San Diego, CA – 28 September 2006 Dropping the viewer into the midst of a chaotic and heated battle on a strange planet where man has command of dinosaurs and tribal warfare is part of daily life, San Diego based 3D animation studio, Pendulum, has delivered a visually riveting cinematic experience for German game developers Sunflowers/SEK. Taking place on a prehistoric battlefield populated by primitive barbarians, nimble footed assassins, and giant reptiles trained as war machines, the 60 second HD-resolution 3D cinematic introduces the new real-time strategy game, Paraworld. Pendulum was hired to both create and direct the fully 3D CGI production. The cinematic, which uses a single dynamic camera for the entire piece, is a rollercoaster ride through the game's breathtaking and dangerous Jurassic environment.
Pendulum’s multi-disciplinary team of artists brought unique value to the table by lending its award winning expertise in CGI production as well as the experience and creative direction of the studio's co-owners Rob Taylor and Mike McCormick. Sunflowers/SEK provided Pendulum with a wide range of existing designs and low-resolution 3D assets from the game development team, but the project’s high-resolution output (HD 720p) required a major evolution in the design and depth of the tribesmen, dinosaurs and environments. “The client’s only specific parameters were that we remain within the stylistic boundaries of the world they’d created for the game… but that world was so diverse and exciting that our creative team had far more artistic freedom than usual. So we essentially had the chance to create this entire amazing and barbaric environment from scratch, and then just dream up a slew of exhilarating battle scenarios,” explains the Pendulum’s Executive Producer, Rob Taylor. The result was a remarkable array of formidable dinosaurs, fearsome warriors, horrific weapons and battle-ravaged landscapes. With such a wide range of elements, Pendulum had to implement an efficient and powerful pipeline that would ultimately track the development, animation, rendering and compositing of over 750 layers.
To view the final cinematic, please visit: http://www.studiopendulum.com/toprecent.html
Relying upon Autodesk Maya, Pixologic ZBrush, and e-on Software’s Vue Infinite, Pendulum was able to give each character and environment the extraordinary level of depth and believability critical for the cinematic’s hi-res HD target. With research that included filming animals from the San Diego Zoo as well as various studio artists performing mock fight sequences, Pendulum’s rigging and animation team worked tirelessly to breathe life into the massive beasts and ferocious humans of Paraworld. In order to blend the huge number of elements and frenetic events into a single visually impactful sequence, the studio split the compositing efforts between Adobe After Effects and Apple’s Shake. The cinematic was given further depth and emotional intensity by composer Pierre Langer, of Dynamedion, who employed a full German symphony orchestra to bring his powerful musical score to life.
Pendulum Studios is the San Diego based 3D animation and digital fx studio specializing in high-end character animation and story-telling. Owned and operated by directors, Michael McCormick and Robert Taylor, the studio strives to produce the highest quality animation for commercials, game cinematics, film, and their ownanimated shorts. For more information about the studio, please visit www.studiopendulum.com.
Michael McCormick – Director, 3D Lead, Shading & Lighting Artist
Robert Taylor – Director, Executive Producer, Lead Compositor
Wade Ammon – Producer
Ron Chan – Storyboard & Design
Reed Casey – Lead Modeling & Texture Artist
Bryn Morrow – Modeling & Texture Artist
Gina Adamova – Modeling & Texture Artist
Scott Spencer – Modeling & Texture Artist
Ricardo Ariza – Modeling & Texture Artist
Stefan Minning – Shading & Lighting Artist, Software Development
Florian Wild – Shading & Lighting Artist
Mattias Jervill – Character TD
Matt Schiller – Character TD
Michael Hutchinson – Character TD, Software & Tools Development
Emil Bidiuc – Animator
Kevin Jackson – Animator
Paul Jewell – 3D FX Artist
Stev Kalinowski – 3D FX Artist
Scott Mitchell – Jr Compositor
Abe Cajudo – Editor, Digital Video Specialist
Yu Hsien Chen – Digital Video Assist
Josh Penix – IT & Sys Admin
Michael Converse – IT & Sys Admin