - and a special Bone Translation script by Fabian Rosenkranz. This was needed because of custom bone control data which could not be copied using CloneAnimation.
All compositing was done using Adobe After Effects and editing was done in Apple's Final Cut Pro. The whole exchange between programs was effortless and special recommendation has to go out to Cinema 4D's After Effects camera export functionality.
The whole pilot production was done equally on Macs and PCs, facilitated by dual platform support of Cinema 4D and After Effects. In all, this has made for a very multi-platform, cross-program, international, multi-lingual, time-zone-spanning, limitation-busting production!
3-D Revolution Productions in association with Bejuba! Entertainment
Contact Bejuba! Entertainment for more information regarding the Moonridge 5 series proposal and co-production possibilities